This Thursday we are having our first home study appointment. I’m really excited to meet our social worker and start the process. In addition, we are headed to an adoptprep seminar this weekend with our agency. I’m hoping to meet some other adoptive parents and learn more. I’ll update soon….
Change of Plans July 18, 2007
We canceled our home study visit for this evening.
Nick’s grandmother passed away early Tuesday and so we’re preparing to go be with family for a few days. Last month we were able to visit with her a bit while we were in town. She was so sharp and seemingly healthy. The news of her death came as a bit of a shock to us. And so, we make an unexpected, yet important trip home this week.
We will reschedule our home study after we return and life once again finds it’s balance.
Timeline July 12, 2007
Many of you have asked us at different times what our timeline looks like for the adoption. As a side note, let me also clarify that the caterpillar Nick and I are so leisurely walking past at the top of site counts up from the day that we mailed in our original application to CAS.
The estimated process times have increased from when we started looking into the program, applied and began the process. When we started looking at CAS’s program last winter, the wait time for referral after submitting the dossier to Vietnam was 1-5 months with a 1-2 month wait for travel after referral. Most people had their baby with them within 10 months of submitting the original application to CAS.
By the time we sent in our application, the wait time from dossier to referral had increased to a 3-6 month wait.
As some of you may have noticed on their website, CAS has recently put a temporary hold on accepting new clients into their Vietnam program because of increased interest in the program. This began on June 30th, and therefore does not effect our participation in the Vietnam program. We can only speculate on how it may effect our process: (1) possibly things are moved more quickly in order to reopen the program–I don’t even know that this is possible, (2) We are sped up or held back in order to have specific families travel together or (3) with increased program numbers, things may take a bit longer. I did notice this morning though that the wait from dossier to referral has been increased again to a 3-9 month wait and a 6-16 week wait from referral to travel.
In order to submit our dossier to Vietnam, we have some paperwork take care of including our home study, fingerprinting, dossier document collection, and the I-171H. A lot of this is stuff we can move forward by just doing it, however the I-171H is the result of submitting the I-600A. It is filed with the CIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and can take anywhere from 90-120 days to receive the subsequent I-171H in return.
We originally mailed our I-600A to Charlotte, NC on June 8th. It was returned on the 15th and picked up by us on July 1st at the post office. Apparently we forgot to date one of our signatures. We resent it on July 2nd and they received in on July 3rd. It was stamped at the original reception (June 9th) and so we don’t know if the 90-120 days will start on June 9th or July 3rd.
So, with all of those factors in play, I thought I would play out the shortest and longest scenarios for us to meet the babe.
If everything moved as quickly as possibly:
I-600A received June 9th, receiving the I-171H 90 days later = Sept 6th
If the dossier is submitted by Oct 1st and we get a referral in 3 months = Jan 1st
If we travel 6 weeks later = Feb 12, 2008
If everything is drawn out and happens at the end of the suggested times:
I-600A received July 3rd, receiving the I-171H 120 days later = October 30th
If the dossier is submitted by Dec 30th and we get a referral in 9 months = Sept 1st
If we travel 16 weeks later = Dec 22, 2008
That is a fairly large spread. I think that either one of those dates is unlikely and that it will happen somewhere between. We’re hoping to travel sometime next spring, but who knows. Maybe once our dossier is submitted we should let you all guess our referral date and then whoever is closest will get something from Vietnam. We could do the same with naming the travel date as well. Could make things fun.
Home Study July 10, 2007
Our first home study appointment is scheduled for next Wednesday. We’ll meet with our social worker three times. The first will be at our home and the following meetings will happen somewhere between our homes. (We pay mileage for her drive, so this makes the most sense for all of us.)
I am looking forward to meeting here and having some guided conversation around adoption. I talk about it all of the time, but it feels a bit difference to sit down and work with someone who helps to educate adoptive parents on a regular basis. I recognize that for many people the home study may be a bit daunting, especially if you think of it as an approval process. Our communications with her so far have been really good and we both consider this to be an opportunity for guidance and furthering our own understandings. So, we’ll see how it goes next week and let you know.
Adopting! July 3, 2007
Almost three months ago Nick and I began the process of adopting a child from Vietnam. We knew that we wanted to adopt internationally for several reasons. First of all, we both had amazing experiences in our respective abroad stays and got excited at the idea of incorporating another culture into our daily lives. Secondly, we’ve been through enough with trying to start a family: 1.5 years trying to get pregnant, and 2 uterine surgeries and finally a hysterectomy. For us, international adoption seems like a more predictable process.
We chose an agency before we chose a country. After some research and references, we both felt that CAS was our agency. They currently have 11 different country programs. However, each country has different adoption eligibility standards, processes, and child availability. We chose Vietnam because children could be adopted as early as 4 months and the process seemed reasonable–each of our references had a 10 month process from application to returning home with their child. In addition, Vietnam had recently mandated that childless couples must be open to a child of either gender because of the number of boys in need of adoption. If we were having a biological child, we would not have a choice in gender, and so it seemed appropriate to follow a process that needed people to be open. We expect we’ll get a boy–but who knows, we may be surprised. AND, as a bonus, we both LOVE Vietnamese food!
We decided to start this blog now, fairly early in the process, so that we had a resource for friends and family. We’ll post as significant things happen. We’re open to any questions/comments you have regarding our process, decision or whatever else comes to mind.