The U.S. Consulate reviews your new child's visa application, makes sure it meets the qualifications for an immigrant visa, and then signs off that everything is in order for the adoption to be completed. This is called the Article 5 letter. You cannot obtain custody of your child until the Article 5 letter is issued.
So guess what? Looks like everything is in order for this adoption to be completed! We are now officially waiting for Travel Approval, which should arrive in 2-4 weeks. Once it arrives and we have a Consulate Appointment scheduled for the end of our trip, we will leave within three to six weeks, hopefully three. We're praying for sooner rather than later; you can join us in praying that way, if you're so inclined.
When I opened the email, which I wasn't really expecting until tomorrow, I laughed and grinned and may have clapped my hands...and then suddenly I was bawling. Which confused my older daughter, who is yet unfamiliar with crying as a manifestation of happiness. Once our dossier was sent to China, and especially once we signed the Letter of Intent for Jiushu, I calmed down. Way down. And I've just been clicking along here for a while now, doing the next thing, adoption and otherwise. Eager, but not emotional. Until today's email. New dose of reality, to say the least. We. Are. Going. To. China!