Monday, April 16, 2012

1800's Approved...

12 days!! That's all, only 12 days from receipt at the USCIS lock box to approvals being issued on our I800 applications for the kids. Friday the 13th is indeed a lucky day at the Clarks. Like the kids would say Holy Moly Macaroni!

So now we gather a bunch of other information that needs to be sent the moment we receive the approval notices in the mail (I don't want to waste a second). This is what we need to send to our agency in this package:
  • Original, signed LOA/LSC's with acceptance box checked off
  • Signed Letters of Intent
  • Signed Referral Agreements
  • Copies of I800A Approvals
  • Copies of I800 Provisional Approvals
  • Copies of Letter from Bureau of Consular Affairs
  • Completed DS-230 applications and fee (x2) C
  • Children's passport size photo
  • Completed LSC Checklist
  • Parent Information Sheet
  • Travel Information Sheet
Some things I have done, others I've not yet figured out (passport photos for the kids) and other we wait for.

Once Great Wall receives the package, they will forward it to their staff in China the next business day. Then the DS-230 applications will be delivered to the US Consulate. The Consulate will verify our approvals and then issue an Article 5. The Article 5 is then delivered to the CCCWA where they will begin processing our TA (travel approval)

I think I need a paper bag and to put my head between my knees to catch my breath. This moving at rapid fire pace, I just hope I can keep up.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Most of us don't like to wait. (Waiting in line at the grocery, waiting in the lobby for a dental appointment that's running behind,waiting for that train to finish as you’re already late). Waiting is ANNOYING
and not one of us will disagree as we sit there tapping our foot and muttering under our breath.

Now, if you've ever been part of the adoption world "waiting" takes on a whole different meaning. Not to say that we aren't tapping our foot or muttering under our breath, but it's painfully different and hard for those outside our circle to completely understand.

Why is it so different? It's really quite simple and one word can explain it: L-O-V-E.

Love and complete devotion for someone you've yet to meet, a little someone who you've only seen a few photos of and read a few pages of vague information about. For me, the feelings are intimately similar to when I was pregnant. The hopes and dreams and complete feeling of awe that I had for the unseen, unknown child(ren) I had I carried within my body are the same for those that are born in my heart.

Adoption is waiting. Everything is a deadline and a count down. Do this, copy that, mail form D-E-F, but not until you receive document A-B-C.
Await this approval, file this government form, notarized this, authenticate that. USCIS, CCCWA, NBC, NVC, Secretary of State, I-800, Article 5, I797, US Consulate, Chinese Consulate. The list goes on and on.
Submit a form and await your approval. Count the days between submission and approval then start again with another part of the
process. Tens of hours of work turn into weeks, weeks into months and sometimes months into years.
Around the world a child waits for their family, OUR children wait. Our children wait for someone to love them unconditionally, to hold and comfort them when they need it or simply to the give one-on-one attention where they've never had. This wait keeps them from the opportunities they may never have in their birth country.
Our children are "taken care" of to the best of the ability of the ayi's (nannies) with sometimes scant resources and we are forever indebted to them for this care, but it's not the love of a family that children need and deserve.
As I sit here in the comfort of my home, with running water, electricity, ample food and the love of my family I begin to feel very selfish, no I am selfish. I am spoiled and lack patience. Where else can I be channeling this wasted energy for a greater good? The process is what it is and I need to find peace in it, I am not in control.

YES!!! I want my kids home but my wait is nothing in comparison to theirs. I need to recognize that before I delve into a case of "woe-is-me" and rant about why it takes so long. I have to step off the pity train and remember this isn’t about me no matter how I spin it; it’s my sense of entitlement that’s annoying, not the waiting.

As I look at photos of Marin and Tristan I know I am not the one waiting, they are, and it gives me the good slap I need to regain my
perspective of the waiting game knows as adoption.