Friday, July 23, 2010



Dossier To China

What does this mean?

It means our Dossier (large amount of paperwork we have been gathering) is finished and approved and is on it's way to China. We will now wait for a LID. The LID (Log in Date) is the date that our paperwork is logged into China. After we receive our LID we will be ready for our Referral of our little boy.

What does it feel like?

There is a huge sense of relief that we are done with the majority of our paper chasing. There is the reality of knowing that our paperwork is leaving the USA and will be logged into the system of our sons homeland. There is excitement in knowing that we are getting so close to seeing who this little boy is that God has handpicked to be part of our family. I don't think I have truly grasped what it will feel like see the face of our little boy. We are trusting in his timing and his perfect plan but anxious with anticipation!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What A Feeling

What a feeling! To have our Dossier complete. It was notarized, certified and authenticated. It was now time to send it off to Holt, our agency to be approved. If everything looks good it will soon be on it's way to China.

Shane helped me get copies made of the whole Dossier and then we put it in a large zip lock to keep in protected from the elements and then in the Large Pak!

Shane was super excited to hand the package to the Fed Ex man and tell him it was papers that were going to China so we could get his little brother.

What a great day at the McDonald house today!

The Next Steps

After our Dossier was complete it was time to get it certified and authenticated.

The first stop was to the Secretary of State's office. Each document had to go to the state that it originated in. So my birth certificate and our marriage license went to Iowa and Eric's birth certificate went to Washington. All our other documents headed to Pierre, South Dakota!

It felt a little unnerving sending this stack of papers off that you worked so hard to gather the last months. They were now out of my hands and in the mail. I carefully watched the Fed Ex web site to see where my very important package was. After it made it's stop in Pierre it was supposed to me at my door by 10:30 in the morning. I waited and finally at 11:00 I checked the web site and it said it was delivered to my door. I opened the door and there was no package. It sent a little panic in me as I wondered where in the world were my very important documents. I walked up and down our street wondering if it got delivered to the wrong door. No luck! I got on the phone with Fed Ex and they were going to track down the driver. Emma and I anxiously waited in the driveway and couldn't have been more happy to hear the noise of the Fed Ex truck coming down the road. I explained to the poor Fed Ex man, who probably wondered why I was waiting in my driveway, the importance of the package. What a relief to have it back in my hands.

We went and made copies of the certifications and then turned around and put it in the mail to get authenticated in Washington DC. In Washington our documents made two stops. The first stop was the Department of State.

The Department of State drilled this very official looking paper on top of the original notarized document and the state certification.

The Dossier then traveled to the Chinese Embassy for it's final stamp of approval. Each document needed a seal from the Embassy. It was so fun to see it all written in Chinese. I have no clue what it says but it looks official!

What a feeling to get the package back in my hands and have everything look so official but more importantly to be done. The same Fed Ex man delivered our package. He said he recognized it and was pretty sure it was important adoption documents so he kept an eye on it.

The next stop .... our agency!

We Have Been Paper Chasing

I know it has been forever since I updated where we are at in our journey to our little boy. We are moving, we actually have taken some giant steps and are getting so close. I could take you through our journey the past couple months as we chased after paperwork because as I am learning every adoption has some type of paperwork story to tell. We have had life events that have stopped us in our tracks and slowed down our process, we have had paperwork that has moved quicker than expected and of course we have stories of those frustrations that most people run into on their paper chasing adventure. So as I contemplated sharing the details of the journey the past months it seemed overwhelming and I really just want to jump ahead to the good stuff so I am going to take a different approach.

I think so often we throw out terms especially in the international adoption world that mean nothing to people but they mean everything to us. Words like home study, certification, authentication and dossier. And then of course there is the lingo of DTC, LID, LOI, LOA. So my goal tonight and in the weeks to come is try to explain where we have had our heads buried and where we are going.

When we started the adoption journey we were paper chasing to get our Home Study done. We needed to have our names run in every state we lived in, we needed to have our finger prints run through our state and the FBI, we needed 4 references to be filled out, we each filled out 16 pages of questions about why we want to adopt, about our family, marriage, finances and community. You name it we answered it. We also had to get physicals to make sure we were healthy, gather W-2's and fill out financial statements. We gathered certified copies of our birth certificates and marriage license as well. After all that was completed we were contacted by our Social Worker. We had our first visit on April 3. We had our 2nd visit a few days later. In about a week we had a rough draft in our inbox to look over. It then went to our agency to be approved. Papers had to be sent from state to state as they were signed and notarized. On May 4 we received a letter that our Home Study was approved and instructions on how to fill out paperwork for our I800 fingerprints. On May 19 we received our copies of our notarized Home Study in the mail.

Mission accomplished Home Study in hands.

We then sent our Home Study off with our I800a to USCIS (U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services) and we waited to get our 1st letter from them. On May 26 the letter arrived that told us that on May 24 they received our application. For some reason it was forwarded to another office which made me a little nervous but letting go of things you can't control are the lessons you just keep learning in this process! Sometime it is easier then others. On June 14 we received our Biometric Fingerprint appointment notice. You need an appointment in order to get printed.

We weren't supposed have fingerprints until July 7 but we ended up getting into the USCIS office early on June 29.

On July 2 we received our approval which is called your I-797.

While we were waiting for our Home Study and our I-797 we worked on our Dossier. You might be saying what in the world is a Dossier. A Dossier is the compilation of paperwork, pictures and official documents that an adoptive couple puts together to be sent to the CCAA in China in order to adopt a child.

So when our Dossier is in complete this is what is in it:
*Prospective Adoptive Parent Form
Application Letter
*Husband's Birth Certificate
*Wife's Birth Certificate
*Marriage Certificate
Employment letter - husband
Employment letter - wife
Certificate of Financial Status
Husband's Physical Exam
Wife's Physical Exam
Local or State Police Clearance - husband
Local or State Police Clearance - wife
Home Study
*Passport Page - husband
*Passport Page - wife
I-797 Approval Notice
*Photographs of Family and House

Each document that doesn't have an * by it also needed to be notarized!

So now you can see what we have been busy doing and boy does it feel good to put a check by each of those items and have the list complete!
© The Journey To Our Son

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