Getting closer by the day

It’s been an adoption whirlwind around here since we received our Letter of Approval. The very day we received our LOA, we were able to apply for the next step (the i800). This step entails permission from Homeland Security for Eli to become a citizen. Friday before last, our approval arrived! Thanks to my months of studying the alphabet soup process known as adoption, I knew that I could save a few days if I emailed the US Visa offices rather than waiting on hard copy correspondence. Within an hour, I got what’s called a GUZ number. You then enter this number into a form on the Secretary of State’s website that will grant another piece of the permission puzzle for Eli to enter the country. By the end of the day on that Friday, we’d accomplished everything! These steps can sometimes take up to 1 or 2 weeks if you wait on letters to be mailed. So now…….

We’re waiting for what’s called Article 5 pick-up. This step is again back in China and unfortunately we’ll be just a tad slowed by Memorial Day AND Dragon Boat Festival. It’s the consulate so they are closed for both American and Chinese holidays. In the meantime though, we’re moving right along with another step as we mailed our visa applications out tomorrow morning. We’re hopeful that visas and our Article 5 will be picked up between June 3 and 5th.

When that happens, we have just two waits left! First, we wait for TA or travel approval. That can come in as little as a few days or some families wait a little over 20. The last wait is usually the very shortest and that’s for your CA-or your consulate appointment. This is your last appointment in China so it tells you the date you could fly home! After TA, you’re usually given a CA within just a couple of days.

Long story….and lots of letters later….we hope to have Eli in our arms in just a little over a month! To give you an idea of just how far we’ve come, here’s the visual of the adoption process. I didn’t create this graphic but I’ve referred to it countless times to help me understand where we are, where our documents are going, and what’s next!

steps for international adoption

An image showing the 14 stages to international adoption

We’re a tad overwhelmed with all that remains to do but we’re excited that the end is in sight as well as so many new beginnings!

This weekend-we’re tackling organization of Eli’s new room so we’ll share pictures with a future update.