Thursday, August 26, 2004

Papers flying to China tonight - August 26

Eight months and one day from the date Taney & I completed our CCAI application form (last Christmas Day), our papers tonight are being couriered to be delivered by hand tonight.


We are both thrilled and delighted.

Taney & I hope to hear soon if we are classified as dossier to China (DTC) for August or September. The Chinese categorize this and we wait hoping...

There was one minor glich that a certificate from our home study agency expired August 1, but this was quickly dealt with and did not create further delay.

The additional papers sent to Colorado add more miles to the total length of the paper trail, now closer to 16,000 miles all told. It is still only 8,500 miles to Hong Kong!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Translation complete - August 24.

This afternoon Taney & I both heard from Hilary in the dossier department to inform us that our dossier was translated, the final papers received today and within the week our dossier is due to be sent to China.


Now the waiting for our daughters referral begins.

This call was truly out of the blue as neither of us expected translation to take less than a month.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

August 10, Dossier to Colorado

Taney spent most of the morning, copying everything for our dossier, signing checks, credit card authorizations and sending our completed dossier documents to Colorado with the help of our local Kinko's and Fed-Ex.

Since we started writing our adoption agency application last December 25, it has taken 7 months, 16 days and a couple of hours, minutes and seconds to reach this part of our adoption journey.

When asked the value of the paperwork, Taney commented on the value of nearly eight months of blood, sweat and tears.

Adding up the miles that application forms, home study visits, trips to state capitals, fingerprinting, and Washington DC that have been made to move our mountain of dossier paperwork it is according to my estimates around 14,000 miles. It is only a little over 8,000 miles to Hong Kong from Hatboro and to our daughter. I would say that our dossier is one heck of a detour to China.

Nevertheless, Taney & I are thrilled and delighted that our dossier is heading to CCAI in Colorado where it is to be translated and then sent to China, (DTC) dossier to China anticipated in about a month.

The pressure of paperchasing is now behind us, the process of ensuring each piece of paper is correctly notarized and authenticated by the right people and more importantly in the right order. The confusion of having papers generated from the UK, and two states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey adding in the need to work with multiple government departments simply added to "fun" of the paperchase.

A deep sigh of relief can be heard from both of us today, August 10 will be a red letter day in the Friend family as the day the dossier was completed.

Now we wait for the call to tell us that our dossier has been sent to China. Then we wait a little longer for the referral of our daughter and our first photograph. Then we go to get Little Blossom!

I am not sure how I will cope with the waiting, at least for the past 7 months we have been active, doing something, getting papers together, making calls, chasing papers, chasing people, motivating others to get on board now we simply wait.

Taney and made it very clear in the last post that we have many people to thank. I want to add to the list a little more. To Taney who has truly managed the papertrail for us both and made sure that "one more day" was not an option.

If Taney has called me her rock, then Taney is my lighthouse who has lit the way along the adoption journey this far. Taney has made an awesome project manager in this part of our adoption journey and has created a binder that contains all our paperwork has grown and be ordered and organized just so that everything is easily to hand.

Thanks also to both our families who have provided an ear and a shoulder when the delays from Scotland Yard and the Homeland Security became unbearable.

Thanks to our friends and family who so kindly wrote such beautiful references as part of our home study.

To repeat Taney, also to Hilary, Manager of the Dossier Department at CCAI who has been a great source of help, advice and motivation.

And finally thanks to my colleagues at MSAA, especially those in my department who have heard the ups and downs of the last months and have been understanding in working with me around personal days used in the process, Terry, Tina and Brenda, not forgetting Gary, Peter and Mary.

August 9, update posted on APC

As I write this I am about to fall over with exhaustion. I woke up today at
3:15am and took the 4:50am train from Philly to D.C. to take the rest of my
paperwork to first the British Embassy then authenticate it (which I had to go
back to do again long story) then to the PRC. I am now DONE WITH THE PAPERCHASE!
I want to thank (as if this were the Oscars of paperchase) APC and
Paperchase2000 for their kind words, helpful hints, and the needed support to get
through this. CCAI who have been so far the most Helpful, always there when I need
them, I am so glad I am with this agency IMO they are the best. A special shout
out to the Dossier team because without Hilary I would never had made it with
my marbles in tact. To Marteen at the British Embassy in D.C. who was always
a pleasure to call, and to the PRC consulate who were so patient with me when
I needed to go get one more thing authenticated. And of course to my DH who
has been my rock when I needed him and who will be the best Baba sniff sniff.
Okay I am going to bed.
I am sending the completed dossier and pics to CCAI tomorrow:)

Monday, August 09, 2004

August 9. Washington DC

With all our paperwork together, Taney headed to Washington DC to visit the British Consulate where she met Martine the delightful lady who has helped us in the past from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, then to the State Department in DC before heading to the Consulate for the Peoples Republic of China.

A minor pothole was hit as although the papers the originated from Pennsylvania had been notarized, and authenticated in Harrisburg the state capitol of Pennsylvania, the PRC insisted on the authentication from the DC office of the Harrisburg authentication.

This instruction did not seem clear from our adoption manual through our agency, although Taney managed to get back to the State Department in DC, return to the PRC and at the time of writing expects to be able to collect all the papers from the PRC before the end of today.

I have my fingers crossed.

The alternative would have possibly been a trip to New York for Taney, but as of this morning we understand that there is an up to three week wait for authentication of papers, so despite the very long day that started at 3:15am this morning, it is possible, very possible that we will have our paperchase complete by the end of today.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

I797 received.

Much activity has been going on since the last posting and here is an update that Taney has written on behalf of us both.

My husband should apologize the absence of any postings to the red thread. I am indeed guilty as well for the lack of postings since the Fingerprint appointment. So, what has been happening... Well, we sent in the Homestudy as soon as we were fingerprinted and waited and we waited for the USCIS to send us the infamous I171H (petion to adopt) which name has been changed to the I-797. On June the 23rd we received a letter from the homeland security office being much elated I opened it and to my shock they asked for an addendum to our Homestudy because our SW had pharaphased two parts of the Homestudy ARG! After many panic phone calls to our SW who was on Vacation, we got a hold of her. She sent us the pages which arrived July 2. We sent the addendum to USCIS all the while try to keep a contact between USCIS open so I would know when the I-797 would arrive or at least know if any further problems with the Homestudy addendum. Our package arrived July 6th and at this time the person in charge of processing our paperwork decided to take a leave of absence for one week. What was not told to us that she lengthened her absence from one week to two weeks. When I called the USCIS July the 23rd to see how our paperwork was going I was informed that person in Charge was again away from the office. I immeaditly broke down in tears and demanded a supervisor. I spoke to a very nice lady who first had to find my Paperwork then process it. After much angst and tears the I-797 arrived in my mail box July 30.