Sunday, May 31, 2015

Samuel Adoption Update

In case you haven't noticed, being mom to 3 little ones apparently doesn't leave much time for regular blog updates.  I am going to try to do a better job so that Samuel can look back at my posts here and read about the steps we made to add him to our family.

A lot has happened since my last update:
5/5/15:  First home study visit
5/12/15: Second home study visit
5/13/15: Completed 12 hours of online training
5/19/15: Home Study sent to our primary agency (Madison) for review
5/22/15:  10 of 12 dossier documents sealed at the Secretary of State in Austin
5/26/15:  I-800A mailed to USCIS Lockbox
5/27/15:  Dossier documents arrive at Houston courier
5/28/15:  Home Study approved
               Dossier documents dropped off at Chinese Consulate in Embassy to be sealed
5/29/15:  Home Study mailed to us
               USCIS email/text receipt received

This probably looks like a bunch of confusing details to most of you.  Basically it means that we are on our last lap of this stage of the paper chase.  We are getting so close to sending our dossier to China, where we hope for quick processing, followed by more quick processing back in the US, and then a quick opportunity to travel to get Samuel.

Today I emailed USCIS (immigration) to officially request medical expedite status for Samuel's case. They only grant expedites in life or death situations for medical reasons and thalassemia generally qualifies as an expedite for children being adopted from China.  As we start this next step, please pray that we are assigned a gracious officer who is able to work quickly and turn our application around ASAP.  

So what is left to do in the near future?

  • receive a fingerprint appointment with USCIS (immigration) in Houston 
  • get those fingerprints done
  • receive I-800A approval from USCIS
  • have our home study and I-800A sealed by the state of Texas
  • have our home study and I-800A sealed by the Chinese Consulate
  • mail all of those documents to Madison so they can be sent to China
My goal is to have all of the above steps done in the next 2-3 weeks max.  Once we finish these steps we will reach the huge milestone of being DTC (Dossier to China).  That will start our wait for our LOA (letter of approval) that confirms that the Chinese government approves of us adopting Samuel.

I am hoping for the following:
DTC by June 20
LOA by July 24
I-800 approval by August 7
NVC process (GUZ and PDF) done by August 12
Article 5 drop off/pick up by August 13/17
TA by August 28
Travel ASAP in September to get our boy!

We have requested an update on Samuel since his pictures and video are somewhat dated.  We also asked that a photo album of and other care package items be delivered to his orphanage/foster family.  I was hoping to receive an update by my birthday but it did not come yet.  I am hoping that this week will be the week we hear about our sweet boy and receive new pictures of him!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement as we go through this process of adding Samuel to our family.

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