Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FAQ - Part 3

Here is the final installment of FAQs.

1. Why does it take so long? or Why can't you just go and get her already?

Adoption just takes awhile, but the China SN program can be one of the quicker international adoption processes. There are US requirements, China requirements and tons of paperwork and it all just takes TIME. Here is a general breakdown of what the steps are and how long each step took us....

Select agency and Complete Home Study - 2.5 months

Apply for I800A (US permission to bring an orphan to American and obtain citizenship for them) - 2 months

During the 2 months of waiting for our I800A approval, we completed all of the documents that we needed for our Dossier. A week after receiving our I800A approval, our Dossier was sent to China!

Formal recognition that China has received our Dossier - 2 weeks

Wait for China to translate and review our Dossier and then issue our LOA (official China approval to adopt Hannah) - 2 months

Apply for I800 (US permission to bring an Hannah to American and obtain citizenship for her) - 2 weeks

Notify Visa center and US Consulate in China of my I800 approval - 1 week

Apply for Hannah's US Visa - 2 weeks

Wait for our Travel Approval from China (last step) - 11 days

After 8 months, 2 weeks and 5 days, we have completed all of the necessary steps and were approved to go get Hannah!

Now we are in the process of making all of our trip arrangements and we will leave on Nov 1st to get our daughter!!!

2. Are Travis, Chase and Hailey excited?

Travis and Chase are very excited! They were excited about getting a new sister through adoption from the first time we talked to them about it. They are so happy to be going to China and can't wait to see Hannah. At age 2, I have no idea what Hailey understands about all of this. We talk about and pray for Hannah every day. If you ask Hailey if she has a sister she says yes, she says her sisters name is Hannah and that she is in China. So, Hailey understands some, but I don't think she has any idea of how much things are going to change. This will be an adjustment for Hailey, but I hope that in time, Hailey and Hannah will be wonderful sisters to each other.

3. What does Hannah know about you? Does she know she is being adopted?

Hannah is 18 months old, and I can't imagine how she could comprehend the concept of adoption. Orphanage life is all she knows and she is too young to understand the concept of a family. It seems that she has a nanny that loves her very much, so it will be a shock for her to be removed from all she knows and to suddenly be with us. We have sent 2 photo albums so she has at least seen our faces before. Sadly, that will be little comfort to her as she begins to process this sudden and extreme change in her little life. Some children of this age deal very well, relatively speaking, with being adopted and others grieve very very hard. I'm sure the loss of her nanny will be so hard for her. There is no way to know how Hannah will handle this enormous change. We are praying each day for God to prepare her heart for this change and the love we have for her. I can't begin to fathom the adjustment this sweet daughter of ours will have to endure to accept our love and eventually reciprocate it. God has begun a good work and we trust that he is faithful to complete it. We believe that Hannah's adoption day is not the completion date, but that the good work continues as He knits our family together after we come home. It may be a quick process or a slow road, but I confident that God will complete this good work.

4. Will you adopt again?

I don't know. Honestly, that one is up to God. We decided we were done after Hailey, and clearly God had other plans for our family. I've learned not to declare myself "done" anymore. I'm very content with the 3 kids we have now and thrilled to be adding Hannah to the mix. So, we will just see what happens. I'm trying to stop making such declarative statements about what I will and won't do in a lot of areas of our life. We are rolling with God's plan (or at least doing our best to) and following his lead. Hannah could be our last or we may be buying a 15 passenger van in a few years. You just never ever know!

Well, I think that wraps up the FAQ series! If you have a question, please still send it to me and I'll be sure to answer it. I hope you were able to learn more about adoption, orphans, China or Hannah through these questions and answers.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6

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