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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here's the deal...

Now that I have had time to process what the next steps are in our adoption of Sophia since being officially matched yesterday (yeah!), I will attempt to share them here in order to get them down in some semblance of fashion for myself and anyone else who is interested!

Today we started checking some items off of our suddenly very long to-do list.  Dave's passport needed to be renewed, so that was sent off today after filling out the form on-line, writing the $75 check and getting the passport photos ($10).  We also mailed the hard copy original of our adoption agreement to our agency.  They should receive it early next week and it will probably be mailed to Taiwan on Friday, the day they usually send out mail to Taiwan.  Once the orphanage in Taiwan receives the agreement, they will work on getting the legal papers together that we must sign, notarize, state seal, and TECO seal before returning them to Taiwan.  A friend who is a step ahead of us on this journey said it took about 3 weeks from the time the original adoption agreement was sent to Taiwan to receive their legal documents.  Meanwhile, we also must do some paperwork on our end to send back with the legal documents as part of what is called our "referral dossier".  This is our second such packet of paperwork.  Since we are nearing the renewal dates on some of our old paperwork, we actually need to update our home study (to the tune of $300) which includes updating medical paperwork (fees involved) and our financial statement.  We also need to be re-fingerprinted by the FBI (hopefully free) and renew our child abuse and criminal clearances in state (fees involved).  So, as you can see, we have probably close to $600-700 of fees just in order to get the documents ready to go back to Taiwan in order to move to the next step...the court process.  Additionally, we have an agency fee for our future post-placement reports that is due right now which is $900.  Thankfully, by God's grace, we have the money in hand to cover all of this, but it is eating into what we have saved for our orphanage fee which must be paid when our referral dossier is returned to Taiwan.  We did find out that what we owe the orphanage is $6200, which is on the low end of orphanage fees, for which we are grateful.  All told, we need to raise about $3000 more dollars right now to cover all of these fees, then we can work on travel expenses.  (Note:  We have updated our ticker and our Chip-in to reflect that we are still in need of $3000 for this phase...the Chip-in had to be adjusted in a weird way, but you can tell that we are still in need of $3000 to reach our goal.  I also changed our 100 Wishes page to reflect our goal better as well.  Donations can be made either through 100 Wishes or the Chip-in...it goes to the same account.)

Which takes me to the inevitable question...when do we travel?  Well, once our referral dossier is returned to Taiwan, we await a court date.  There may be more then one court hearing before we get a first decree.  When we get that, we will find out our travel dates.  The final court hearing is held while we are in Taiwan, but we do not attend.  It is at that hearing that we get our final decree, and then we file our paperwork in person in Taiwan at the American Institute in Taiwan-US Embassy in Taiwan (or AIT for short).  We will be able to pick up Sophia's IR3 Visa before returning home which, if I understand correctly, makes Sophia a U.S. citizen upon arrival in the U.S.  The timeline for all of that to happen is typically 6-8 months, including the referral time.  This means that, if all would proceed in a timely fashion, we might be traveling in early 2011.  But, as anyone familiar with international adoption knows, there are many roadblocks that may arise.  We will continue to pray for favor and expediency and that God would continue to provide for our needs as they arise.  We are beyond excited, but know that the road ahead is still an arduous and bumpy one.  However, at the end of our journey lies a beautiful little girl who is waiting for her forever family to come and take her home so she can start her own journey of growing and healing and learning.  Please continue to pray for us--we covet your prayers and thoughts so much!  Blessings!

Inching closer to our daughter every day... 
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Aunt Debbie said...

Wow!! This is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Thanks for the detailed update. Aunt Donna and I will continue to pray for all aspects of what is ahead for you all. We're excited to meet the newest member of the family!!
Love, Aunt Debbie

The Bockisch Family said...

We will keep you in our prayers