Our dossier is headed to China today! It’s an exciting step. The next milestone is our Log In Date, which is when China accepts our dossier and logs us into their official system. Once we are logged in with China, we are able to look at a child’s file or receive a referral. We do not anticipate receiving a referral soon, but it’s still an exciting step to be officially on the list!
For those of you unfamiliar with the process, here are the remaining steps, some insight into all of the crazy Chinese adoption acronyms, and a loosely estimated timeline:
-Log In Date (LID, about 1-2 weeks from now)
-Referral: which is when we are presented with the file of a child that our agency feels is a good match for us. We take the referral to our pediatrician and an international adoption specialist MD to get their professional opinions about the child’s health and development. (estimated 6-18 months from now)
-We accept our referral and send our Letter of Intent (LOI) and referral payment. (For those that are curious, if we feel that a referral is not a good match for us, we are able to choose not to accept that referral, and that child’s file will go to another family. That would be a heartbreaking decision to make, but there is comfort in knowing it’s an option and we would not be penalized. The only reason we can foresee turning down a referral is if we decide, prayerfully and together with our social worker, that the child’s medical needs are more severe than we believe we are equipped to care for.)
-We wait for China to send our Letter of Approval (LOA, also called Referral Approval or RA), meaning they’ve approved us to adopt that child. (This step is taking most families 2-3 months right now, but can be more than 100 days.)
-About 2 months after LOA/RA, we will receive a Travel Approval (TA), which means China has given us approval to come get her. This is when our agency makes our appointment at the US embassy in Guangzhou and we start to book our travel, etc. Families usually travel within a few weeks after getting their TA.
-We go to China! We spend about a week in our daughter’s province: meeting her, getting her birth certificate and passport, etc. Then we spend another week or so in Guangzhou, doing all kinds of paperwork, having her medical appointment, obtaining her visa to enter the US, etc.
-We come home!