Adoption Process

Adoption Process

  1. CCIA application for adoption officially approved . Our documents are currently being translated.
  2. Completed homestudy. (physical examsmarriage/birth certificates ordered, intent to adopt letter, police clearance, financial statements, employment verifications, dossier photos, employment/insurance verifications, interviews. ) Yay!! We are finished!! 9/23
  3. Approval of homestudy.  This could take a month, but we are praying for supernatural speed on this!  Approved in TEN DAYS, not one month!! 10/11
  4. Invitation from USCIS, background check, then approval. *5-10 weeks* Only took 4 1/2 weeks from invite to approval!
  5. Notarization, certification and authentication (“sealing”) process for dossier documents. (Most of this is done [12 documents]. Now we will certify and authenticate the last 4 documents.)  **We did have to redo our medical forms, including having them sealed. They will be back at CCAI 2/11.
  6. Sealed dossier materials submitted to CCAI.  *9-11 days so they can review it* To read more about this, visit
  7.  DTC!! Documents to China! This will be a major milestone. *They should be sent to China right after CNY* 2/11
  8.  LID!! We get our Log In Date from China, meaning our dossier is in their computer system. 2/18
  9. LOA!! Letter of approval from China.  We will get this, sign a few documents that go back to China. This is the official approval from China that we can, indeed, adopt specifically Tian and Xu. We have been told it will probably be a 2-month wait, meaning mid-April. We are praying for it to be faster than that. Yes! It WAS faster! LOA Tian: 3/22; LOA Xu: 3/24
  10. I-800A, Supplement 3, and I-800 provisional approval (PA), NVC Letter, Article 5
  11.  TA!! Travel Approval: Receive invitation to travel to China. 
  12.  Travel to China!  All five of us will be going.
    *Our original prayer was that we could get them in March, but we know now the wait will be longer.  Our new prayer is that we will get them before their birthdays (June 1 and July 13).  This will still require a miracle, as predicted times say it will likely be mid-June to July when we can go get them.  


July 12, 2010: Found Tian via an email from Rainbow Kids
July 19: Received Tian's file and decided to pursue the adoption.
August 4: CCAI approval
August 5: Home visit
August 30: CCAA approval
October 11: CCAI approved homestudy
November 26: Received EnEn's file and decided to pursue his adoption!
December 7: USCIS I-797 arrived. CCAA approval for EnEn.
December 29: USCIS I-797 approval for both boys.
January 18: Dossier sealed and at CCAI for critical review.
February 11: Corrected dossier documents at CCAI.
February 12: DTC!
February 18: LID!!
March 22&24: LOA!!!
May 5: PA!
May 26: A5
June 1: Happy birthday, EnEn
June 22: TA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
July 11: First Met: Tian
July 17: First Met: Travis
July 26: Consulate Appt.
July 29: Back HOME in the USA!

Real-time Updates While In China

July 4: Travel 20 hours! DFW to Chicago, then to Beijing, China.
July 5-9: Sightsee, sleep, adjust to China time and prepare for the boys! 
July 10: Travel to Zhengzhou, the capital of Tian's province.  Our last day as a family of 5!
July 11: Finally met Tian!
July 12: Adoption Day for Tian!! Exactly one year since we "found" him! Paperwork filled out. Supermarket trip.  One-year marker of first seeing Tian via email.
July 13: Visit ZZ SWI. Rest.  Tian's bday! 
July 14: Visit Shaolin Temple.
July 15: Get Tian's passport. Fly to Fuzhou, the capital of Travis' province.
July 16: Free day in Fujian
July 17: Finally met Travis!

July 18: Adoption day for Travis!!
 Paperwork filled out.
July 19: Panda World
July 20: Mall, etc.
July 21: Last full day in Fuzhou
July 22: Get Travis' passport. Fly to Guangzhou, city of the US Consulate.
July 23: Boys' physical & photos.
July 24: Free day in Guangzhou
July 25: TB test read 
July 26: To US Consulate to take the oath! 
July 27: Receive the boys' visas.
July 28: Fly to Shanghai, then to USA!
July 29: Arrive home to DFW!

Archive of 2011 Prayer Requests

(In the years since 2011, our opinions about prayer and even a higher power "working things out" via adoption through prayer have changed greatly. I'm keeping this list for memory sake though, because it was part of our journey at the time. I edited some of the religiosity out of this message.)

1. Tian’s and Xu’s birth moms and all of the other moms in China forced to make impossible decisions.
2. Tian’s foster family
3. The caretakers, nannies, directors, etc. at the Sanming and Zhengzhou SWIs.
4. The boys will experience grief at different stages of their life.  Please pray that they will be able to express their grief.  That they will feel "allowed" and comfortable to express their feelings to us and we will have wisdom and place other people in their lives to help them with issues they will face being adopted, relinquished by birth family, Asian-American, etc. 


