So much has happened in the last 10 months (10 months!). The dossier is completed, we’ve been matched with our daughter, Zhao Ya Qin, and we are set to travel in several weeks. It’s been an adventure. I’m sure Jennifer would have a unique perspective on the time. Hopefully she will write something and post it.
- We received a profile for a beautiful girl with Spina Bifida on July 29th. It was a painful decision but we could not accept the match as the little girl would be paralyzed for life. We were not expecting a match so soon. We also did not anticipate having to say no. However we knew it would be beyond our abilities and means to care for this precious little girl and we hoped the agency would find the perfect forever family for her.
- The paperwork ended up being less stressful than anticipated. The exception was on my birthday. One more document needed County Clerk Certification and several needed state certification. My plan was to go to CCAI, get the document notarized, get it CC Certified, and go downtown to get all the GA documents State Certified. This plan was executed perfectly and I was home by 12:30, looking forward to enjoying the rest of my day. As I put all the documents together to be mailed to their respective Chinese consulates I noticed something in CCAI’s documentation packet. Documents “expire” after 6 months!!! Our physical examinations were at their limit. If we had to get exams again we would be paying out of pocket and we would be required to have those documents notarized, CC Certified and State Certified, the very thing I accomplished that day. I began freaking out and called CCAI, the Doctors office (to get prices on exams), and couriers. Chinese embassies require documents be delivered via courier and Authentication by the Chinese embassies was all we were missing. The cost to have a second yearly exam was close to $1000 for both of us. I decided to send in all the documents and hope the dates would be acceptable. After spending several hours on the phone and getting documentation compiled, money orders purchased, and all the documents photocopied everything was overnight-ed in the nick of time. We received our authenticated documents back in a couple of weeks and breathed a sigh of relief.
- On Halloween we received our second call from CCAI for a potential match. This time it was for a beautiful girl named Zhao Ya Qin. We were given a week to review the file and contact CCAI about our decision. We visited our family doctor and reviewed her file. He felt it was something we could handle and provided the name and number of a specialist. After a few phone calls and several discussions we decided to say yes. And that is how Zhao Ya Qin (Penelope) became our daughter.
- On December 28th (my mother’s birthday) our dossier was logged in. We were officially in the CCCWA’s system! Just when I thought the paperwork was over I found out there was more. Documentation for CCAI, immunization affidavits, the I-800, and Visa applications were still on the horizon.
- On March 22nd we sent a package to Zhumadian Social Welfare institute with our pictures, cameras to get updated photos of Penelope, and several gifts for the children.
- On April 16th CCAI provided updates about Penelope. Up until this time we only had the information provided on October 31st. We found out she weighed 26lb and was 31″ tall. Having gathered information from the website where Penelope was currently residing, I checked back in hope of learning even more. I was rewarded with several newsletters containing updates about her surgeries and new pictures! This was a whirlwind of a day!
- On April 18th we received confirmation that Penelope’s Article 5 was processed. At this point we are waiting for Travel Approval from China.
- On April 23rd we celebrated Jennifer’s birthday
That’s the process timeline up till now. So much more has happened. For me, working on our hall bathroom has become an all consuming project, taking weekends and weeknights to complete before we travel. Pictures are sure to be posted one day. At this time though I can say the room was torn down to the studs (literally), the toilet, sink, and tub all removed, and the shower’s plumbing updated. People ask me if I’m nervous or excited. The truth is I’m so busy with housework I don’t have time to be. I’m immersed in this home renovation project. XTC is the soundtrack to that project. Thankfully Jennifer is long suffering as she has allowed me to listen to them non stop (really, all the time).