a little and a lot

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

White Lightning Christmas

Hello from the land of warp speed!  I've been a little radio silent lately due to some crazy paper-workin' and holiday travel and post-holiday illness.

But I'm back with great news: our dossier heads to China this week!

For you international adoption novices, let me do my best to catch you up to speed, but first let me cut to the chase: WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Our timeline is just moving along supercrazyfast, and it is likely that we will be able travel to get Brooklyn in JANUARY!  Whoa, people.  WHOA.

We need to raise $22,000 in a month.  Can you help us?  Can you ask your friends to help us?  It takes less than 5 minutes to click over to our Razoo crowdsourcing site and give as you feel led.  We would be incredibly grateful if you would take part in Brooklyn's story!

Back to how this is all going down:
There are two labor intensive, paperwork-heavy processes that you participate in when you get started on an international adoption...

(1) The home study: This is basically a report that a social worker will write up on your family, ultimately giving their official and trusted "thumbs up" for adopting.  You have to provide your social worker with LOADS of proof that you will be a good parent to the child/ren you wish to adopt.  (Proof = medical reports, financial analyses, letters of recommendation, autobiographies from both spouses, birth certificates, marriage certificate, ok you get the idea, etc etc)

(2) The dossier: This is confusing, because the home study IS PART OF the dossier.  The dossier includes a lot of the aforementioned types of documents plus more legal proof of your family stability--it is a collection of documents that get authenticated to the highest level and then translated and sent to the country you're adopting from. Two of the last documents that join this collection are (1) your home study and (2) your immigration approval to adopt from the specific country (which also requires your completed home study before it is issued).

See how this whole thing becomes a revolving door of papers?

Every document in your dossier is notarized by a local notary, and then (if it's notarized in some states like here in Tennessee) you must go to your County Clerk and get them to authenticate your documents--they basically stamp the documents and say, "yes, this notary from our county is legit."  Then the documents go to the Secretary of State in your state's capital city and those guys say, "yep, that county clerk is legit."  Then the documents (if you're in certain states such as Tennessee) travel to Washington DC, first to the US Department of State who vouches for your Secretary of State's authentication and then on to the Chinese Embassy who sees the Department of State's ok and puts their seal of approval on it as well.  THEN and only then does it get translated into (in this case) Chinese and sent to the appropriate government people in China.

You guys.  All of that process has happened in 7 weeks.  That is awesomecrazy. (Awezy?  Crawsome?)

Here's what we have ahead of us:
Our dossier gets "logged in" when it makes it into the appropriate Chinese office.
We will receive a "Letter of Approval" from China to adopt Brooklyn.
US Immigration will issue an approval for us to adopt Brooklyn (specifically).
Some other paperwork happens behind the scenes that sends that approval through the appropriate channels.
Then, China issues us "Travel Approval" and we can fly on over 1-2 weeks later to scoop up our brand new daughter!

This process usually happens in an average of 3 months for an average special needs case.  We are praying that this process will take 4 weeks.  Y'all, the Lord has moved mountain after molehill to plow through these checkpoints.  We are just along for the ride.  And we're so glad you're with us! 


Unknown said...

SO incredible!!!! God is so gracious and it's so exciting watch you guys be part of Brooklyn's story. I can't wait to meet her!

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more