Thursday, May 14, 2009

We got our PA!!

We excited to introduce you to her new daugter!

We recieved our PA - preapproval today and are over the moon. We have a daughter!! We still have 5-6 months of paperwork until we bring her home! We are hoping to bring home in Dec or Jan. All depends on the US & Chinese governments & how fast they approve our paperwork.

Her Chinese name is Liang Ying Guo and she is currently in foster care in the Qinghai providence. She will be two on August 21st. Yes! She is blonde, she has albinism!

We are excited to introduce you to our new daughter!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where are we in the process?

We attended the class in April and will begin our home study tomorrow (Sat May 9th) Wohoo!!

I must admit that we are very lucky! Mind you, I believe everything happens for a reason :)

We thought that our home study had to be completed before we could inquire or be matched with a SN child. So this week with the list came out, I emailed our China coordinator (on 05/04/09) to ask a couple of questions about the process and when exactly we could begin trying to be matched off the list. To our surprise she informed us (on 05/05) that as long as we where beginning our home study and could have our dossier to China in the next 3 months (which is my plan anyways) that we could be matched anytime.

WOW - We were shocked but thrilled. So John & I went through the list and found a child that we were interested in. I emailed the coordinator back and to our disappointment that child had been matched to another family, but the coordinator said she would try to match us next month if I provided her with our requirements.

Imagine our surprise when 15 mins later, we received a email from her saying that she had matched us to another child who met our requirements! My head is spinning!! So I called her to confirm that this was real and to find out what the process was. She informed me that her file was on hold for us and we had 24hrs to decide whether or not to pursue the adoption.

Well, it is 10:30 at night, my head is spinning, so I shoot a email off to a pediatrician in Jake's playgroup to beg her to help us review the medical file and another email off to our playgroup trying to locate someone to translate the file to English. We got the file in both English and Chinese but I wanted to make sure the translation was correct plus it took me a hour & a phone call to realize that we had both files!

Again I got lucky because our friend reviewed the file & emailed me back that overall the child is healthy and another mom translated the file for me! WHEW

The next morning I got a email detailing what we had to do to proceed. We had to fill out a application form, write a letter of intent, write a family brief and submit passport and family photos.

I think we had both decided before bed that we were moving forward and that this was our child, but I called John to verify that we were on the same page and we were. So on May 6th our paperwork was sent to China and now we have to wait! We should have our PA - pre-approval (PA) in two weeks. Once we receive our PA, I will post a blog to introduce our child to you :)

Please send us happy positive thoughts!

The Long Process

International Adoption is a very long process which I will attempt to lay out the process as I understand. The time frames listed are average wait times! Yes the steps are the actual order!

Once you make a decision to adopt you need to pick agency. We have selected Bay Area Adoption Services (BAAS). Our agency has truly been wonderful! Our agency required that we complete a 8 hour class prior to beginning our home study.

Step 1 - Attend Adoption Class (1 day)
The class is 1 Saturday & is only offered once a month

Step 2 - Turn in paperwork & pay fees to begin home study (depends on you)
Once class is completed you can begin the home study process (there is tons of paperwork to compile & fill out!)

Step 3 - Home study (6 weeks - 3months - again depends on you)
The home study process entails 4 visits with a social worker. These visits may happen quickly or not so quickly, depending on how quickly you turn in all your required paperwork.

Step 4 - Submit 1-800A (approval in about 30 days)
Once your home study is completed you will submit a 1-800A to the USCIS. Per their website this form is: For adjudicating the eligibility and suitability of the applicant(s) to adopt a child who habitually resides in a Hague Adoption Convention country.

Step 5 - Submit Dossier to China (approval 2-6 months)
Once you receive 1-800A approval, you submit your dossier to china for approval. Once approved they will issue you a LOA (letter of approval) which you must sign & send back to them.

Step 6 - Submit 1-800 (approval in about 15-30 days)
Once you receive your LOA you will not submit your 1-800 to the USCIS. Per their website this form is: To determine the child's eligibility for classification as a Convention adoptee. The petition is filed by the U.S. Citizen prospective adoptive parent to finalize the immigration process of a child who habitually resides in a Convention country.

Step 7 - Receive Travel Approval (TA) (about 30-60 days)
Once your 1-800 is approved it will be sent to China for them to approve your travel to adopt your new child. Once TA is received you should travel in 4-6 weeks of receiving it.

Whew!! Yes it is a lot of steps!! Mind you these are the "official" steps, somewhere between completing your home study and your Dossier being logged in to China, you will receive a child's referral for review. If you decide to proceed with that child you will also submit a LOI to China. This process is very trying on the patience but all worth it in the end.

Yes we are adopting!!

We have decieded to purse international adoption as the way to expand our family and will be adopting from China!

Currently China has a 3 - 3.5 year wait time for a "healthly" child, we have decieded that are going to pursue adopting a special needs child (SN). There are many children on the SN waiting list with minor to moderate needs. We understand that this choice may not be for everyone but, for us it feels natural and right!

When adopting a SN child the wait time is reduced dramtically and a adoption can be completed in about a year, sometime less.

We welcome you on this journey with us :)