"This season of your life is like no other, it is short and sweet and will be gone before you know it."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adoption Acronyms: What do they mean?

Many of our friends and family have asked where we are in the stage of our adoption and when we will get our precious China BOY! I have compiled a list of terms in order of how the process has gone for us (some things can go in a different order) to help others know right where we are and follow along. I just try to take it one step at a time so I don't get too overwhelmed!!

Our first step was looking at files, then we sent a request into China through our agency to "match" us with the child we thought was the perfect fit for our family." We feel so blessed to know him and pray for him throughout the process, many do not get matched until the end.

PA: Pre-approval We write a letter to China requesting to adopt this child, then they grant us pre-approval and "lock in" his file.

Homestudy: This is where an agency comes in to your home and evaluates it for safety and appropriateness to care for a child. Also, they interview us (the potential parents) individually and together. These take place on 4 separate visits. We also provide a 10 page biography about ourselves including our family history and reasons why we want to adopt (among many other private things). P.S. This step was amazing for us...Joe and I wrote our bio's individually and when I read his, you would have thought I plagiarized it. Our values, beliefs, reasons we wanted to pursue adoption among other things were identical...neat to see God work, you become one right?!

HAAG Accredited Training requirements: 12 hours (10 international + 2 extra China)
Preparation and training on adoption issues/challenges specific to international adoption/orphanages.

1800a: Application for US Immigration Approval
We submit an application to USCIS (immigration). Background checks from states we have lived in etc. We have to send a copy of this with our dossier. Once we got our fingerprint appointment we prayed and walked in early (2 weeks before the appointment date we were assigned) and got them that day. With the new (cool thermal system might I add) we emailed our officer we had done it along with our expedite letters from our hematologist and Cooley's Anemia foundation and she approved us that day!

Authentications: Next we sent letters from our employers/other documents to get  certified by the secretary of state, and then once approved (some got sent back) we sent them to be authenticated in DC for the China Embassy.

DTC: Dossier to China AKA THE BIGGEST STEP!!! Where we are now!!!!!
This encompasses (LID, LOA, article 5, TA)
Lots of paperwork, some of which I probably already forgot about (basically our whole life on paper!). Homestudy, 1800a approval, Financial statements,  Medical exams from family members and verifications, child abuse clearance, Letter of Intent, references, employer statements, Birth certificates, Marriage certificates, photos of our home and family, passports, agreements and much more! (notary times 100)

LID: Log in Date Once China has received our dossier it is logged into their system, confirming it was received. Unfortunately they have a brand new computer system causing many delays:( Pray for quick LID!

LOA: Letter of Approval or LSC: Letter Seeking Confirmation Once they have gone over the (translated) documents they issue an LOA which is the official referral and approval to adopt the child we applied for.

1800 approval:
Not to be confused with 1800a...once we receive LOA we are able to take that document and Petition the USCIS with an I800 (Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative) to bring our son back to the USA!!!

TA: Travel Approval They give us a few dates to chose from for our consulate appointment in China for Cai's visa to come home. We will GO AND GET OUR SON soon after!

Post Adoption Reporting: More homestudy visits (for 5 years) and follow-up
So now when you see a crazy acronym on Facebook you will know right where we are at in the process. This whole time we have been collecting documents for our Dossier so we are super excited to be at this all critical step!!

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