Now What?

In case you missed it, Ryan and I receive pre-approval to adopt the cutest little boy in China. Meet our son...Tucker Y. Abell!!!

So now people have been asking us how much longer until we bring him home. Here is the updated timeline:

07/19/12 - Felt calling to adopt a child with CL/CP
08/04/12 - Made the decision to adopt
09/06/12 - Submitted application to Lifeline Children Services
09/24/12 - Submitted application to a MLJ for Home Study
11/02/12 - Submitted binder to MLJ with Home Study requirements
12/18/12 - Finalized Home Study Report completed
12/20/12 - USCIS received our Immigration application
12/31/12 - Fingerprint appointment date and time received
01/23/13 - 10:45 a.m. Call from Lifeline - saw our son!!!
01/23/13 - 11:00 a.m. Fingerprint appointment at USCIS
02/11/13 - I-797 Approval - Allows us to bring a child into the US
02/21/13 - State Authentications
03/01/13 - Chinese Consulate Authentication
03/01/13 - Letter of Intent (LOI) - not processed until after LID
03/04/13 - Dossier to China (DTC)
03/20/13 - Log In Date (LID)
03/29/13 - Pre-Approval (PA)
               - Letter of Acceptance (LOA)
               - I-800 (Immigration Application for our son)
               - National Visa Center
               - Article 5
               - Travel Approval (TA)
               - Depart
               - Meet Our Son!!!
               - Consulate Appointment
               - Home!!!

So now we are waiting for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA), or it is sometimes called Letter Seeking Confirmation. The LOA gives families FINAL APPROVAL to move forward with the adoption. The wait for LOA averages around 60 days, but I have seen them as short as 30+ days to as long as 120 days. Anything before 90 is considered typical. I am very thankful for busy months of April and Mayour family will have in order to help pass the time waiting for LOA. From what I can tell from other families experiencing it, this part of the adoption process in China can be grueling. I am hopeful we will receive our LOA sometime in May. Once that happens, I think they say 8-10 weeks to travel is very typical.

After receiving LOA, we will submit Tucker's paperwork to USCIS (immigration) in order to get our government's approval to bring him home to the US. Once they give us permission, it looks like things move pretty quickly! One form leads to another form and before you know it, you're boarding a plane to fly halfway across the world. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

I have been SOOO blessed by other momma's adopting from the same province where Tuck lives. These moms have already picked up their babies and completed an orphanage visit, or they received pictures from a care package. Either way, after I posted pictures of Tucker on FB, they began contacting me with pictures of him. I got 6 new ones this week. As you can imagine, every small glimpse of him warms my heart. To see him playing, smiling, and with the same group of children is just amazing. We like to call Tuck the photo bomber because somehow he ends up in other people's pictures/videos quite often. It will be so special for him to have these videos and pictures someday, too, as he begins to process where he lived for the first 2+ years of his life. Noah and Liam will have hundreds of pictures of themselves someday, so anything we are able to get of Tucker means so much to us.

Through Facebook, I have made the greatest friends also going through the adoption process. The support, encouragement, love, and prayers that these men and women have provided has been priceless. I group message with three women every single day throughout the day on Facebook, and they are all incredible! My friend and I started a private Facebook group for families who have or are in the process of adopting children from the province where Tuck lives. Not only is it amazing support for each other, but it also allows us to keep our children who have grown up together in touch, as well. When they start dealing with identity development issues, we are hopeful that just having each other will help them...if even only a little bit. We live all over the country, but you can bet that we will make sure our children meet and keep in touch.

I also want to thank all of you again who read this blog and have shown our family so much love through your comments, email, and FB posts. We are SO SO SO blessed to have all of you in our lives. Many people have not experienced the love and support that we have, so we understand how lucky we are.

Please pray that we will be Out of Translater (OOT) soon. This is when they translate all of our documents for processing the LOA. Once we are OOT, we will be that much closer to LOA. :) Then, we will naturally be one step closer to our son...sweet Tuck.

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