Friday, February 27, 2015

The First Warm, Dry Day

After what has felt like weeks of freezing temperatures and rain, we finally had a nice, warm, dry day!  After school, we headed to Savannah Rapids for a walk and some exploring.

This small taste of spring made us hopeful for spring to come soon!  There is supposed to be more cold and then more rain in the next few days, so we are thankful for a glimpse of spring today!

Hope you had a great week!

Thursday, February 26, 2015


We are DTC today, February 26, 2015!  Dossier to China...That means that our dossier is being sent to China today.  Our agency will upload our dossier to the CCCWA today and ship the hard copy to China today.

So, now we will wait on our LID, which is our Logged In Date.  Our logged in date is the official date the China logs our dossier into their system to begin their translating and approval process.  This could take 1-3 weeks probably.  Once we are LID, our agency can refer a child to us that is a LID only child, which are typically more minor, correctable needs than the Special Focus children that we can see now.  

If we receive a referral (aka a match) soon that we chose to accept, we could travel in 5-7 months (some estimates are 4-6 months, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up!).  However, we may take a long time to find our child, so we could end up not traveling for a while.

So, please pray that we will be logged in quickly.  Also, please pray that we will find our child very soon!  We cannot wait to bring home the child that God wants for our family!

DTC = One Step Closer!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day (over a week late)!

I completely forgot to post these pictures and still wanted them on the blog, so you are getting the Valentine's post a little late!

For the Valentine's Day party at Kyle's class, Beth and I (and another mom) were helping with the party, which needed to include a craft.  The crafts have to be simple enough for 3 and 4 year old kids to do in a short period of time and we try to avoid lots of glue or paint so that the craft can go home that day.  It also has to be fairly inexpensive.  We came up with the idea to have the kids make frames using foam paper and stickers.  The kids would decorate the pre-cut out frame with heart stickers and add a magnet to the back so that it could be put on the refrigerator at home.  We decided that I would go to school on an earlier day and take some pictures of the kids using photo booth props that we bought at Wal-Mart.  I wanted to do the pictures outside, but on the day I wanted to go take pictures, Kyle had the stomach virus.  So, I waited until the next week, but the only day that I could do it was cold and wet.  So, we made do with taking pictures inside.

Here are Kyle and Anna Liz's pictures.

I, also, decided to take some pictures of Kyle and Connor to send to the grandparents with their Valentine's cards.  Aren't these boys the cutest Valentine's!?  (I may be a little biased).

We hope you had a great Valentine's (and a great week since then)!

Friday, February 20, 2015


Black and white or Color...

Which do you like best?  Black and white or color?  I love seeing how a photo can change so much depending on the edit.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adoption Acronyms, Terms, and Process

I thought I would do a post to explain some of the acronyms, terms and processes related to adoption.  Hope this helps you understand our journey a little more.

HS - Home Study - A process that includes a series of visits by a social worker, education, and supporting documentation.  A Home Study report is put together following the completion of this process.

USCIS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is a department within Homeland Security that is responsible for approving families to adopt a child internationally.

I-800A - Application to USCIS to adopt internationally.  After the home study, the I-800A application is sent to USCIS.  After a biometric fingerprinting appointment, USCIS approves the application.  The approval is called the I-797.

Dossier - (Pronounced "doss-ee-ay") - A collection of documents that is submitted to a foreign country requesting permission to adopt.  The documents include the home study, I-797 approval, certified birth certificates and marriage certificates, income documentation, and more.  These documents have to be authenticated at the county level, state level, and the Chinese consulate level before they can be sent to China.

DTC - Dossier to China - This is the date that the dossier is sent to China.

LID - Logged In Date - This is the date that the dossier is logged into China.  Once logged in, if the adopted parents have not matched with child prior to LID, they are now eligible to be matched with LID-only children.

LOI - Letter of Intent - Letter requesting permission from China to adopt a specific child.  Some people submit LOI at the beginning of the adoption process.  Others are not matched with a child until after LID.

PA - Pre-Approval - Initial approval from China allowing a specific family to adopt a specific child.  PA comes before LOA (see below).

CCCWA - The Chinese Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption - This is the department within China that oversees the adoption process in China.

LOA - Letter of Approval/Acceptance - This is also known as the Letter Seeking Confirmation or LSC.  This is the official approval from China that an adoptive family can adopt the child they have matched.

I-800 - (not to be confused with I-800A above) Application to USCIS to adopt a specific child internationally.

Article 5 - Final approval from the U.S. to adopt.

TA - Travel Approval - Approval to travel to China to adopt.

Gotcha Day or Family Day - The day that an family receives custody of their child in China.

CA - Consulate Appointment - U.S. Consulate Appointment in China. This is the final appointment in China prior to traveling to the U.S.  The child's Visa is issued during this appointment.

Guangzhou, China (pronounced "Gong-jo" I believe) - A city in China where the U.S. Consulate is located.  All families travel first to their child's province to receive their child.  A few days after receiving the child, the passport is issued.  Once the passport is issued, the family travels to their consulate city.  All Americans adopting in China travel to Guangzhou, China for their last week of travel.

I am sure there are more terms and processes that I will learn or remember throughout this process, but I hope this overview will help you follow our journey better (or at least understand what we're talking about if you ask us about the adoption!).  

Someone (Mandy Rae) on one of the Facebook adoption groups created this chart to explain who does what in the adoption process.  For us the Home Study Agency and the Adoption Agency are the same (Lifeline Children's Services).  Some people chose an agency that is not licensed in their state so their home study has to go through a home study agency that is licensed in their state.  Some agencies take care of the dossier authentication process for you and others require you to do it yourself.  Lifeline does it for us.  The dossier authentication process is not really shown on here, but the completed dossier has to be authenticated before it can be sent to China.  #3 on the chart below shows "Send Dossier and Homestudy" to agency.  For us, we sent the dossier documents and they have our home study since they did ours.  Then, they do our authentication for us before sending everything to China (DTC).  But others adopting with other agencies would gather their dossier documents, have it authenticated themselves and then send it all to the agency.

 Let me know if I did not explain anything clearly or if you have questions!  I am happy to explain this whole crazy process to anyone!

Kindle Time