Archive for January, 2011

Our Son

On Tuesday, January 18th China released new names onto their list of waiting children.  Patrick and I were told by our agency that the list was coming out and that we might be matched with a child during the night of January 17th.  We were told that if we were matched there would be an email waiting for us in the morning with all the information about our child.  That night I brought my laptop up to bed with us and when the alarm went off at 6:30 I logged into my email to see if there was a message.  And there was!  There in my inbox was a message with subject line:  Lin Zi Xuan- McCoy.

I quickly opened the email and began to open files. With Patrick laying next to me I began to read through all the information we were given about this little boy.  The last file we opened presented us with the cutest little face of a little boy who will become our son.

Zi Xuan is 2 years old and is living with a foster family in the Guangxi providence of China.   The information that we received about him in the referral file says that he likes to play outside, play games, and plays well with other kids.  He likes music which is a must for anyone in this family!  He is a sound sleeper which is wonderful for this mama to be to hear.  And he was born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate.  As of right now neither his lip or his palate has been repaired so when he comes home he will need surgery.  Although the doctors we spoke with said there will be no rush to get the surgeries done immediately.

On January 21st we submitted our Letter of Intent to China requesting to be this little guys parents.  On January 25th, we were surprised with brand new pictures of our son, including this one below.

Our little guy!

We received our Pre- Approval from China on January 27th.  The Pre-Approval means that based off of our preliminary information China approves us to be Zi Xuan’s parents.  His file will remain locked in our name and China is now waiting for us to submit our Dossier to them so that they can formerly accept us as his parents.

We’re on a Chart!

OK, this is going to sound really silly, but for me it’s kind of cool.  There is a website called China Adopt Talk (aka Rumor Queen) that has been a great resource for me as I learn about adopting from China.  They have a forum for Special Needs adoptions and it’s awesome to have this community of people who are all going through the same process.

One of the things they do on the forum is keep charts of how long it takes to complete different steps in the paperwork.  People share their stats and a member of the community updates the charts each week.  Well, we made it onto our 1st chart this week!  We are officially on the waiting for I800A chart.  Like I said, it’s kinda of silly but also cool to me.  It’s just one more little thing that shows we are moving forward in this process.

The Department of Homeland Security

On Saturday I got a letter from The Department of Homeland Security and I just had to laugh.  Before this adoption stuff never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d get a letter from Homeland Security and be happy about it.  It was the official notice that they had received our I800A application and everything was good with it.  We now wait for another letter which will let us know when we are to go in and get our finger prints done for them.

We are beginning to settle into the stage in this process where there is a lot of waiting.   I’m not the most patient person and waiting at times can drive me crazy.   The one thing that gives me peace however is that I firmly believe God’s hand is in this adoption and that everything well get done in God’s perfect timing.  And so I wait.  Knowing that God will ensure that everything that needs to be done will be done at just the right time.

Eligible to Receive a Referral!

Over the weekend Patrick and I finished up the last of the paperwork that our agency requires in order to be put on their list of families waiting for a referral.  When you find a child off of the waiting child list for China that you would like to adopt you need to send to China a Letter of Intent and a Family Summary and Treatment Plan.  Each document is meant to share basic information about your family, the child you want to adopt, and your understanding of what their special needs are and how you will care for them.  Our agency requires you to do a rough draft of these documents before they will begin to look for a referral for you.  So we got those forms done over the weekend; now of course we were not able to fill everything out because we don’t know who our child is but we were able to fill most of the information out.  We also had to complete a parent workbook from our agency about adopting a child with special needs.  The workbook was about 20 pages long and then had a separate packet that contained about 6 pages of questions for Patrick and I to answer.  On Sunday we worked our way through the workbook and questions while watching the UC basketball game.  It was perfect, we’d do a section in the workbook and then watch a little bit of the game.  It was a great way to break up all the information and not get bogged down in it all.  I sent everything in to our adoption coordinator yesterday and she looked it all over and said it looked good.  Therefore, we are now on their list of families waiting to be matched and they will start looking for a child for us.

So when will we get a referral?

