Note: All names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
During the infertility journey we started talking about adoption and we looked at a few agencies both in state and out of state. We went to agency presentations, read marketing materials and talked with adoptive parents and social workers.
We fielded lots of questions during the research process including; "Why don't you ask your sister to bear a child for you?", "Why would you want to bring someone you don't know into your home?" "What will their health be like in the future?"
We decided to proceed with an international adoption from China. We ended up choosing a simple local agency (as opposed to one whose advertising pieces had the quality of a high end magazine). The agency is multi-country and works with Guatemala, Korea, the Philippines and China.
We decided on a multi-country agency versus a single country because of the chance that the country we were working toward would close out during the paper chase so that we would have other options and not start anew with a different agency.
After deciding on the agency we started the "paper chase", which is time consuming and you really find out about how much red tape is in government. The process seems to be endless; initial application, which once that is accepted your specific country application.
The application included a biography of each parent, medical assessments, personal letters of recommendation, home study, fire inspection, fingerprinting by both the state of Ohio and the federal government, pictures and much more.
In addition, visits by the social worker were required as well as attending classes on multi cultural, bonding, medical issues and the like. We have two binders that are three inches think and we have accumulated two bookshelves filled with books on China, adoption, parenting and various similar topics.
Once all together, ours measured almost an inch, it becomes a "dossier" which is then sent onto the state of Ohio for sealing, then onto the Chinese consulate in New York for sealing then back to the agency that sends it onto China. This process took from May to October. Our dossier was officially logged in with the CCCA (Chinese governmental agency on December 13, 2006.
As of the end of August, 2009 placements have been completed for dossiers logged in through March 14, 2006. For those of you who are counting, yes we have been waiting almost three.
Our home study was renewed in August and to do that we had to update medical, personal letters, social worker visits, another fire inspection and finger prints checked again with the state and feds. During your "waiting" time everything must stay current or your adoption can't proceed.
Next, the wait continues.
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break. (Ancient Chinese Legend)
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Adopting a Chinese Baby - Part 1