Saturday, September 20, 2008

How will the process work?

We heard from our agency (through a friend) about what the process between referral and travel is like. Thought I would share it here, mainly for my own recollection if nothing else.

Here goes:

Referral Call Process:

When the agency gets the referrals, they turn off their telephones and check and verify that each referral is in order. Most of the time they wait until the next day to make referral calls. We will not receive Kaelie's picture until it comes in via overnight delivery service with the rest of the referral package. We will not have any advance notice about when we will receive the call. We will likely know that referrals are on their way from other adoptive families and sites like Rumor Queen.

I'm hoping for the best. Best-case scenerio is that we would all be together on referral day. I don't know how likely or possible that is going to be, since we won't have a heads-up on when we'll get the call. I think I will have Stephe's call sheet in all possible locations: work, car, home. There is no telling about how it will go down. If I get the call at work, I'll most likely ask if Shelby can step out of class and be with me during the call. At least two of us will be together. Then, we will all go out and celebrate that evening! I will likely take the next day off so that I can meet the delivery service at home. Hopefully David and I will be together for that.

Acceptance Letter:

Our agency gives one week to get the acceptance letter back to them. This will give us time to consult an IA clinic and also talk with our pediatrician about Kaelie's health and if there is anything we should be concerned about. After all the acceptance letters are received, the agency will mail them back to China. If there seem to be major health concerns (this happens rarely, but it does happen), we have the option to turn down the referral and wait for the CCAA to issue another referral in the next batch. Hopefully, this will not happen!

Travel Approval:

After the acceptance letters are sent back to China, we will wait for our travel approval, which comes from the CCAA. I believe that during this time we will work on obtaining our China visas. After the TA's come in, our agency will work to secure our consulate appointments.

Consulate Appointment:

This is the final step! Once our consulate appointment is secured at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, we will be able to make our travel arrangements, book flights, etc. Our agency tries to travel about three weeks after the consulate appointment, but of course this could vary widely.

Usually the time between referral and travel is about 6 to 8 weeks. That's nothing compared to how long we have waited. We will be very busy working on Kaelie's room, getting ready for travel, making maternity leave arrangements and getting everything ready for school while I am away (I think I'm going to have a terrific sub who is a retired teacher!) I've spoken to several people who are simply amazed at the amount of paperwork that must be completed during this process. But after waiting for so long, I am completely up to the task! Daunting to be sure, but doable! I can't wait to meet Kaelie for the first time!