Thursday, September 08, 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel....

Well good news Wednesday 1:47 a.m. I got a text from the USCIS informing me we have an official receipt number.  This is GREAT news as before we had not gotten to this point.  So with some relief I think this means all the paperwork has been ok'ed and forwarded to our USCIS officer. YIPEE!!  I have talked to our officer and he is waiting to receive it on his desk and plans to approve it as soon as possible knowing the problems and delay we have had.  I am thankful for such a nice and understanding officer. Now, I just pray it gets to hus desk like TODAY already! LOL! :)

So what is next?

1. AFTER we receive this elusive I-800 approval, the USCIS sends a letter to the NVC (National Visa Center) that we have been approved. Next, the NVC cables a letter to the US Consulate in China, informing them of our approval and intended adoption. It can take 7-10 days to be "cabled."

2. Then we wait approximately 14 days for our Article V.  . The consulate will review Charlotte's visa application (the DS-230), make sure it meets the qualifications for an immigrant visa, and then signs off that everything is in order for the adoption to be completed. This is called the Article 5 letter.

3. When our Article V letter is ready, our agency's China representative gets it and sends it to Beijing. At this point, we officially begin the wait for our TA, or Travel Approval. The average wait time for TA right now is anywhere from a week to 2 weeks. 

5. After we receive TA, our agency works to set up a Consulate Appointment (CA), which is when we will show up to the US Consulate to finalize the adoption with the US authorities in Guangzhou. This happens actually 7-10 days after we receive custody of Gracie. Once we have a CA, we can plan our trip.  Families generally leave after they receive TA within 2- 10 days.

As you can see we are VERY close....we could be traveling in as soon as 5 weeks although I estimate us to be traveling to China the end of October which would mean 7-8 weeks. 

*  Our trip will goes something like this:
-We will probably fly out of the US on a Friday. Arrive in Beijiing and stay the night. 
-Take another smaller plane on Sunday to arrive in the capital city of Charlottes province (Lanzhou, Gansu) by Sunday afternoon/night.  The province she is in is unusal in that we will probably receive custody of her on that Sunday.
-We will hang out in Lanzhou Sunday thru Friday, going to appointments & waiting for paperwork. 
-We will leave Charlottes province (Gansu) the following weekend (probably on Friday) and fly to --Guangzhou, where, over the following few days, the adoption is finalized, they do a medical exam and we will have our Consulate Appointment and FINALLY be able to bring our girl home to the good ole USA! :)


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