I haven't posted any adoption news in a while, but we are making serious progress! I thought I'd share the details for those of who might be wondering what in the world has happened since we accepted our son's referral.
I posted earlier about LOA; we then applied for our I800--approval from U.S. Immigration to adopt this specific child. We received this approval on March 22, and have been waiting to hear that this petition has been forwarded to the U.S. Consulate in China where we will complete our adoption. When the National Visa Center forwards this, they also send a letter via snail mail stating that they've done so. Requesting the letter via email speeds up the process.
I'm happy to report that we received this letter via email this morning! What a great start to my week.
Here's what happens next:
We now wait for our Article 5 letter to be issued by the U.S. Embassy. (Thankfully this requires no effort on our part.) Our adoption agency will forward our NVC letter to their representative in China. The in-China rep will take our NVC letter to the U.S. Embassy in Guangzhou along with our DS-230 application and LOA. The U.S. Embassy only allows representatives to drop off the paperwork on certain days.
The consulate must review our new child's visa application (the DS-230), make 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. We cannot obtain custody of our child until the Article 5 letter is issued. This process should take a standard two weeks.
Once the Article 5 is picked up from the consulate, it will be delivered directly to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, who will then issue us Travel Approval!
We also need to apply for our visas this week. And. . . I don't know. . . maybe think about packing? We are SO close!