Friday, June 8, 2012

I-800A Approval & Next Steps

Re-edit, completely deleted a paragraph. So sorry!

Checking off Boxes! 

So, we might have had the longest homestudy finalization process in the history of anyone's adoption. I'm overstating. But, it felt that way. And I tried very hard not to say that before; but now I can say it. It felt just nuts. I had no idea what was going on. We had finished all of our meetings in January and had signed our final copy in the middle of February. We found out we had missed a few extra training requirements and needed another form or two submitted. All normal things. But, that was all taken care of by the end of February with our agency doing our homestudy.

Somehow, between March and May, we lost what felt like a lot of time. We are not sure what happened. We were verbally told we were approved from DSS after our file sat in the mail room for over 3 weeks. Then we still didn't receive the paper stating that we were approved. I still have only received the electronic copy of it. I know that adoption is about waiting. But, I had no idea that we would wait at the beginning. I thought one waited for referrals and travel approval and grants, etc.  I can not say that I was feeling super peaceful at that time.

But, as always, God was also working all things out and in His perfect timing.
Because , during that wait, we raised enough funds to pay our fees and pay the next fees that will be due in the next two months. We even have a few thousand dollars still in our account!
So, now we are able to rest. And we needed that, like my post stated a few weeks ago..

So, finally, we were able to submit our I-800A form in the mail on May 1. This process averages 60-90 days. 65 Had been the going average. The second part of this process involves getting a notice in the mail that tells us to go to our Immigration office and have fancy finger prints done. Our form came with a date for May 25th for our appointment. But, we went as walk-ins the next day, which was around the 15th of May. We hoped that would speed up the process. 

I had two friends message me through facebook and tell me that their I-800A had come back in a little over 30 days the month before. So, I was very hopeful. I also had gut feeling we were going to receive it around June 7th or around the 30 day mark and was praying every day for that. I'm so grateful that we were praying in line with God's timing!

(Added this paragraph back in!) So, on Monday, June 4, Austin came down from his rest time and said the mail lady had left something on our doorstep instead of the mailbox. Well, thanks to my newest Naptime Diaries print arriving in a large envelope, the mail was on the welcome mat. So, I shuffled through the stack and saw the corner of the government seal for the Immigration offices peeking at me. I started jumping up and down and doing a crazy dance. Austin was thrilled. He wanted to know all about it. What was happening. "Mom, can I sit by you and hear about it?" So, as I pulled open the form and saw the approval date of May 31st, I was elated as I shared with him that the government had approved our paper, etc.

He was so excited that he didn't even argue with me when I reminded him that it was rest time and he needed to return to his bedroom for awhile longer. So, I called Lifeline to find out what I was supposed to do next. I always forget in the moment. I was so glad that Logan was not in a meeting.

"Logan, it's Jessica Carpenter! So, is it a new record to get Immigration back in under 30 days!?" She paused, then said: "What? Did you get the notice? Do you have the actual paper?" And, yes, I did. And we talked about how crazy fast that was. She said she is telling people 60 days right now for that process. Ours was complete in 30! So, I scanned a copy of it and emailed it to her immediately. She was pulling other files to be mailed to the authentication offices that day. So, she pulled my files and got them ready to mail that day. Um, yes, I love her, by the way. I'm pretty sure she might think I'm a little crazy; but she was genuinely as excited as I was.

While we are on a Lifeline topic, I would like to say that what Dave and Herbie, the Executive Dir & International Dir, say about the vision of their ministry and what trickles down to their employees, is completely legitimate. Never once has Logan been effected by too many questions, and has always encouraged me to share if I'm concerned, or frustrated or confused

So, now I finally feel like I could check off the boxes on the time line:: Homestudy- Check, Homestudy Approved- Check, etc...

Next Steps::
Authentication (began June 4, 2-3 Weeks. Hopefully, by June 21st at latest)
Dossier To China (DTC 2-3 Weeks) 
LID (Lock In Date- 2-3 Weeks)

So, now all of our paperwork is being "authenticated". That means a few fancy offices here have to sign everything now that we the approval from Immigration for our first step of the I-800 form. Then our entire big packet of information, our dossier, will be sent to China. This is called the DTC (dossier to China).

Once China receives our paperwork, they "lock us into their system" and we have LID. 

The reason those precious letters: L-I-D mean so much to us is because we are not yet matched with a child. 

We are requesting that our daughter be under 2 years old with some of the mild correctable special needs. Most of the children under 2 years old are not going to be referred to a family who does not have their Dossier in China & Locked In (DTC & LID). They want these "babies" to be matched to families who can travel withing 5-6 months. So, we have lots of friends who already know who their child is because they are matched with an older child or a child whose file does not say "LID required", etc. So, if that didn't confuse you, just know that

LID = Referral Ready = Find out who our daughter is!

We are hoping to be LID by the end of July or we could get really crazy & pray for the middle of July! {Um, so, yes of course, I'm praying for Mid-July; but I'm trying to put on a good front & expect end of July, early August.)

{Prayer Requests}
* As always, please pray for our daughter, her health, those who are carrying for her, and her birth family 
* Pray for us, please, as we live our lives as a family of 4 and that God will continue to draw us closer to Him and that we will reflect Him more and more in our family, our ministry and our for our future journey as an adoptive family
* Please pray for a quick Authenticiation, DTC & early LID date! {Um, praying for July 15th w/ me is very okay... ) 
* Please pray for our application that is with Show Hope. We will find out around the 1st week of July if we received any grants from them (We still need an estimated $14K :: about $7K for orphanage fee & $7K for flights, travel & final misc out of country fees, etc)
* Pray direction on our next fundraising after our fundraising rest month (which has been the end of May/June).
* Pray for wisdom on pursuing other grant applications (we have a few that we are considering after we have a referral)
* Please pray that the peace that we have had over the finances and the process of waiting will continue
* And as always, however, else you feel led... we always covet your prayers!
* Please also pray for our Journey Together leaders & team & next steps of the ministry, etc.


And I am sure this could use more good edit; but early nap-time for Justus & AJ adjusting to summer schedule mean that my blog/post times are very sporadic. I can hit "publish" or wait another few days and hope I get back to this. I'm choosing "publish".


  1. wow i bet it feels so good to finally have some things checked off your list! We will be praying for you!!

  2. You asked me about the plates from my baby shower. (I tried to find an email link but didn't see one.) My BFF said she got them here but I don't see them now. My shower was May 2011 so maybe they don't sell them anymore? Good luck with your plate quest. And good luck with your adoption.