"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17

"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17
Thank you so much for coming to check out my brand spankin' new blog! I've never "blogged" before, so here goes nothin'! This page is inspired by our adoption process, and I am hoping to get words of encouragement or advice every step along the way :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What to Expect... When You're Adopting

We have been getting many of the same questions asked about our journey, the main one being "What is next?". Good question! I know basically the way it goes is: Submit your application, have people come put you and your life under a microscope, submit the application to the country of your choosing, wait, wait, wait, the country approves you, you get a "referral" (AKA a child), travel to said country, pick up baby, and all is hunky dory. 
Sad to say there is a lot more involved in this, and I wasn't purposely being naive about the process but I really had no clue. Here is what I found out through much internet research.

1) Submit your application. Yay! We were approved! ~I liken this to the home pregnancy test. It says positive, but you need the doctor's test to be sure.

2) Submit another application, this one being the more "formal" one. Yay, approved again! Apparently we look great on paper ;) ~You have officially been diagnosed as Paper Pregnant!

3) Start the arduous process of paying the adoption fees. This first one is not too high, maybe as a way to 'ease' into the financial aspect. Then it snowballs from there!

4) Homestudy time and paperwork. We downloaded and printed 25 (yes, I counted) attachments and have begun to fill them out. According to, a home study is an in-depth review of you, your family, your finances, and your home environment. 
During this time you will also be building your dossier, (fancy word for documents with detailed information about you), and getting these documents notarized. This can take several months, and it's where we are sitting right now.

5) Fill out more forms, most notably the Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country (I-800A) seeking approval to adopt a child from China. Then you certify this form, and you are officially a Dossier to China.

6) Once China logs in your dossier, you obtain your LID (Log In Date). There are several websites that estimate how long the wait is from getting your LID to actually getting a referral of a child. It varies so much that it is really hard to tell, and varies even more if you are willing to accept a "special needs" child. At any rate, the process is almost complete at this step!

7) Now you are waiting to be matched with a child. In pregnancy terms, you have entered the last trimester. You are tired of waiting. You want to meet your baby or child. And you are completely helpless to hurry the process along. This step ends when you receive the actual referral of your child. You can choose to decline the referral and wait some more, or accept the referral in which you have 72 hours to submit an LOI (Letter of Intent) stating that this is YOUR baby and you want to come claim him or her!!! 

8) You will then begin waiting for your LOA (Letter of Acceptance)This can take anywhere from 1-5 months, with 52 days being the average ( 

9) Next: More forms. Look at it as the early stages of labor. This time it is the Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative (I-800). This takes about 3 weeks to be approved. Then there is some stuff about travel visa's, Article 5, yadayadayada... Your water is broken and you aren't paying attention.

10) Get your travel documentation from your agency and go pick up your child!! 
It's easy as pie right?? So that is why it is so hard to answer the timeline questions, because there are so many things that are out of our control. All I can do is stay motivated and realize that anything worth having is worth fighting for!
~Erin XOXO


  1. Hey Erin, thanks for posting on my blog today and sharing yours! I just sent you an email if you ever want to connect that way. Congrats on your decision to adopt!

  2. Thanks for putting this on Facebook! I always come read it when you post a new one. :) Just know that we are praying for you guys and want to help support you however we can along the way. Love you guys!