Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nitty Gritty

We have had many people ask, since we got our LOA, when we will be booking flights to travel, etc.  We wish the LOA were the final piece of paperwork we needed, but unfortunately, it isn't.  We will continue to plug along in the mass of paperwork and fees for several more weeks before we can officially book our travel and head to get our girl.

For those of you interested in the nitty gritty, this one is for you.  Here is what lies ahead and where we are currently:

  • Right now we have submitted two things.  First, we have submitted our I800 application to US Immigration.  Earlier in the process we submitted an I800A.  This document approved us to bring an immigrant into the United States in the form of an adopted child.  The I800 is officially "matching" our "approved immigrant" to Hannah.  We can't just go over there and bring any old child back into the country.  It has to be Hannah and only Hannah.  Once Hannah lands in the United States, she will become a US citizen with all the same rights you and I have (except she can't become President since she wasn't born here).  We should be hearing back from this within the next week or two.
  • The second thing we have currently submitted is our Chinese Visa application.  While we are getting things squared away to bring Hannah back into our country, Chris and I need all the necessary paperwork to enter her country.  We sent all of that via a courier to the consulate in Chicago and it ought to arrive back to our home mid-week next week.
  • Once we get the I800 back, we will await a cable letter notification from the National Visa Center and complete another form, the DS 260.  This is all to prepare Hannah's visa at the US Consulate in China (we will go there to get her Visa once we've finalized the adoption in China).
  • After those items are complete, we will begin the Article 5 drop off and pick up process.  Once our Article 5 is dropped off and picked up in China, we will be waiting for all the information to go to the adoption authorities in China, where they will issue our Travel Approval (TA).  This means all our paperwork is in order and we can come get Hannah!
  • Once we get TA, our agency will request a date for an appointment at the US Consulate (to get Hannah's visa to enter the USA).  This is called CA (consulate appointment).  We will not book our flights until we have a confirmed CA as our entire trip will hinge around that appointment.  The CA usually only takes about 48 hours to get once we get our TA, so we should know when to book flights fairly quickly.
  • Then, about two weeks after TA and CA, we are wheels up and off to Gotcha Day!
It really doesn't seem like that many more steps when you line it all out like that, but each one takes a couple weeks or more to accomplish.  Of course, there are tons (tons, tons, tons) of things to do behind the scenes to get ready to go.  I've started reviewing packing lists and trying to figure out the best way to prepare all of that without losing my mind at the same time.  It is a lot and it is overwhelming, but it will all get done and I'll have a nice long 15 hour flight to decompress after the madness of packing.

So, that is where we are in a nutshell.  Still about 8-12 weeks out, but the countdown is on!  Hannah, we are coming!

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