No pictures this time, sorry!
Just wanted to record somewhere that we had our second homestudy visit today, and we have our third and final homestudy visit tomorrow! Excited to be getting closer to being done with that.
Our social worker said yesterday she'd like to have the actual HS report finished by the end of the month! Trying NOT to hang on to that too tightly, because I know how these things usually work out, but really excited about the possibility. Once we have the finished, approved homestudy in hand, we can start the immigration paperwork, and there are timelines to project how long the rest of the process will most likely take.
For example, if our social worker finishes her report the last week of this month, and our international agency approves it, and we get the paper copy in our hands on 8/31, we mail it to immigration on 9/1, they receive it 9/4, it's an average of 31 days until approval. So that means we might get immigration approval paperwork back mid October.
While we're waiting for that happen, we finish compiling the rest of the documents in our dossier. Medical reports (done), employment letters, reference letters, application letter, birth certificates (half done), marriage certificate (done), financial certificate (almost done), police clearance letters, copies of our passports, pictures of our family, etc.
Once we have all that paperwork amassed, and we get the immigration form back, we notarize everything then take it to the Secretary of State for each document to be certified. Then we take it to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco for the documents to be authenticated. All those seals, stamps and stickers come with FEES, of course.
After the entire dossier has been stamped, sealed and stickered, we take it to Staples and make 2 copies of it, then stick the original and one copy in a UPS box and wave goodbye to a TON of work. The completed dossier wings it's way across the country to our agency, who looks it over very carefully to check for errors before sending it on to China.
The date our agency forwards it on to China is called DTC, Dossier To China. Once China receives it, we get an LID, Log In Date. At this point, the process is taking an average of 152 days from LID to TA. So about 5 months from when China gets our documents, through the rest of the process both there and here, until we get Travel Approval.
IF, and that is a huge IF, but IF we are able to send our dosser at the end of October, we could be looking at travel in April. Maybe. However, there is always something that goes wrong, somewhere in the process, and if I had to guess, I'd say we'll probably get TA right smack in the middle of planning for Annaliese's graduation, and have to delay travel a week or two.
But it's encouraging to see we COULD be travelling in the spring instead of the summer. Especially since Katie's province is in the tropics, and likely to be quite warm. I'm planning to bring summer clothes, with a sweater for airplanes and air conditioned offices.
Paul is doing much better now, and things are starting to settle down a little. Sam has Football practice twice a day this week, which is crazy, but with school starting for the big kids next week, I think we'll get our routine going soon.
Maybe now I'll have a chance to obsess a little. :)