slide show

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chapter 1 - The paper chase

The documentation necessary to adopt is really scarydisturbingintimidatinga possible deal breakernauseatingincredibly expensiveridiculous, profound... to put it mildly.
To adopt internationally, the documentation is mind blowing.
State documentation
Federal documentation
International documentation
A home study
Court rulings
Police clearances...

But when we realized the Lord had a purpose for us, a path to follow.. we started the paper chase.
The first step was to gather all the the docs needed for our home study.
Recommendation letters.
Home visits from our social worker.
Marriage and birth certificates for each of the crazy 8.
Insurance and banking statements.
Social security cards.
Medical checks.
And even rabies certificates for our dogs and photos of the lock on our pool fence.... just to name a few.

But wait wait... we're not done yet!
The home study process is just the start of the paperwork.
Because we hadn't passed out from the process yet, we moved onto the next step, the ever-popular collection of documents for our dossier.  {The dossier is the collection of documents that is forwarded to and represent ourselves to a foreign government, in our case, The People's Republic of China.}
Dossier requirements include
And pictures of both our family and our home.
Here's the 3" binder that I keep all the docs in complete with FedEx account numbers at the ready.
...complete with a crazy amount of color coded, to-do, post-its.
and this is the crazy part, 
each and every document needs to have the signature notarized.  Our doctor, employers, our own signatures, social workers, etc... Nobody gets to just "sign" anything.  All have to sign in the presence of an official notary who indicates that the person who signed it, is indeed who he/she says he/she is. 

Then the Arizona Sec of State has to state certify every document to indicate that the notary is indeed who he/she says she is and is an official notary.  'Cause all those fake notaries are always trying to pull one over on the general public.  

Then these docs, ('cause who would want this fun process to end yet?) with notaries and state certifications, are FedEx-ed to the China Consulate here in the good ol' USA, and they indicate that the Secretary of State is indeed who they say they are.  Just in case you were doubting them.  

Only after this paper trail of everyone validating and authenticating and certifying who everyone else is, can we deliver the very-large-by-now pile of documents to the China government for review.  And don't you be messing with any of the staples, grommets, or stickers 'cause that will invalidate the whole thing!

Somewhere in the middle of it all, Hillary Clinton got involved.  
No jokin'.
Arizona seal for state certification
 11 months of work ends up looking like this.  Our official China dossier!
Our agency then-
1)  looks over all the documentation and may or may not ask for revisions, (thankfully ours didn't) 
2)  ships it all off to China, 
3)  where it is translated, 
4)  and ONLY THEN it is finally turned over to the CCCWA (fancy schmancy adoption lingo for the division of the China gov't that is in charge adoptions) 
5) who ultimately awards the the ever-coveted LID (Log In Date)

This part of the adoption process, the paperwork/dossier gathering, usually takes families 4-6 months.
Our LID is January 27, 2011.


  1. WOO HOOOOOOOO! Love this. Love you guys.

  2. Paper chasing and compiling dossier is like childbirth. You conveniently forget the " pain" of it when it's over. Best wishes!

  3. That's great that you have adopted, my husband's family adopted and had a great experience. I'm super jealous of how cheap your pears were in your previous post, they never get that low around here :) I've been canning peaches, but pears have been way too high in price! New follower from the tuesday hop, have a great evening! You can find me at

  4. WHEW!! Is that what I have to look forward to?? YIKES!! We are in the middle of our Home Study right now. PRAYING it all goes by quickly. But, judging by the difficulties we are having with our insurance company already... I'm not expecting all to be smooth and steady. :/ I'm SO looking forward to following your adoption journey!! Blessings and Love! :)

  5. How well I remember that whole "authenticate the authentication of the authenticated, verified, certified, stamped, signed, sealed, delivered..." Made my head spin then. Still does 9 years later when I think about it.

    LID of 1/27/11? That's been a while. Do you have a referral?

  6. Merrill- No referral yet. Our file was "on hold" till just recently.

  7. Oooh, all of the memories just flooded my mind. They make me slightly cringe. You are very well organized. I was cleaning out my closet today (we moved here 2 years ago) and I came across our box of adoption paperwork. I didn't open it. I'm not as organized as you! 1/27/11 eh? Congrats to that!

  8. Holy Smokes! Bringing it all back to my memory. So much work, it makes me that much more impressed with myself (and you too). I'll keep following your blog hoping for great news for you as well as for myself. The loss of control is what does me in. It's hard for me to just wait - patience has never been my thang!

  9. I got a migraine just seeing all of it bad flashbacks! Can you even believe that we compiled an entiremdossier from start to finish complete with immigration approval in JUST 5 months?! Having a little face staring back at you will do that! And now (sniff, sniff, whine, complain) we are closing in on 60 days waiting for LOA. It's not me that I care about....but why should SHE have to wait any more?

  10. Daunting, oh my, so daunting. I remember, when we first started a couple of months ago, I laughed. I didn't think we could do it. But we did and we are. :) Totally understand. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Deluxe Designs
all rights reserved. 2011