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12.02.2009

Day 49 of a 49 day wait!

Just coincidence that our "official referral" for Darcy arrived at our agency without warning today ~ on day 49 ~ just two days after our "referral-a-versary" for Kylie? I think not...

Short version of the story:

Our LOA arrived today at day 49! So now this stage of waiting is over and we wait for our TA so that travel can be planned. We're boldly praying to be able to travel before Chinese New Year, so things have to move at record speed.

Long version of the story:

Last night I had this overwhelming urge (almost burden) to finish up the ten page I-800 (Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative), the four page DS-230 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration), and the one page I-864W (Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption). Sometime after midnight when I was finished I emailed Karla to ask if we could set up a phone conference to review the forms as I still had a few questions. The OCD part of me made a list of the six questions I had to be prepared for our talk and then I finally felt like I could go to bed. I heard back from her first thing this morning and over the course of several emails we set up a time to talk next Thursday.

I did however end the last email with the following, "Just to be sure, 9 central is 10 eastern, right? And man would I be excited if we had to do an "emergency phone session" because the LOA came early. A girl can dream..."

Little did I know that a DHL package was on its way to her at that time!

So our LOA arrived at Lifeline (our agency) without warning today. Karla (our social worker there) called this afternoon to tell me the news. She started out with, "So I just wanted to know how you knew..." I think she was just as surprised as I was. Today was day 49 of the count and one that quickly is almost unheard of. The very fastest I've heard in recent news was 43 days, but frequently folks have to wait past day 100. Ours for Caleb arrived on day 87 last year.

In case you are excited because I am obviously excited, yet asking yourself, "what does that mean?," basically the LOA is THE referral notice from the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs. That means that they have officially said that Sun Qing You can be adopted by us. Now we wait for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve our form I-800 (a petition to classify a Convention country adoptee as an immediate relative). Once they do that, then they send our information to the National Benefits Center who will give preliminary approval for Darcy's Visa to enter the US. Then that approval gets sent to the US Consulate in Guangzhou where they combine that approval with a copy of our LOA to "magically create" the Article 5. At that point the Article 5 gets couriered to Beijing to the CCAA who will then grant our travel approval. Once our TA arrives at Lifeline, they try to have us in the air within seven days (much quicker than our last agency's standard 14 to 21 day notice. Right now I'm thrilled about the thought of flying within seven days of our TA, but when we're trying to book airfare I may be singing a different story...).

Sound about as clear as mud? Yeah, me too. I don't fully understand what happens at all the steps, or why they are now separate steps opposed to the much faster process getting a TA used to be, but that is the outline of the process. We're looking at somewhere between 40 to 60 days, yet another wait with an unknown end. Ugh.

The exciting thing though is that if it moves at the faster end of how quickly that has been happening lately, we possibly could travel BEFORE Chinese New Year. In order to do that, we need to leave at the latest by January 29, so please pray with us that everything comes through in time. If we have to wait until after CNY, we would be cutting it REALLY close to be with Darcy by her birthday. And while it is somewhat of a stretch, our LOA came much, much faster than anticipated ~ and I know that folks were praying!

And while we're at it, let's be praying that Traci and Adam move through the rest of the Taiwanese court process to get to Pierson and Maylin as quickly as possible too!

Darcy has no clue what she's in for (another post for another time ~ tonight there is immigration paperwork to finish) but we're over the moon excited to have ended that stage of the wait!

25 comments:

Rachelle said...

WOO HOO! Good News!

C.C. said...

SO excited for you all!! I'm praying for pre-CNY!!!

Our Journey said...

What timing!! What GREAT news! We're praying for you all (you & sis!

Nancy said...

YAY!!!!! That is so exciting! Another BIG step closer to Darcy! I pray that you can go before the new year. Wouldn't that be wild if you and your sister traveled the same time? Your mom would be getting 3 more grandkids at once, like triplets!

Di said...

Good news!! I will be hoping for fast paperwork to speed up the process even more!

Vicki said...

Kristi!!! We got ours also!!! Looks like we might travel together!!!!!!! I loved your explanation of the next part of the process, can I copy it for my blog? Congratulations!!!!!!!!
Vicki
www.pomafamily.blogspot.com

Ann Marie said...

Congratulations!!! Yipeeeeeeeeeee:)

Ann Marie

Pam said...

Yipppeeee!!!!

I am definitely praying with you!

Donna said...

Wooo Hoooo!!! We're praying for the rest of your approvals to come quickly and you'll be able to blow out candles with your baby girl!!!

Amy Woods said...

Waaaaahhhhooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Oh, I'm so excited for you!!!!!! I WILL be praying that you get everything timely! We waited for 62 days from LOA to TA. But there were alot out there who waited way less! It can be done!! I'm so pumped!!!!

Lilly said...

Yupi! I'm doing the happy feet dance for you. So grateful that LOA is here, at day 49. Then TA and before we know it, all of us will be in China, our next destination.

Our LOA came the day before I left for vacation, unexpected and just like 3 years ago with Emily, we left for Hawaii and received her photos and information over there. We had to send the acceptance back to Beijing and celebrated her 1 year old in Hawai, the day that referrals arrived. This time, LOA came a day before our vacation and they are overnighting it for us to get it home tomorrow when we return.

Next destination, CHINA, here we come! I need some wine now :)

Laurie said...

GREAT news! And you're right- no coincidence! :)

Anonymous said...

Woo WHOOOOOOO! God answers prayers!!!

Carla said...

Yeah!!!!!! So happy to see your news! Praying that all the rest of the paperwork moves through quickly and you get that TA soon! Praying for Jan. travel.

Carla

Madeleine said...

wOw! Fantastic!!

We are at agency that does the standard 14 - 21 days, and it stinks.

And now even though we got our TA on 11/30, we won't be traveling until January. Do you know how aggravating that is???

I hope for quick times for you!

And should we ever do this again, maybe your agency is a better option!

Heather said...

WAHOOOOOO!!!! I will be praying! What wonderful news

Michelle said...

Congrats!!! I am praying for a really fast TA. I think traveling near chinese new year would be awesome.

Gavin's Family said...

So happy for you Kristi, a little jealous to be honest but happy for you. ;)
We are on day 66 today and hoping to hear real soon.

Jess and Tim said...

Praise God your LOA came so fast!!! So happy for you!! Now praying for the TA!!

Sharon said...

Needs los of time to catch up on your life but congrats..WOW..moving fast!!!!

Kimberly said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! LOA!!!!!!!

Vicki said...

Kristi, Will you be traveling with all of your children? We are planning on taking our two youngest. They are both four and hopefully their oldest sister to help out.
Vicki (Your travel buddy)
http://www.pomafamily.blogspot.com

Anna Grace and Andrew's Jie Jie said...

Oh wow!!! YAY!! SO happy for you all! Darcy is coming home!

Cindy M said...

Well, shoot. How am I number 24??? Anyhoo, we'll be praying, too. Darcy definitely needs to be home for her birthday!! Maybe you can travel, say, February 1st?? Of course, earlier would definitely be better!!

Now, I gotta tell ya...my head is spinning with all those new paperwork numbers. Sheesh. I'll admit that I'm a little blown away by all those steps we didn't take before. Not that it's a deterrent. I'm just sayin...kinda redefines the word "arduous".

Lisa said...

YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! We're praying boldly with you! May Darcy have the sweetest birthday ever!