Over the next few months now, you’ll be seeing or hearing us talk about some adoption acronyms, so here is the skinny on the DTC, LID, LOA, TA…..LOL. Oh, and there will be a quiz at the end! J
Yesterday we were DTC, or “dossier to China.” For those of you who aren't familiar with what a dossier is, it is basically our whole lives in paper form. Everything about us, from finances, to criminal history (or lack thereof!), to family of origin, to health status, birth certificates, etc., is summed up in this packet of paperwork. It includes our home study, physical exams, background checks, reference letters, employment letters, photos of us and our family, and many other things. Once you gather all of the documents required for the dossier, which in and of itself is a LOT of work, then all of it needs to be notarized, then certified by the Secretary of State presiding over the state where the notary lives, then authenticated at the Chinese Embassy that serves that particular state. Anyway, after 6 months of working away on this paper snapshot of our lives, it is finally done, critically reviewed by our agency, and now on its way to China!! Whew!!
The next step is LID, or “log in date,” which is the date that our dossier is logged into the China system (CCCWA). The next milestone after LID is one of the biggest of the biggies, the LOA, or “letter of acceptance (or approval).” In all actuality, it is titled the "Letter Seeking Confirmation from Adopter," or LSC, but most people just call it LOA. This document is bascially China officially asking you if you accept the child (or in our case, children) that you are matched with in the first place, but to adoptive families it is China saying, "Yes, they are officially yours!" We already have pre-approval for both of our children, which supposedly expedites our dossier review process to between 1-2 months, but we have known of several families with pre-approval that have waited 3-4 months or longer for their LOA to be issued, which often makes parents worry that somehow there is something wrong and they aren't going to be able to bring home the sweet child or children they've been waiting for. That can make it extremely difficult to wait for your LOA!
Once you receive the long-awaited and prayed for LOA, then it's time to jump back on the immigration paperwork bandwagon. For your dossier to be complete, you have to have generic immigration approval, but now is the time to get each child's specifics filed with USCIS so they can be brought into the US legally as our children and accepted as US citizens. By this time, you need to have your child's name all sorted out because there really isn't any changing after you file this round of paperwork (which is great except when you're having a hard time deciding on a middle name you really like for your daughter!!). Once this part is done, then the wait begins for the next exciting acronym....
TA, or “travel approval,” is our invitation from China to come and pick up our children. Your travel timing depends on your appointment with the US Consulate there to finalize the adoption process. TA is one of the most exciting acronyms in the Chinese adoption lingo as it means your next step is actually being united with the kids you've been so eager to meet over these long, long months of waiting!!
So, what does all this mean as far as timeline goes? Unless something goes very wrong and we have a really long LOA wait, or if something goes very right and we have a short LOA wait, we estimate traveling to get our kiddos in July. So close, and yet so far... =)
We've had several people ask if there is anything they can do to help us in the process. The biggest thing is pray! You can read about some specific prayer requests in our last blog post here: http://loveamidstchaos.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-post-written-during-snowstorm.html
A second way to help is to participate in our Spring Fling 5K Run/Walk and 2K Fitness Fun Run coming up on April 18th at the Kankakee Valley Middle School. You can participate either by running/walking, volunteering to help the day of the race, or by being a business sponsor and getting your business name put on our cool race shirts! For more information or to register, here is the link:
The third way is actually the hardest for me personally. I hate accepting help from others or asking anyone for anything. Just ask our moms! However, we have been accepted by a wonderful organization called Village to Village International to be one of their adoptive families. This means that if anyone wants to help by giving a gift or donation towards adoption fees, they are able to do it through this organization and it is tax deductible. When families receive donations through them, Village To Village then pays the adoption agency directly when fees come due. We are very honored to be one of their families as Village to Village is such a great organization invested in global orphan care projects. There is nothing better than to invest in the lives of these sweet children, and they are making a big difference all across the globe in that regard. If you are interested in option #3, here is the link:
As always, thank you so much for following along with us and seeing all the amazing things that God is doing! We are continuing to pray that He is glorified through our lives now and always! =)