2. CCIA application for adoption will be translated correctly and officially approved .answered!!
3. We will complete our homestudy as quickly as possible.answered!! 9/23<
4. Successful interview (Ken and Sarah only) on Sunday afternoon (07/25).answered!!
5. Family interview/home visit Wednesday (8/5) answered!!
6. Successful doctor appointment (8/4) answered!!
7. Speedy review and approval of homestudy. (10/11)answered!! Took 10 days as opposed to 30.
8. Speedy turnaround of certified documents. (10/03)answered!!
9. No documents lost in the mail during the sealing process.answered!! 1/17
10. Approval from USCIS.answered!! 12/7
11.Supernatural speed of fingerprinting/background checks with USCIS.. answered!! 12/7 Under 5 weeks for entire process!!
12. Quick paper processing for last 2 documents: amended homestudy and USCIS I-797 to be certified and authenticated. *Praying to have them sealed and returned to us by Januray 17th* answered!! 1/17, rec’vd by CCAI 1/18
13. Questions sent to Xu’s nannies answered and his gift package rec’vd. answered!! 1/19!
14. Protection over Tian Shi and Xu En while they are waiting for us. answered and continuing: We have learned Tian WAS in a rare orphan room run by the adoption agency we are using. This means he received very good care by trained nannies! And now we know he is in a foster home.
Xu En is in what appears to be a nice Social Welfare Institute. We want to get him out as soon as possible! An orphanage is not a great place for a child, no matter how sweet the nannies and how well-trained the staff.   We were able to find one of Xu En's friends

15. DTC (Documents To China) by February 1st. Pray for no mistakes in our dossier and that it arrives safely in China without being lost or mishandled. We did have mistakes in our dossier. Three BIG ones, in fact. 2 were remedied fairly easily, but one required us to go back for more blood work and urinalysis (fun). Therefore, our documents will not be to China Feb. 1st.  Here’s the blessing: Right now is Chinese New Year (CNY). Even if our dossier were ready to go, our agency won’t mail them until the end of CNY (Feb 11 or so). So the “glitch” IS fixable and isn’t causing us too much stress because it won’t effect our time more than a few days.
In addition, for reasons I can’t even post here, this mistake we made way back in August that “just happened” to be overlooked until now is truly a blessing. More than I can express here. I'm so glad.

16. DTC at the end of CNY, around Feb 11. Dossier to China with no mistakes or mishandling.answered! 2/11 arrived in China 2/15
17. We had been praying to get them in March.  We can now see that won't happen. answered: not yet
18.LID (Log In Date). Our documents will arrive to China safely. LID will happen quickly after they get our documents. answered 2/18>19. For the house to sell by mid-February. 
20. Sell the house by mid-February.  House was sold mid-April.

21. We have LOA for both boys! A major step and milestone.
22. Decisions: to take the house off the market? to drop the townhouse? to change our address on our paperwork? Glad we were able to move to the townhouse and the address change was processed! 04/2011
23.Our supplement 3 to be processed and approved in a time that will not lengthen the wait to travel.ANSWERED!!! 04-16
24. House to sell ASAP. We have a contract!! 04/2011

25. Thankful for friends who supported us financially at just the right times. (through entire process)
26.  Praying we are approved for a specific grant and loan for which we have applied. **Answered!!  We got it! April 2011** **AND at just the right time, a friend provided a very low-cost international airfare to and from China! May 2011**
27. Sale of house to process and close on May 15. ANSWERED!**Closed 5/16**
28. Now praying to receive a no-interest loan from Lifesong to help us cover remaining adoption costs.  Answered no. We don't know why and were bummed, but still thankful for the generous grant from JSC Foundation.
29. Visa and immigration paperwork to get to the right place and in a timely manner. done!
30. Funding for the remaining travel costs.  We were given what we could have asked or imagined (see # 26) and we are hoping for the last amount we need for in China. 
31. Travel to China:  We are praying to leave IN JUNE. We got TA today! We will be leaving the first week of July.  It's not June, but close and we are SO VERY thankful!

32. Xu En’s safety and well-being while in the Sanming SWI. answered
33. Grace for our entire family as we transition into becoming a family of seven.

 Prepare the boys' hearts for us. They will be confused and will grieve the loss of their life, caretakers, friends, and all that is familiar in China.   We hope for comfort and grace, peace and patience we will need and that the boys soon will know we are their family.
This was answered beyond our wildest dreams. In China, they quickly attached to us. They now have been home almost one month. They seem to understand we truly love them.  They offer us lots of hugs and kisses, don't want to go with any other people, and seem to understand we are their family. Of course, that is something they will continue to learn as the months go on.
34. We hope for health over our entire China trip.  We have plans: to not get sick. to visit certain places. to have uneventful flights. We do ask for health and safety, but above all, that our family will grow more bonded during 3 weeks in China.
This was also answered completely! You'll have to read about it in the blog. Amazing!

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