Tuesday, December 27, 2005
How old will Grace be when she comes home?
When we sent our application to China we requested a 6-12 month old or as young as possible. The youngest we have seen at referral is 6 months old, and we will be traveling about 2 months after referral so the youngest she would be when we bring her home is 8 months. Since Jen and I are on the young side (China requires that you are at least 30 to adopt) we expect that we will get a child that is younger, but that is not guaranteed. There is a rule we read while researching Chinese adoption that if you are over 45 you will be referred a 18 month - 3 year old. But we have seen that doesn't always hold true, most referrals are under 1 year old. They do try to honor parents requests but I think, in general, it comes down to the ages of babies that are available for adoption at the time.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
The simple answer is because that is where our daughter is. Sounds like kind of a smart-ass answer but it is truly how we feel. I think though, when people ask us this question what they are really asking is why did we choose to adopt from China rather than the US, Russia or some other country. When we first started researching adoption we bought a book called "The Unofficial Guide to Adoption". The book basically discussed all of the options available and the pros and cons of each country. It would seem that domestic adoption would be the obvious choice and for some couples it is. For us, though, the main reason that we decided against domestic adoption is because the birth mother or father can change their mind and decide that they want that child back. For us that was a show-stopper. Most of you know that we dealt with infertility issues the past couple years and the loss of having to give up a child that we have had in our house and bonded with was something that we just did not want to deal with. We ruled out Russia because there seems to be some instability and corruption in the adoption program. Many of the Russian children are also affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We ruled out Korea because the wait is up to two years. We ruled out the South American countries because of some corruption in the adoption programs there. Adopting from China appeals to us because:
- The program has been running for over ten years, thousands of people from the US and abroad adopt from China every year. It is a well traveled, well documented path that we feel minimizes our risks.
- The need is the greatest. There are millions of little girls in China waiting to be adopted.
The children are generally healthy. Very low incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome or HIV
- They will not give us a child that they know to be sick.
- There are great support groups like Families with Children from China that we can get involved with where our daughter can interact with other children adopted from China.
China has such an interesting history and culture. We look forward to traveling there and learning more about it.
- The Boston area has some great resources to teach Grace about her culture. From Chinatown in Boston to all of the museums in the area that have great exhibits on China. We look forward exploring these places with Grace as she grows up so she keeps a connection with her Chinese heritage.
This doesn't mean that adopting from China is without risk. We will be dealing with and traveling to a communist country that can change the rules or close down its adoption program at any time. There is also been recent news about bird flu that concerns us a bit (I will post a question and answer about this at some point in the future). Overall though, adopting from China just seems right for us. We know the risks and are ready to deal with them.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
We haven't felt real comfortable with our Saturn (which we traded in) and didn't like the idea of driving our child around in car that is made of plastic. We got one of the left-over 2005 models so we got a really good deal on it. Not much new news related directly to the adoption. We are still waiting for our I171 form from the USCIS. These forms seem to take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to process. We are at the 2 week point today so we are hoping to get the form by the end of the month. Our adoption agency posted a message on their website last week that the wait time for referrals has increased from 6-7 months to 7-8 months. They didn't give a reason for the increase just that they expect longer wait times into 2006. It is a little frustrating to hear this but in the big scheme of things a couple extra months isn't really that big of a deal.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
We are Steve and Jen. We met in May 1997 and were married July 28, 2001. After a couple years of being married we decided it was time to start a family. After almost a year of trying on our own with no luck we decided to get some help from a fertility specialist. Six IUIs and two IVFs later we decided that starting a family was what was important to us. We planned to try one more IVF and in the meantime look into adoption. The Third IVF did not work, and as much as it hurt we have so much to look forward to in getting our little girl from China.
After all of the heartbreak that we had been through with the failed fertility treatments we decided that domestic adoption was not a good fit for us. We did not feel comfortable with open adoptions where the birth mother still has a role your child's life. The birth mother can also change her mind and decide that she wants the child back after he/she has been in your home and has attached (this seems to happen very often). We've had so much loss lately that we would hate to have an adoption interrupted or wait longer since the wait can sometimes take years.
Through our research we both separately decided that Chinese adoption was really calling out to us. The more research we did, the more Chinese adoption just seemed right. There are hundreds of thousands of infant girls abandoned in China every year. There are many myths surrounding the abandonment of these little girls. It is a complicated issue that has a lot to do with China's population control (one child policy) as well as a cultural bias favoring boys. This bias comes from the fact that when a boy grows up he is expected to care for his elderly parents. A Chinese girl grows up, marries and is expected to care for her husband's parents.
The process of adopting from China should take us about a year if everything goes well. We have found an local agency called China Adoptions with Love that we will be working with. We found this agency through an article we read in the Boston Globe about a couple who used them to adopt from China. Read the article here.
The following are the steps that we will be going through in this process
- Attend Orientation - Done
- Apply to the Agency - Done
- Attend Intake Interview - Done
- Home Study - Social Worker will visit us in our home to decide if we are fit to parent - Done
- Apply to USCIS - This is a US gov't agency that decides if we can bring a child into the country - Done
- Get criminal background checks and fingerprinting- Done
- CAWLI takes the dossier of documentation completed above, authenticates them, translates them to Chinese and sends them off to China- Done
- At this stage we will be considered dossier to China (DTC) and the wait is about 8** months to get a referral- Done
- Referral - we will get a picture and some basic information about our little girl.
Travel to China - 4 - 6 weeks after getting our referral we will travel to China to get Grace. We will be there for about 2 weeks. Usually includes sightseeing, travel to province to get our daughter, travel to Shiamen Island to the consulate to finalize everything and then go home.
We plan to request a six - twelve month old (this is the youngest we can request) but there are no guarantees on the age. In general the Chinese adoptees are in good health and transition well into American families. The process will be a long and bumpy road but having our little Gracie will make it all worthwhile.
**At the time we started this process the wait was about 8 month. By the time we get our referral we will have waited 27 months. More than three times longer than we initially thought.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
7/31/2005 - Sent application to CAWLI
8/17/2005 - Attended intake meeting at CAWLI
8/30/2005 - First Home Study Meeting
9/15/2005 - Steve's Individual Home Study Meeting
9/19/2005 -Jen's Individual Home Study Meeting
9/29/2005 - Final Home Study Appointment
10/12/2005 -Received preliminary Home Study
10/23/2005 -Received completed Home Study
10/26/2005 - Mailed I600A to USCIS
11/5/2005 - Got Fingerprinted
11/23/2005 - Received USCIS approval
12/14/2005 - Dossier sent to China (DTC)
1/5/2006 - Log In Date (LID)
4/28/2006 - Received Brown Envelope
6/4/2006 - Attended Parent Travel Advisory Group Meeting at CAWLI
10/25/2006 - Home Study Update Complete
11/3/2006 - Through Review Room
12/27/2006 - Mailed USCIS to request re-fingerprinting appointment
1/23/2007 - Got Re-Fingerprinted
4/2/2007 - Mailed I600A renewal to USCIS
4/11/2007 - Received new USCIS approval
7/16/2007 - Received 2nd Brown Envelope
10/20/2007 - 2nd Home Study Update Complete
2/20/2008 - Mailed USCIS to request re-fingerprinting appointment
2/18/2008 - Got Re-fingerprinted again
4/4/2008 - Referral Day
4/7/2008 - Mailed Visa application
4/28/2008 - Received Travel Approval
4/30/2008 - Recieved Visas
5/22/2008 - Leave for China
5/26/2008 - Family Day!!!!!
6/4/2008 - Home
Sunday, May 01, 2005
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