Dec 2012 - Begin thinking about China Special Needs adoption. Apply to AGCI, but then decide not to continue with them. Decide we need to take a few more months to save (adoption is expensive!!) and consider other agencies.
May 2013 - After interviewing several agencies, apply to Families Through International Adoption (FTIA). I wanted a small, local one in my home state so we would only have to deal with ONE agency for the placement & home study. Also, after being one of 180 families on a wait-list with AGCI, I was craving a smaller, more personal experience. FTIA's list is closer to 20.
May 15, 2013 - Aug 2013 - The "paperwork stage"... documents, notaries, biographies, financial statements, dr appointments, blood work, family pics, reference letters, criminal history checks, employment verifications, adoption classes (yes, we had to take more of those!!), etc!! But thankfully, it all went much quicker this time. What took us 5 months to complete last time, only took 1 this time!! A lot of that had to do with the fact that I wasn't working for part of it...the perks of being a teacher ;) There are a couple extra steps in a Chinese adoption: 1) EVERYTHING needs state-certified. 2) EVERYTHING has to go your Chinese Consulate for the Chinese seal.
Sept 2013 - Finger-printing appointment for USCIS. Now waiting for the LAST piece of the puzzle: Our I-797c (approval from USCIS).
Nov 1, 2013 - FINALLY receive our I-797 approval from USCIS!! Exactly 3 MONTHS after we mailed out our application!!
Nov 11, 2013 - Referral for our precious little boy! :)
Nov 14, 2013 - Mailed our completed dossier to our agency!! Yay!!
Nov 21, 2013 - Our agency sent our dossier to China.
Nov 26, 2013 - OFFICIAL Log-In Date (LID)!!! :)
Nov 27, 2013 - LOI (letter of intent)
Feb 28, 2014 - LOA (after a looooong 92-day wait!)
Mar 1, 2014 - Mail out Immigration App (I800)
Mar 6, 2014 - Tracking reveals our I800 app was delivered to USCIS office, even though it was "guaranteed" there by Mar 3! I know it's just a few days later, but when you pay for it & you're close to the adoption "finish line" these small things can be aggravating!
Mar 10, 2014 - USCIS email notification that they have received our application
Mar 24, 2014 - Receive a "Request for Evidence" letter from USCIS. Apparently I sent copy of a document that needed to be an original - ugh! But, at least it's a quick fix. I had the correct document sent out asap!
Mar 28, 2014 - USCIS Approval! :)
Apr 7, 2014 - NVC (National Visa Center) approval!
Apr 9, 2014 - Submit our DS-260 (our son's visa application) & send the confirmation numbers to our case worker, who will then submit it along with all necessary paperwork to the Beijing staff.
May 8, 2014 - Article 5 pick-up! The Beijing staff will deliver it to the CCCWA office & now we wait for our Travel Approval (TA). Getting soooooo close... :)
May 21, 2014 - TA (travel approval) issued!!
May 28, 2014 - Receive physical copy of TA
June 18, 2014 - Leave for China!!
June 23, 2014 - Gotcha Day!
July 1, 2014 - Consulate Appt.
July 4, 2014 - HOME! (It was supposed to by July 3, but thanks to delays…)
July 13, 2014 - First post-placement visit - so soon! We'd only been home a little more than a week, but the first post-placement report is due a month from being home, so we scheduled this visit before we even left for China. I was little frustrated that in the midst of recovering from jet lag and adjusting to a new family member, we also had to fill in more adoption paperwork, but, thankfully, it was simple and our social worker is very nice!