Well it has been 48 days since we got official word from China regarding their approval of our adoption. Today, we received some even more exciting news with our Article 5 pick up. This is a document, and final approval, the “approval of the approvals” so to speak. I myself did not quite understand the significance of this final approval but our coordinator just affirmed that both government agencies (US and China) have now both officially approved of this adoption and in the eyes of everyone here at home and abroad, our adoption is complete!
Isn’t that crazy?! The rest is basically formality to actually get us to China, his official entry into our family, and then to make sure he is recognized as an American citizen the moment those precious little feet hit American soil.
(Jayden is already drawing pictures of the whole family) (Official China Confirmation) (We got 10 year Chinese Visas...who's in for the next trip?!)
We have already applied for Jude’s visa, obtained all three of ours, received U.S. immigration approval, and I want to yell from the mountain tops that "We are officially DONE with documents!"... until we have our sweet boy in our laps (it was almost to good to be true).
There is such absolute giddiness in the completion of ALL the paperwork required by the U.S. and China. Four years of paperwork, notarizations, scheduled visits, authentications, fingerprints, seals of approvals, embassy clearances…finally all finished! We have completed his room, began purchasing clothes, blankies, stuffed animals, snack foods, travel items, and even started making meals to eat when we transition back home. Now comes perhaps the hardest part of all. You would think that the 4 years of waiting to see our sweet boy’s face would have been the hardest part of this whole process but I have heard it has NOTHING on what’s coming up next.
As we have checked off each step (quite literally, it has become an obsessive element at times) the anticipation of getting him home has grown. We have had basic timelines to follow with each step after China’s approval but we are just starting our wade into the murky waters so to speak. The last and final step, the only thing we are waiting on before jumping on that plane, is something called Travel Invitation. China will look back through all the documents we submitted, check off the approvals, and perhaps most importantly, verify our payments along the way. Here is the kicker; several months ago their computer system with said payment verifications, basically crashed and Travel invitations that used to take 2 days can now take up to 6 weeks. We have no idea where we will fall on the spectrum and while I want to remain hopeful for a speedy Invitation, I have to be realistic to save my heart the misery it has come to know during our waiting. Not to mention, we paid our dossier fee back in 2014 so who knows where the heck that verification is by now! We have asked our prior agency for proof they wired our funds, but we are still waiting on that…..(sheesh we just cant catch a break in any of this, am I right?!)
We have been told and I am anticipating that this will be the hardest wait for us, mainly in part because we know that everything is done, there are no more boxes to check, no more documents, no more approvals, just this HUGE invitation. Once we do get invitation we will travel in 2-3 weeks, but nothing can be booked until we get that document. So, we largely just...you guessed it... wait. Once we do get it, we research travel agents, international flight prices, have our agency book all of our hotels and transportation in country, obtain final itineraries, and finish packing our suitcases for the craziest journey this family has ever been on. I do not know how the three of us will be once we finally have our dates set! Jayden loves having countdowns to big events and quite frankly so do I, so this countdown will be huge! We are so ready to meet this little man, see him face to face, smell his scent, and hear his sweet little voice. We welcome and ask for prayers for speediness (once again) and for prepared hearts (ours and most importantly his) for this massive transition in all our lives. Until travel approval….