Our I800A went in the mail today to the USCIS office in Chicago, IL. This is the application asking the United States government permission to bring a foreign born orphan into the USA. When we adopted Brea the application was 2 pages long. It has since changed and is now 9 pages long! We also had to send supporting documents (birth and marriage certificates, etc.) and our home study. Our home study has been done for a while now but it had to be revised to meet the new Hague guidelines. We waited four months for Brea's immigration documents to be approved and we are praying that Bailey's will be approved much faster but I am trying not to get my hopes up. There probably won't be a need to post when we receive it...you will probably hear me cheering from here!
A couple of folks have emailed asking me to explain the abbreviations used in international adoption so I'll do my best to give you a quick run down.
LOI - This is the Letter of Intent that we sent to China asking them to give us approval to move forward with Bailey's adoption.
PA - This is the letter from the China Center of Adoption Affairs giving us Pre Approval to move forward with the adoption!
I800A - Application to U.S. Immigration asking permission to bring a foreign born orphan into the country.
Dossier - This is simply a huge stack of documents that have been certified, authenticated, translated into Chinese, etc. that goes to the China Center of Adoption Affairs in Beijing.
CCAA - This is the China Center of Adoption Affairs in Beijing. They are the government agency in China that processes ALL Chinese adoptions.
DTC - This is the date that our dossier is actually sent to China by our adoption agency.
LID - This is a Log In Date or the date that the CCAA receives our dossier and logs it into their system.
LOA - This is the Letter of Approval that will come from the China Center of Adoption Affairs approving our dossier and our adoption of Bailey! When this FINALLY comes we will be able to breathe a little easier!
TA - This is the Travel Authorization document that comes from the CCAA inviting us to come to China to adopt Bailey! Boy will that be a wonderful day when we get the call that the TA has come!!!
Gotcha Day - This is the day when we will finally be united with our sweet Bailey in China!
Yes, the wait is LONG and complicated but it is so worth it when you finally hold your child in your arms and tell them that they are going home! It makes me sad to think that Bailey will celebrate her second birthday in China this month without her forever family BUT I keep reminding myself that this will be her LAST birthday without her family! We are missing many, many of her firsts...her first steps, her first tooth, her first laugh, etc BUT there will be MANY firsts with us when she is finally in our arms just like there was for Brea. We find great comfort in knowing that God's timing is always perfect and His plans for us are always so much greater than anything we can come up with on our own. We may not always think that when we are waiting and wondering but it is true.
Tonight as I sign off I can't help but think of the song from the movie "An American Tail". The name of the song is "Somewhere Out There" and one of the lines of the song is"Somewhere out there if love can see us through, then we'll be together, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true". Yes, love will see us through this wait and someday the wait will be a distant memory. Until we meet, stay safe, stay well and stay strong sweet Bailey and know that Mommy and Daddy are praying for you and loving you even though we are half way around the world. Someday you'll know how very much you were wanted, how much you were loved and how anxious we all are to have you here and part of our family. Someday we will not just be "sleeping underneath the same big sky" as the song says...we will be staring up at the stars together...all six of us!