We have been given the green light from our case worker to go ahead and start the process of Application II. She said that we can turn it in as soon as the end of March. I don't think we'll be getting it in that soon because it is very involved and wants to know lots of things about us: how much our house is worth, full physical check-ups for Lyndal and I, health status on the kids, background checks, reference letters, notarizing things, etc. We have had to go slow at first because there has to be at least a years' difference between our last biological child and our adopted child. So, she hasn't even been born yet!
I went to this website called www.redthreadmaps.com it shows some provinces and where most of the orphanages are. There are between 30 and 50 orphanages in each province. I'm not sure how many provinces there are in China, but China is very large! That is a ton of orphanages! China has started using foster care for some of the children.
Here is a general guideline of the steps we have to go through: fill out and turn in Application II, go through a home study, file paperwork with USCIS (immigration), gather and turn in our Dossier (this is the last of the form gathering we have to do I think) to our agency, our agency waits for any other families on the same timeline as us then mails all the dossiers at once - called DTC (dossier to China), we get a Log In Date (LID) of when our dossier is logged in with the Chinese government, wait for the Center for Chinese Adoption Affairs (CCAA) to review our dossier and match us with a baby girl (they actually try to have your baby look like your family), the CCAA sends us a picture of the baby they have matched us with called a referral, we take the information on the referral to our pediatrician and have him review it with us, we approve or disapprove of the referral, tell our agency we accept the referral, they tell CCAA that we accept, then we wait for travel clearance. WHEW!! The CCAA is currently estimating that it will take about 10 months from LID to referral. That time frame changes frequently throughout the year, it could be longer or shorter of a wait. I'm not sure what affects this timeline.
We told the kids of this plan tonight at dinner. Nicci was very excited and already has plans for her to sleep with her when she gets bigger because she has a big bed. Conner was a little apprehensive. He said, "Mom, you know how I like to fit in and not stand out? Well, this is, well, you know." We told him that he has a year to pray about it and get used to the idea and we'll learn how to deal with standing out together. He also said, "Chinese people eat dog Mom!" I told him that we were going to take Sammy with us to China. He thought that was pretty funny. Ethan said, "BAH!"