Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adoption Story - Part 4

So now we had a child identified and we moved to the next level where we were officially dealing with the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). There was still plenty of paperwork to finish for our dossier, the 3” stack of paperwork for our adoption agency that would be condensed to just the small part that would be sent to China. In addition to that, we had to complete an application for Rao Xuanmin to get the CCAA’s approval to adopt her as well as a create a plan to care for her specific special need. It was a happy day when we were notified that the CCAA had given us a pre-approval to adopt Xuanmin.

The homestudy and all of our paperwork was finally finished, approved by every level of government all the way to the Chinese embassy in DC, and was shipped off to China to wait in the queue for the CCAA to review. We received a “log in date” of May 31st and our real, long wait began. All summer we put the adoption thoughts on the back-burner as we got K ready to start Kindergarten, for the Great Homeschooling Debate was raging in our house. After all, we hoped to travel to China just as school was starting and K was coming with us. We decided to compromise on half private/half homeschool that first year, but the summer was rapidly coming to a close and we still hadn’t heard from China on Travel Approval (TA), the piece of paper that would tell us it was time to go.

During the wait, I watched an on-line group called Waiting Children from China. They kept track of time frames and news from the CCAA, so I had a good idea of when we should expect TA. The first of August came and went. Based on timeframes, I knew we should be getting TA any day, but nothing happened. The news from the online group was that every Chinese official authorized to sign TAs was on a tour of North America.


So we continued to wait as August slipped away. We requested an update on Xuanmin, now known as L in our family, since we didn’t have any information beyond the original paperwork that was prepared back at the beginning of the year. It was nice to hear that she was still doing well, but frustrating that we couldn’t go get her yet. I joined another online group for the city her orphanage was located in and was rewarded with a few pictures people had taken at the orphanage and I found L in a few! She had changed so much, but she has very distinctive eyes and mouth that made her easier to identify.

Just after mid-August, the news came that the officials were back at work. Hooray! But the one printer in all of China that printed TAs was broken and it stayed that way for a week.

Again, nice.

The printer was finally fixed and and all of a sudden *everyone* started receiving TAs. People from adoption agencies all over the country were announcing that they had received their TA. Ours arrived on September 1st. Great! Now all we had to do was get an appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou for the adoption ceremony to finalize the adoption for the US side and we could leave!

Remember how I said that everyone all over the country seemed to get their TA all at the same time? Yep, about 500 families were all applying for an appointment all at the same time. 16 families from our adoption agency were waiting anxiously for their appointments and a process that should have taken a few days took two weeks. Even after that, we still had over a month to wait to travel.


Nancy said...

Oh I'm so loving getting to read this story. Waiting for the next installment.

Angela S said...

Thanks by the way for posting these. Its been educating to read them. And Exciting too.