It seems a little risky to post an expected timeline for an international adoption since there is no way we can predict the timing and choices of a foreign government. However, China's adoption process has been one of the most consistent out of all the countries who participate in international adoption. That is one of many reasons we felt drawn to adopt from China.
We are requesting a girl this time around. With our previous 2 adoptions we did not specify gender. For Caleb's adoption, we knew that by not specifying we would likely be matched with a boy since more people request girls. With Joshua's adoption, we did not specify because we knew we'd be thrilled either way! This time around we have decided to adopt a daughter and because more people request girls, we may wait a little longer to be matched.
We have also asked for her to be 18 months or younger at the time we are matched (we will hopefully travel 6 months after match). We'd like for her to definitely be younger than Caleb because we think he needs to stay the oldest. She will likely be younger than Joshua but they may end up in the same grade in school. We expect that our daughter will be at least 1 year old when we bring her home.
We have also filled out a checklist with the medical needs we are open to. Once our agency finds a child who they think is a match for our family we will have time to review her medical information before making a final decision. We plan to enlist the help of physicians who specialize in international adoption, just like we did when we adopted Caleb.
So all that being said -- and knowing that God is sovereign over this entire process -- here is my best guess at our timeline:
Home Study Finalized - first half of March 2013
Submit I-800 for approval to USCIS (immigration) - last half of March 2013
Receive I-800 approval - July 2013. I have heard it takes about 3 months
Dossier to China (DTC) - August 2013
Log-In-Date (LID) Issued for China's Adoption Process - September 2013
Referral -- ??? Anywhere from 1-6 months, so hopefully by February or March 2013. Our agency matches 30-40 children per month and has one-to-one relationships with 20 orphanages in China, mostly in the Henan province
Travel - Summer 2014 to bring our daughter home!! Trips are typically 2-3 weeks long.
We know that God's timing is perfect. We trust that the work He has done on our hearts to prepare us for this adoption is part of His plan for our family. We cannot wait to see what He has in store for us and to see our daughter's sweet face for the first time!