Uh oh, tomorrow is my 1st home study! I think I'm done cleaning and straightening - can finish tomorrow - the social worker is coming between 4:30-5:00 pm (just in time for the mad dinner rush!). Wish me lots of luck!
For my friends not familiar with the adopting from China...here goes:
1. 1st phase: the Great paperchase! It can take from 3-4 months to complete. I have to compile a lot of documents (birth certificates, marriage license, physicals and have 4 home studies done; and also about 6-10 lifestyle photos of our family, home, etc.). Depending on how long it takes to gather all these papers... that's how long the paperchase will be.
2. 2nd phase: Having all of your paperwork (called a dossier) sent to your agency, who will send it to China and then it will be logged in a the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) this log in date is referred to as LID. This is the part where we W-A-I-T for our referral (it used to be only a 6 month wait...now it's up to 12 months or longer).
But, while we wait...our dossier is being translated and reviewed by the CCAA (in the Review Room, to make sure all the paperwork is in order) and then it goes to the Matching Room, where we will be matched with our GIRL! Many say its amazing how well these children are matched with their Forever Families - they take all the info we sent about our family and the photos and make an amazing match between child and family!! "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break." - An ancient Chinese belief.
3. Then the referral is sent to my adoption agency - they then call us The Call where they tell us about our daughter, her medical infor and a few photos; which they will Fedex to us. We then review the referral package and decide whether to accept or decline the child - most parents accept their referral!
4. Travel Approval or TA is what we wait for next - which depends on when we get our Consulate Appointment or CA (where we adopt our daughter in China, so when we land in the U.S. she is automatically a U.S. citizen! This can be hectic...waiting for the exact date we will leave to go to China, we have to obtain visas, make our flight arrangements and pack! This ususally happens 6-8 weeks after we get our referral and we will probably stay in China for 8-10 days.
Well, hope this helps (I have to give credit to another blogger for help in explainig this process...coincediently she calls her blog "Journey to our chinese princess" - thank you so much...I needed the words :)
Better go make our dinner!