Monday, February 20, 2006

Hannah's Care Package

So, here's what I included in Hannah's care package:
  1. pajamas and slippers
  2. cute little sweats outfit
  3. photo album (pictues of me, my house, etc.)
  4. two disposable cameras (the workers at her orphanage will take pictures of her with them and give back to me when I go get her)
  5. small stuffed animal (bunny at the top - the yellow dog didn't make it in - not enough room. I'll take it with me to China)
  6. Small tape player
  7. The book Goodnight Moon along with a cassette tape of me reading the book and a picture of me reading the book
  8. 2 packs of dollar tree sunglasses (for sharing with the other children)
  9. candy and gum for her foster family and the orphanage workers

Hannah's Referral Pictures



Hi! I have created this "blog" to keep family and friends informed about my adoption process. I hope you'll check back often as I update everyone on my journey to Hannah Xiu. I hope to be able to update this informaiton during my travel to China as well. Hannah is a 2 year old girl currently residing in foster care provided through the Wuhan Children's Welfare Institute in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. I hope to travel to get her early this summer. Here's a quick "primer" on the process of adopting from China and where I am in the process right now.

August 2005 - Decided to "go for it" and begin the adoption process
September 2005 - researched agencies, finally deciding on Lifeline Adoption here in Birmingham, AL (They have been GREAT!)
October 11, 2005 - Attended an adoption seminar by Lifeline
October 18, 2005 - Mailed off my official application to adopt to Lifeline
October 27, 2005 - First Homestudy meeting with my social worker (four visits are required by China. During these visits we discuss the process and my entire life: childhood, adult experiences, job, finances, motivation to adopt, parenting viewpoints, etc.)
November 1, 2005 - Called Lifeline and said "YES" to one of their waiting children: a 2 year old with a repaired cleft lip and unrepaired cleft palate. Her report says she likes music and will dance when she hears it!
November 3, 2005 - 2nd homestudy visit with social worker
November and December: paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! Completed educational readings for Lifeline, wrote my autobiography for Homestudy, completed discussion questions on parenting, transracial adoptions, special needs, and raising children who are adopted. I gathered items for my "dossier' including birth certificate, statement of single status, verification of emplyment and income, certificate of non-criminal activity, and more! Had fingerprints taken for ABI, FBI, and CIS (citizenship and immigration service). Reference letters gathered, had medical exam and required bloodwork, got all documents notarized.
November 21, 2005 - My official LOI (Letter of Intent) for "Wu Su Xiu" (Hannah) sent to China. Had my 3rd homestudy visith with social worker. This one was my "home visit".
November 28, 2005 - 4th Homestudy visit with my social worker.
December 21, 2005 - CIS fingerprints taken
December 28, 2005 - Home study approved by agency
December 30, 2005 - Home Study approved by DHR and sent to CIS
January 18, 2006 - Received my PRE-APPROVAL from China that says "yes, you can adopt Hannah!"
January 21, 2006 - Mailed my care package to Hannah!! This is her first introduction to the idea of being adopted.
February 1, 2006 - Citizenship and Immigration Approval (This is from the Department of Homeland Security and says our government has approved me to bring a child into the U.S.) This was my LAST piece of paperwork to arrive!
February 2, 2006 - I took all my documents to Columbiana to be certified and then drove them to Montgomery to be state-certified.
February 3, 2006 - Fed-exed all my documents to the Houston Chinese Consulate for "authentication". They authenticate everything and then send it back to my agency.
February 5, 2006 - Received word that Lifeline's facilitator in China received Hannah's care package and is sending it on to her.
February 14 - HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! I received a GREAT Valentine's present. Karla, my social worker, e-mailed to let me know they received my documents from Houston and they sent my dossier to China. This is my official "DTC DATE" (Dossier to China)
She will let me know when I receive my "log-in date" and that starts the last official countdown until my "Travel Approval" (i.e. - "Come get your child" notice!)

**Current time from "LID" (Log-in date") to travel approval is 80-100 days. It seems to be increasing, so pray for a quick travel approval!