Well it could still be months and months before we get a referral or we could be given a file to review next week.  There is really no way of knowing.  Each month China releases new children onto the special needs list.  Now because we do not have our Dossier to China yet we will not be eligible for every child released onto the list each month but there are many child that are designated as special focus children who can be matched with parents who are at any stage in their paperwork.  We also found out last week that our agency is beginning a new program.  They are now working with 5 orphanages in China and they will be exclusively helping those orphanages to find adoptive parents for the children in  their care.  This is really exciting for us because our agency will be helping to prepare the children’s files for adoption and also have a great working relationship with the orphanages which means they’ll be able to get a lot more information about these children.  So we could also be matched with a child from this program now.  The truth is we have no idea when we may get a file to review but it’s exciting to know that we’re moving along and may know soon who our child is :)

Doctors…

Last week I also spent a lot of time researching doctors and International Adoption Clinics for when we do get a file to review.  Our agency requires us to have an International Adoption Doctor review the file of our child before we can accept any referral.  Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has an International Adoption Center that we’ve been told is very good and we have decided to use them.  I spoke with them last week about their pre-adoption services.  They will review the medical files of the child and also have specialists from Cincinnati Children’s look at it too for any specific special need our child may have.  Then they will talk with us on the phone within 24 hrs. of getting the file so that we can make a sound decision about accepting the referral.  They will continue to work with us in the months that we wait to travel and will review any new information we get about our child.  Then when we travel they will be available to us when we are in China in case there are any surprises when we get there or if our child is sick and we need to speak with a doctor.

We also have made arrangements for Ariel’s pediatrician to review the file as well.  He was very happy to look it over whenever it comes and also very pleased to see that we were going to be working with the International Adoption Center at Cincy’s Children’s Hospital.  So I feel pretty good that we’ve also got doctors lined up to look at the files when they come.  One less thing to worry about when the day finally arrives.

Finished Home Study Received- I800A on its way!

Today was the day that we got our completed home study in the mail.  Yay!!!  I knew we would get it in the next few days and was so happy to see it in the mailbox today.  The next step is to apply to get approval from US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to bring a child into the US from China.  Patrick and I finished the I800A form last weekend which is needed to get this approval.  Along with the form we also had to send in a copy of our home study, birth certificates, and marriage certificate.  The form gets sent to a P.O. Box in Texas where it is processed and then it gets forwarded onto another office where we will get assigned an officer for our case.  Before our officer can give us approval Patrick & I will need to go to the local USCIS office in Cincinnati to get finger printed by them. Normally once they process your application they send you a letter with a finger printing date and time on it to go into your local office.  I’ve been told however that once we get this letter that in Cincinnati they are VERY accommodating to adoptive parents and that they will take walk-ins as long as they are not busy.  So we might try to walk in one morning and get our finger prints done sooner :)

As I type our form is on its way to Texas and it should be received into the care of the USCIS on Monday, I hope!  Unfortunately, the USCIS is back logged right now and instead of getting these approvals in about 30 or 40 days they are currently taking about 60+ days from date of recite.  So let’s hope they get caught up and we can get our approval before March!

We’re one step closer to brining Olinnie home!!!!

Adoption Timeline
  • Summer 2010 - started talking about adoption
  • Aug 19, 2010 - participated in webinar
  • Sep 22, 2010 - mailed in adoption application
  • Sep 28, 2010 - adoption application accepted
  • Oct 8, 2010 - fingerprints for home study
  • Oct 14, 2010 - fire inspection done
  • Oct 25, 2010 - Patrick & Kimberly complete physicals for the adoption
  • Nov 4, 2010 - finished Heart of the Matters Parent Education
  • Nov 9, 2010 - Ariel's physical is completed
  • Nov 15, 2010 - 1st Home Study Visit
  • Dec 10, 2010 - Kimberly's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 16, 2010 - Patrick & Ariel's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 19, 2010 - Received rough draft of Home Study to review
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Received Final Home Study
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Sent I800A form into USCIS
  • Jan 18, 2011 - We see our son's face for the 1st time!
  • Jan 21, 2011 - Submit Letter of Intent to China
  • Jan 27, 2011 - Receive Pre-Approval from China
  • March 7, 2011 - I800a approval
  • March 24, 2011 - Dossier to China
  • April 2, 2011 - Log In Date
  • May 16, 2011 - LOA
  • June 2, 2011 - I800 Approval
  • June 10, 2011 - Cable sent by National Visa Center
  • June 13, 2011 - NVC Letter & final paper work sent to Agency!!!!
  • June 23, 2011 - Article 5 papers dropped off
  • July 8, 2011 - Article 5 pick up
  • July 19, 2011 - Travel Approval!!!!!!
  • August 15, 2011 - Forever Family Day!!!!!!
  • August 25, 2011 - Arrive home; Xander becomes a US citizen :)