Our Adoption Timeline

A chronicle of all the things that we had to do to bring Meili Grace home. She is worth every bit of it!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Our Adoption Timeline

2-22-05 Contacted GWCA-requested info packet

4-23-05 Attended East Meets West conference in Pasadena, CA-won a free Dragon Plan and website, also $50 off of application fee.

9-??-05 Home equity loan funded.

9-06-05 Sent application to Great Wall China Adoption

9-12-05 GWCA application received

9-13-05 GWCA application approved!

9-14-05 Sent away for marriage certificate (post note-sent request to wrong county. Even though we were married in San Diego County, our request should have been sent to Los Angeles County where our marriage license was originated.)

9-18-05 Sent away for Matt’s birth certificates (2) and Jenn’s birth certificates (3)
ICF orientation meeting. Jenn was the only one who showed up so it counted as home study visit #1!

9-19-05- Jenn cleaned house like a crazy-woman shampooing all carpets and upholstered surfaces, cleaning the downstairs tile grout with a toothbrush, 8 magic erasers on the walls, vacuumed all blinds and windowsills, and over-stocked the cupboards. Strange to nest first this time!

9-22-05 Second home study visit-went great. Could have gotten away with doing about ¼ of the cleaning. Noah pointed out China on the globe to our social-worker, Jackie. Emailed guardianship statement to Todd and Wendy. Sent away for another marriage certificate. Emailed reference letter requests to Debbie and Judy (the grandmas), Torrey (our friend & neighbor), Diane and Blaine (friends in Utah and former day-care provider), and Jen and Tim (our Utah friends and former neighbors, current vacation buddies). Debbie’s letter was done within a few hours of the request. We were not surprised!

9-24-05 Third home study visit (Adoption 101 meeting). Received Jenn’s birth certificate.
9-26-05 Xander’s doctor appointment. Jenn’s doctor appointment. Torrey completes reference letter. Jenn goes to AAA for passport photos.

9-27-05 Jenn sends in passport application. Matt doctor appointment and passport photos.
9-28-05 Matt sends in passport application.

9-30-05 Received marriage certificate in the mail. Taylor’s doctor appointment and hep A vaccination. Jenn gets police clearance letter.

10-01-05 Judy completes reference letter. Diane completes reference letter. Matt has bloodwork done.

10-02-05 Matt answers questions regarding guardianship statement.

10-03-05 Fingerprinting appointment (for homestudy). Matt gets his police clearance letter. Matt’s birth certificate is lost. This starts a “fun” time of contacting Vitalchek for a replacement.

10-04-05 call Vitalchek. Picked up Matt’s medical report for homestudy. Called Jen to check on reference letter status.

10-05-05 Jen and Tim finish reference letter and will send it out tomorrow. Made appointment for last homestudy visit (10-10-05). It will consist of individual interviews. Spent 2 ½ hours on phone (on hold) with Vitalchek to find lost b.c. Never got an answer.


10-06-05 Noah and Audrey have doctor appointments. Jenn asks doctor about her willingness to prescribe some basic meds to take to China. Dr. responds by looking at Jenn as if she has just asked for crack and proceeds to tell that based on her experience (with 3 china-adopted patients) that our child won’t need any medication and will be perfectly healthy. Any pediatrician recommendations in the Tucson area???

Debbie goes to the LA County Registrar/Recorder to get Matt’s b.c. herself and will next-day air it to us. Thank you Debbie! Emailed GWCA to have questions about our medical reports answered. Received guardianship statement from Todd and Wendy.

10/07/05 Matt’s b.c. arrives. Made 3 copies and sent off I-600a application by certified mail. Copied all home study documents.

10-08-05 Matt gets second set of passport photos. Checked on UPS adoption benefit. They will reimburse $3500. Will increase life insurance next week.

10-10-05 Last home study visit. Turned in all home study documents.

10-11-05 Emailed medical reports to GWCA for review as well as financial statement. Found a notary (Valerie) to take to doctor’s offices.

10-19-05 Jackie (sw) called to say that the home study was complete and that it was being reviewed by GWCA office in Beijing!

10-20-05 Notified that I-600a application had arrived at USCIS on 10/19 (sent on 10/7-12 days to get from Tucson, AZ to TUCSON, AZ!!!)

10-21-05 Received I-600a receipt for $665 from USCIS (5 days before rate increase!) Received post-placement agreement from Jackie.

10-24-05 Home study submitted to court. Received Jenn’s passport (less than 4 weeks!)

10-25-05 Met notary at the doctor’s offices. Matt redid his employment letter. Went to the bank and notarized dossier documents.


11-9-05 Received home study certified from the court. Submitted dossier documents (mailer #1) to GWCA.

11-11-05 GWCA sent off documents for certification and authentication

11-16-05 Email from Jackie-fingerprinting instructions are on the way.

11-21-05 Received in mail fingerprinting appointment for Dec. 6th at 11:30 a.m. or any Wednesday.

11-21-05 Fingerprinted and awaiting the I-171H-last document that we need for our dossier!

12-05-05 Still waiting…


12-07-05 …and waiting…

12-14-05 …and waiting some more…

Dossier documents from the first mailing have been successfully certified and authenticated.



Happy Birthday to me!!! My favorite gift came from the USCIS...the I-171H finally arrived!!! A copy was notarized at the bank-found one open later on Saturday. Now to finalize mailer #2 and have it ready to send off on Monday.

1-09-06 Assembled Mailer #2. Fed Ex'd it to GWCA.

1-10-06 GWCA received our documents and sent the I-171 H out overnight for certification.

1-23-06 I-171H is LOST!!! Re-copied, re-notarized and re-certified it ourselves. Will Fed-ex it out tomorrow morning to our agency.

1-24-06 Original certified I-171H is delivered to our agency at 8:15 am. Fed Ex tracking shows that it was picked up at the AZ Secretary of State at 10:00 am the previous day even though they swore that it had left their hands on the 14th of January. Hmmm.... Great Wall sends out the certified I-171H to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles for authentication. Should only take 4 days to complete plus a weekend and a couple of shut-down days for Chinese New Year. A February 10th DTC just might be possible...


2-06-06 Realized that Matt's passport was not signed when we copied it. Sent a new signed copy via e-mail to our agency. They still have not received the authenticated I-171H back from the Chinese Consulate. It needs to be received by Wednesday at 10 am in order for our dossier to be sent to China on Friday. Fingers are crossed!!!

2-16-06 Authenticated I-171H received by GWCA. We will be DTC tomorrow!!!

2-17-06 DTC after 5 months and 11 days of paperchasing!!!

3-10-06 LID-Dossier logged in at CCAA in Beijing

3-30-06 Recieved our 'Ladybug Letter' from Great Wall announcing our LID.