I try to think of the adoption in terms of a pregnancy (granted, this will be a more drawn out process compared to a pregnancy). This is what I have come up with:
1. Announcement: This is the phase that we are currently in. We just announced to everyone that we will be seeking to adopt.
2. Paperwork: When you intially go in to the doctor, there is all of this paperwork to fill out regarding insurance coverage and health concerns. Well, with the adoption, the paperwork has multiplied tremendously!! We have to apply to several different entities to seek approval for adoption. The US government, the Chinese government, an adoption agency, and a social worker will all be involved. This phase is also known to be called the "paper trail."
3. Dr. Visits/ Social Worker Visits: Either one sounds unpleasant. I have never been too fond of going to the doctor, but it is a necessity when you are carrying a little one. Well, as unpleasant as it is to have someone coming in to our home to judge us sounds, it is necessary. We understand that it is for the well-being and in the best interest for our little Wu. I have been told to think of the visits more as someone coming in to lend us a little insight on how to cope with all of the anxiety we will be feeling while we wait. The social worker will be compiling a report that will be translated into Mandarin (Chinese), and all of our paper trail will be translated into Mandarin as well. Together, they are called a "dossier." This dossier, is what we will be working so hard to complete next year. Hopefully it will be done by Joey's birthday (more about this later).
4. Due Date/ Log In Date: Instead of a due date, we will receive a log in date or LID. This is the date that all of our paperwork has been turned in to and accepted by the Chinese government. This will be a HUGE day for us, because it will mark the beginning of our official waiting period.
5. The wait/ First Glimpse: Like a mother waits for her impending labor, we will be waiting as well. Not for labor of course, but for our child referral. A child referral, is the child that the CCAA (chinese adoption people... I am putting this in simple language so I can understand as well LOL), has picked for us. It is a file, that will arrive by presumably Fed Ex... and in it will be a picture and complete medical history of the child once it arrived into the care of the Chinese government. I have read that the Fed Ex deliverer is sometimes called the stork by other adoptive parents. I really like this. Joey and I both think that it is very cute. Anyhow, we will then look over the child referral and contact a medical proffessional if necessary to help us with the terminology. Then we will either accept or decline this child. Or I should say that we will have the opportunity to accept or decline the child. I don't think Joey and I could ever decline a child, but it is in the process so I am writing it here for you guys to learn about.
So I compare this first glimpse of the child to be like the first ultrasound. You finally get to see what your child is all about. How many fingers? How many toes? Are they healthy? What do they look like? All of this answered in one little photo.
6. Delivery/ Travel to Hospital/ Travel to China: After we accept our child, we will then wait for a travel date (TD). This is the time that the Chinese government has approved us for travel to their country to pick up our little one. It will most likely be months inbetween the time that we see our little one's photo and we see them in person. But eventually, we will be there with many other adoptive parents, seeing our child in person for the first time. And like hospital stays, where parents have the benefit of having nurses there to help them learn how to care for their child, we too will have people there to help us with helping our child transition to being with us. We will be in China for approximately 2 weeks. During this time, all of the paperwork will be finalized for the adoption and we will have one on one time with our little one. We will also get to tour China and learn about our child's unique culture. Towards the end of the trip, we will take an oath to care for our child and basically give them the best American life possible. Which we intend to do! :) More on what happens while in China when the time comes. We plan to blog while we are there to let people know what's going on.
7. Going Home: Once everything is finalized in China, we will go home with our child! And once he/she enters the country and places their little feet on American soil, they will be considered an American citizen!! How exciting!!! This idea is just coming to me now, but I may have a little footprint card ready for our child to step on to document this moment! :)
So this is the process... to the best of my knowledge. I will edit if I find anything that needs correcting. I try to blog once a week, but I may get back on here to tonight to discuss the requirements, and let you all know why we are hoping to have our LID by Joey's next birthday. Also there may be a little twist with our adoption process... once again, more on that later.
Little Wu... still thinking of you!