Monday, April 5, 2010

Very Long, but Educational Post

Hello friends-
We contacted our agency today, because we were hoping to find out what the wait estimates were, and was there anything to prepare for while we waited to hear from the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs). I am just going to post the memo that we received from our agency. It blew me away. It would have been REALLY nice if they offered this info. before we asked for it, but as you know by now, they get a big 'F' in the communications department. I am amazed at what is still involved before we can get our daughter. This feels endless....

Acceptance Paperwork- When the agency receives your LOA (Letter of Acceptance), we will mail you a packet that contains the following:

  • The LOA from CCAA
  • Legal paperwork for you to officially accept the child
  • Statement outlining fees that are due at this time
  • Completed I-800 application for you to proof read and sign
  • Completed I-864-W for you to proof read and sign
  • Completed DS-230 for you to proof read and sign
  • Power of Attorney (if you plan for only one parent to travel) (not relevant for us)
  • Visa Application
  • Travel Packet (Information for you to read about your trip to China)

Begin Planning Your Trip- You still have several weeks ahead of you before travel, however now is a good time to get in contact the In China Facilitator. Introduce yourself and let her know who you are adopting and where your child is from. If you would like to visit your child’s orphanage or finding site, please let her know at this time so that she can get pre-approval to do so. She will make appointments for you with the provincial office, and can help you make your hotel reservations. If you prefer not to carry cash with you on your trip, you can wire these funds to her and she will take care of payments for you.

I-800 Application- When the agency receives the acceptance paperwork back from you, we will file your I800 application with USCIS. This is different than your previously filed I-800-a. Your I-800-a approved you as a family. Your I-800 will approve the specific child that you will adopt. When your application has been processed, USCIS will send your approval to you in the mail. Please contactthe agency when you receive this to make sure that we have received a copy. If not, you will need to fax or email us a copy. The time frame from submission of application to receipt of approval is approximately 2-3 weeks.

Chinese Visa Application- While waiting for your I-800 approval you must apply for a visa from the Chinese Consulate. The acceptance packet will contain information on how to do this.

National Visa Center (NVC) Process- Once your I-800 has been approved, USCIS will send your paperwork to the NVC. After they have processed your case, they will forward your paperwork to the US Consulate in Guangzhou. You will receive a confirmation of this in the mail. Please email or fax a copy of this to the agency. We must have a copy of this before we can proceed.

US Consulate Process- Once the agency receives your NVC letter; we will send your paperwork to our facilitator in Guangzhou. She will hand deliver your documents to the US Consulate. It will take the consulate 2 weeks to process your paperwork. The facilitator will then pick up your documents and send them to CCAA. We will then await your Travel Approval (TA).

Travel Approval and Consulate Appointment- After your paperwork has been sent to CCAA, it will take approximately 4 weeks to receive TA. This will be sent to the agency. We will call you when it arrives and begin to make travel arrangements. You will need to let the agency know when you would like to leave for China. We will then request a consulate appointment accordingly.

As you can see, there is still so much that has to be done.... and so much of it will be out of our hands. Speaking of hands.. please pray for us, sincerely. Pray that we are one of the families where all of the remaining steps, including the I-800 and TA approvals, move quickly and effortlessly. We are in God's hands now, and we need His help to move things along. Please ask him on our behalf.

I'm sorry for the length of today's post, but for those of you who are reading this blog because you want to learn about the China adoption process or are involved in the process, I like to share as much for the educational aspect as for the personal. When I read this memo today... I had NO idea so much was still involved. I really had no idea this process would take so long.....


  1. Can you believe it? I am learning as we go through this process. We didn't have such a detailed letter, kind of scary, isn't it? We've had our share of frustrations with the process, including today, knowing all our paperwork just got to China but the Consulate is closed until Thursday for a holiday. Of course, all any of us want to do is run for our child!

  2. It is very hard to know that your child is there, and you cannot do anything about it. I think that is the big piece of the puzzle that the adoption officials don't GET. Good parents don't leave their children in a far off place. Good parents run to get them and want to love them. For us to know this child is there waiting for us, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it for months (or years as the case may be) at a time, is just torture.


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