An exciting thing happened last week! Our dossier came back to us from DC, all official! Each of 16 documents (basically all the paperwork that could possibly represent our lives) now bears the seal of North Carolina, the seal of the US State Department, and the seal of the Chinese Embassy. After making two copies of E.V.E.R.Y P.A.G.E, we mailed the originals and one copy to our agency. Today I got the call that they will submit it electronically and put it in the mail to China tomorrow!
This is exciting for two reasons: first, it means that China will actually know we exist. That's a landmark for us! Second, it means the next step is seeing our daughter's face for the first time.
After China approves us (4-5 weeks after they receive our documents), our agency will begin looking for a match for us on what is called the "shared list." This is a list of children's files that China releases about once a month to all the agencies. Our agency will have a few days before the release to preview some key details in the files like age, gender, and diagnoses. Then the day the list is released, they (and 42 other agencies) "lock" files for families they are working with to review. That's when we get a call, and we get to see the file and "meet" our sweet little person.
If this call is like the first ultrasound, then sending the dossier to China is be like hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time. Things are getting real here, folks!
It's hard to describe how this changes things in my heart and mind. In order to survive our extended wait time (June 2017 to Jan 2019), I had to change the way I thought about our adoption process. Instead of being this race to get to China and our waiting daughter as quick as possible, an idea that gave me knots in my stomach when I thought about it, I moved into marathon paperwork mode and focused on that. The last 9 months have been a long paperwork process, sort of like refinancing a house. Lots of to-do lists. Lots of phone calls. Lots of signatures. Lots of double-checking.
Just like those first few months of pregnancy, you can't really tell what, if anything, is happening. But tonight I started re-reading some of my favorite adoption story blogs and hearing about their stories of logging their dossier in China and receiving referrals and it hit home again:
we are getting a baby at the end of this.
Josh and Emily
We hope that by sharing our steps, challenges, and milestones of our adoption, you will see yourself as part of the community we hope to build around our child as she grows up.