What does it all mean? Everyone has been asking me about the process. So, in order to keep myself sane during the long wait we have ahead of us (waiting on paperwork), I will take some time and explain the process here.
As of last night, our Letter of Intent was translated and submitted to China. It basically said we found our son on the waiting child list and these are the reasons we want to adopt him. It takes anywhere from a couple days to two weeks in order to get a Preapproval back from China.
In the meantime, we have 6 months to complete our dossier and submit it to China to adopt him. The good thing is, our dossier is 99% complete (see our Adoption Timeline page). The only one piece of paper I am lacking is the I 797 from USCIS. We were fingerprinted over a week ago and it takes about 2 weeks from the fingerprinting appointment to receive the I 797 (Approval of Immigrant Visa Petition). This is giving us approval to apply for a Visa for our son. We have to send a copy of this with our dossier.
When I receive the I 797, I am going to send our entire dossier (there is picture posted a few posts down of our dossier documents, they are extensive), to our adoption agency for review to make sure we have everything and did it properly. Once they Ok our dossier, they will submit it to China (DTC = Documents to China). Since we are adopting a waiting child, our dossier will be put on the expedited fast track. When China receives our dossier we get a log in date that our dossier was received (LID). China takes about a month to review our dossier and once approved, we get an LSC (letter seeking confirmation) which is the official referral and approval to adopt the child we applied for.
When we get our LSC , 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. We also file for our son’s US Visa. The I800, from what I understand, takes about 6 months to completely go its rounds. It has to go to the USCIS, then to the National Benefits Center, then to the National Visa Center, then to China (it may go to the US Consulate, then to China…this process is somewhat new to me, I am still reading the paperwork on it.) Then China issues us an appointment with the Consulate there. All of these things have to be done because China is a Hague Convention Country and you must get permission to issue your child’s visa and bring him back to the US before you travel. Non Hague countries take about 2-4 months before travel, but it is a roulette game as to whether or not the US consulate in that country will issue you a visa for your child to return home. So, in some ways, waiting up front and getting confirmation that your child WILL get issued a visa BEFORE you travel is a plus. Who wants to get stuck overseas with a child you officially adopted and took custody of, but cannot get a visa issued for them to return to the US? That does not sound fun.
So, once they issue our consulate appointments, China will invite us to travel (TA) and we will go and pick up our son. The above does not sound like a lot, but the paperwork takes a while to process. This is going to be the part that drives me nuts. There is nothing I can do but wait.
Once we get our approval from China and get permission to post pictures and information, I will share more information about our new son. Until then…..