Not gonna lie to you, I don't really fully comprehend this new waiting child adoption process. Ever since China and the US entered into the Hague Convention, the rules have changed. And it's not as though we haven't adopted before...from China...in the waiting child program...only 3 years ago.
But apparently I am good at following directions, and compiling dossiers, and notarizing, and certifying, and authenticating, and filing forms, and overnighting packages. And so here we are. Let's just say that if adopting a child required Steve's participation in paperwork (other than signing on the dotted line)...well, let's just be glad it doesn't.
So, just for anyone who's morbidly curious as to what's next in our process, here goes:
1) I-800 approval. I overnighted the appropriate I-800 form and the I-864W form on 8/26 to the facility in Texas. From there it is rerouted to Missouri to the National Benefits Center and eventually to the hands of our caseworker.
2) National Visa Center cable. Once our I-800 is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center to be cabled to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou. Once we receive the letter from NVC, we compile a packet of approvals and forms to send back to our agency.
3) DS-230. Once our agency receives our packet, our DS-230, which is one of the documents in that packet, is then sent to Beijing. From there it is delivered to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou. The DS-230 is the form used to apply for Jia Wen's visa.
4) Article 5. At the Consulate, our approvals are verified and an Article 5 is issued.
5) Travel Approval. Once the Article 5 is delivered to the CCAA, they begin to process our Travel Approval. This is when we are given a Consulate appointment and firm travel dates.
The whole process could take anywhere from 2-3 months. Once we have our travel approval, we should travel within 2-3 weeks.
Of course I should include the usual adoption disclaimer: Any and all steps within the adoption process may or may not occur within the extremely variable time frame that probably won't apply to you anyway regardless of previous experience, politeness to the appropriate officials, or neatness on paperwork.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.