Today, my agency received the actual paper copy of the letter of acceptance (LOA) from China. This paper included the all important red stamp of approval from China … it is such an amazing site to see!!
So, after all of the excitement, I have been getting many questions! I figured that maybe I would try to answer as many as I can!
So, what exactly does this “LOA” mean?
- Well, this means that China approves of me being matched with Ari and this letter is just seeking confirmation that I still want to pursue this adoption (Which is OBVIOUSLY met with an emphatic YES!!). This paper is signed and then returned to China.
What happens now?
- A copy of my LOA and another 3 pages of immigration paperwork has been sent to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is my formal request to bring Ari into the US and for him to become a US citizen.
- Once this request is approved (typically in about 2 weeks) then this information is sent to a different US Office. Once this information is received, then I will get notice that they have processed it (about a week)- this is the National Visa Center (NVC) letter.
- Once the NVC is received, I will be able to complete another few pages of paperwork to apply for Ari’s US Visa. This paperwork and all approvals will then be sent to the US consulate in China to wait for my Article 5. This is a letter that essential gives confirmation to Ari’s home country that immigration has been approved.
- Once my Article 5 letter has been approved (around 2 weeks), then notice will be sent to the China Center for Children Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) to request travel dates. After a travel approval (TA) is provided, then I will just be waiting on my Consulate approval (CA) date – this is the date that Ari will be able to go to the US consulate in China and get his visa.
- Are you still with me?! that was a lot to take in!
- Once the TA and CA are received, I will go to China 2 weeks later and spend 2 weeks getting to know Ari, exploring the province he is from and then spending time around the US consulate – I CAN’T WAIT!
When will you get to go get him?
- Unfortunately, this can be a complicated question. Due to all of the steps above, any one of them could be delayed for any number of reasons. I already know that I will be delayed 1 week since it is likely that I will be waiting for my NVC or Art5 during Chinese New Year (January 27 – February 2 is an official holiday). However, what is 1 week after the time I have waited thus far?! My best estimate of when I will be in China will be sometime between March and April (although I’m really pulling for at or before my birthday at the end of march).
How long will you be in China when you go get Ari?
- Well, when I go get him I will likely spend a couple days in Beijing to visit the foster facility that Ari las lived in the last 3 years. I will then travel to the province that Ari was born in where I will get custody of him. We will have multiple visits to the Social Welfare office so that Ari can get his passport. Once the passport is received, we will travel south to Guangzhou where the US consulate is located.
- We will then spend another week in Guangzhou, getting a health check-up to ensure that Ari is healthy and has no communicable diseases and getting his US visa.
- Once we have the visa, it will be back to the US where Ari will become a citizen as soon as we get through customs/immigration!
How old is Ari and how big is he?
- As of the last measurements I received, Ari is just under 30 lbs. and is wearing 3T clothing.
What is Ari able to do?
- Currently, Ari struggles with head control, is able to roll to his side without help and is VERY alert. He watches people like a hawk and lets it known if he is happy, upset, hungry, etc. Once home, he will be evaluated for any surgical needs as well as therapy needs.
I am so thankful that this process is finally moving forward. It has been a long journey and I just cannot wait to have this sweet boy home!
Thank-you so much for being a part of our journey!!