May 21, 2006

Big Surprise in the Mail

As you know, our homestudy was mailed on Monday (5/15) to USCIS (Immigration) in Chicago. On Saturday (5/20), we received our invitation to be fingerprinted. That was lightening fast!! We were expecting it to be at least a few weeks before we got the invitation and then assumed that we wouldn't be able to go until even a few weeks after that, so this is good! We are going to St. Louis TOMORROW to get the prints done.

So, here is my best guesstimate of what will be happening this summer...

May 22 - Get fingerprinted in St. Louis

We have to go to the Federal Building in downtown St. Louis. Very close to Busch Stadium and the Savvis Center. No appointment necessary.

July 31 - August 4 - Receive I-171H

It's taking about 9 weeks right now for I-171H/Fingerprint reviews to be processed. If this holds true for us, then we should get our I-171H the first week of August. The official definition of the I-171H is: “Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition." In short, it's the approval we need from Immigration to adopt a child from China.

August 7 - 18 - Document Certification/Authentication

All of our documents have been notarized, but we also have to have them certified (to insure that the notaries we used were legitimate). We will be using a courier to take these documents to the Secretary of State's office in Chicago for state certification. The following day she will take them to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago for Authentication. She will return four business days later to pick up the authenticated documents and will airmail them back to us.

August 21 - 26 - Dossier to Lifelink then to China!

This is the final step in this long process. After the authentication is done, we will send everything to the agency and they will get it ready to go to China. They normally send these in a batch with three other couples, so we may have to wait a few weeks for them to get enough to send. Once they are sent, then the wait begins. Currently there is a 12 month wait from the time you are DTC (dossier to China) until you get the picture of your baby. So, we still have a long ways to go, but we are hoping that things speed up in China.

August 26 - September 3 - VACATION!

We are crossing our fingers and toes that this all plays out how I have estimated (maybe even quicker) and that we will be DTC by vacation time. It will be so nice to just be able to relax after this LOOOONG paperchase.


Dawn Rawlings said...

This may be different than it was a couple of years ago - but we got our documents certified in Spfld. We walked right in (across from the Capitol complex) and were able to wait for the person to cerify that all of the notaries were good. I'm not sure if you can do this and/or if it would save you money on your courier in Chicago. Also, we took our paperwork to the Chinese consulate and picked it up. It was very cool to do it ourselves. The courier may be cheaper than driving up there.