We are absolutely THRILLED to report that our dossier was delivered to the China Center of Adoption Affairs yesterday (January 2, 2007)!
This adoption from China feels like a never-ending gestation. In March, 2006 we filled our our first application documents to build our family through adoption from China. This was followed by several months of paperchasing -- collecting and completing lots of documents to have them notarized, get the notarizations certified by the County, and the County certified by the State, then off to the Chinese Consulate for final authentication. With the homestudy complete, the second part of our request to the USCIS (formerly known as the INS) sat on someone's desk for an agonizing 4 months. We finally got our form from the federal government and our wonderful adoption agency, CCAI, completed their critical review and translated our dossier and delivered it to China in record time.
What's next? We hope to learn that the dossier is officially "logged in" later this month, which is when their countdown begins. The rumors are flying about the length of time for matches. China has far more dossiers of waiting families than they have dossiers of orphans for adoption.
We don't know for certain, but we are anticipating a match in 18 months or so (leading us to being united with our child in July or August, 2008).
Here's the crazy part -- we've petitioned for twins up to two years of age. While that is extremely unlikely, given that we already have children, you don't get if you don't ask. We also haven't specified our child/ren's gender, so there is a chance we will be matched with a son.
Katrina and Alexander are 15 months apart in age and they are such good friends; we want the same special bond for the next two siblings in our family.
China recently announced some major changes in the eligibility requirements for people seeking to adopt, effective May 1, 2007. Among the changes, only married couples can adopt (presently 8% of adoptive parents are single) and neither partner can be 50 years of age or older. That will pretty much rule us out for a second child from China if this process takes as long as expected.
The ups and downs of the "paper pregnancy" as the adoption process is often called has been more intense than I anticipated. More on that later.
Right now, we're going to celebrate the small victories!