Archive for September, 2010

Stage 1: The Paper Chase

When looking at our international adoption you can break it down into two different stages.  Stage 1 is the paper chase which we are beginning now and Stage 2 is getting matched with our child and finishing all the paperwork needed to travel to China.  Now because we are in the Waiting Child Program our Stage 1 and 2 may overlap a little but for the most part we’ll need to complete all the paperwork in Stage 1 before we can be matched with a child.

There are 3 main things we need to complete Stage 1.  The 1st thing we need to do is have a Home Study done.  The goal of the Home Study is not to see if we are good enough to adopt but rather to make sure that we are prepared to adopt and that we have proper accommodations  and finicial means to care for a child.  As a part of the Home Study we will also have background checks done and will be working with a social worker who will write the final Home Study Report.  I contacted the social worker that our agency uses in OH yesterday and I’m excited to hear from her so I can gain a better understanding of what’s really involved with the Home Study.

Once our Home Study is done, we can then submit form I800A to the Citizenship & Immigration Service (CIS) which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.  Every US citizen who adopts internationally must get approval from the CIS and the I800A form is the 1st step in that process.  Our Home Study has to be done 1st because it too much be submitted to the CIS along with the I800A.  Once the CIS gets our application we will then be given a date to be finger printed again.

As we are working on the Home Study and our paperwork for the CIS we are also gathering documents for our Dossier which is what gets sent to China.  Some of the documents that will be a part of our Dossier are our birth certificates, marriage certificate, letter of petition to adopt, health examination certificates, finical statements, letters from our employers, criminal background checks, photos of our family and our house, letters of reference, our Home Study, and prof that we’ve completed 10 hrs. of parent education.

Our agency has said that most families can complete all of this paperwork in about 3 to 5 months.  It’s my goal to try and have it all done by January 1st.  We’ll see how it goes.

We’re Pregnant! Well Sort of…

In my mind I always thought of the day that we got approved by an adoption agency as being the same as finally getting that positive pregnancy test.  Once you’re approved by an agency it’s totally official, you’re starting the adoption process, and most likely at some point you’re going to get to hold your new child in your arms.

Well yesterday was my “positive pregnancy test” day!  We had sent in our application to our agency last Thursday and I knew that they would get it by Monday the latest.  I also knew that it would take them about 48 hours to process the application which meant I should be getting that wonderful confirmation email from the agency on Tuesday.  As the day went on I must have checked my email at least 50 times hoping to see an email from them.   At 2pm it was time for me to head out to CHAOS (an after school program I help run) and still there was no email.  I was beginning to think I may have to wait another day to hear from them.  After CHAOS I picked Ariel up from Grandma’s house and I really wanted to check my email when we got home but decided it was better to get dinner ready.  So I made dinner, we ate as a family, I made lunches for the next day, and finished the laundry I had started that morning.  Then after all that I dared to check my email and there it was… our welcome to the agency email… our welcome to the China Family information!

It was an awesome feeling.  Patrick was practicing piano and Ariel was in the other room.  I yelled out to them that we were accepted.  Ariel came in right away but Patrick hadn’t heard me so we had to call to him again.  We all got together for a big family hug to celebrate the great news!

Schubie wanted in on the family hug & picture too!

That night Patrick and I set this blog up.  We wanted a way to keep our family and friends up to date on adoption news and McCoy family news.  We also wanted to document this journey to our child in China so someday they can read it and know the story from our side of how we came to be a forever family!

Adoption… Really?

Yes, it’s true.  Patrick and I are starting the process to adopt a little boy or girl from China.  This is something we have been thinking and praying about for a while now and are excited to finally go public with the news.  I thought a post to let everyone know what’s happened so far would be a good idea and the best way to catch everyone up.

Patrick and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now and have run into some road blocks.  We have tried some medical interventions but were not comfortable with doing anything too drastic.  At the same time adoption was always in the back of our minds as something we both would like to do someday.  Well this summer our conversations began to move away from fertility treatments and towards adoption.  Neither one of us really knew anything about adoption so I began to do a lot of research online.  Thank goodness for the internet!  We found that there were pros and cons for foster to adopt programs, private domestic adoption, and international adoption and that we really needed to just decide what was best for our family at this time.

In August we attended a webinar with an international adoption agency and we found that to be so helpful.  After that we really started to lean towards international adoption but then we had to decide what country.  We narrowed it down to Russia, Ethiopia, and China.  Again we had all sorts of things to consider but in the end we really felt like God was leading us to China and its Waiting Child Program.

China is a very stable country to adopt from currently however they experienced a huge slow down in their “healthy” child program a few years ago.  Parents who are in China right now meeting their child have waited for almost 5 years and the wait times are expected to continue to rise.  China also has a Waiting Child Program which matches children with special needs, many of which are minor or correctable medical needs, with their forever families.  In this program instead of waiting 5 plus years it takes around a year.  Patrick and I really started looking at this program in September.  I spent most of Labor Day weekend researching medical conditions and we found that there are many that are not that serious or are very manageable.

A few weeks later we decided the China Waiting Child Program was for us.  Then we just needed to decide what agency to use for our adoption.  We got the names of a few different agencies but always kept coming back to the agency that we did our webinar with.  Every interaction with them had been great and we were just really impressed with them.  After checking with several families who had used them as well we decided to go ahead and fill out an application and send it into them.  Our 1st official document of our adoption, the agencies adoptive parent application, was sent into our agency on September 22nd and thus our adoption journey began.

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 :)