Monday, January 21, 2008

I-600A Process

The I-600A process is an early procedure with Immigration that indicates you are intending to bring an orphan into the country. It involves mainly a background check, lots of paperwork, and of course more $$$ (like everything). We are a little delayed because Austin had to be included and he is away at college. It takes time to get the documents, etc. because alot of it has to go to him in Stillwater, and then back to us. Hopefully we'll have all this together in the next two weeks and on it's way to Immigration! Right now we still think we'll be matched with the baby in June or July!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Number 18 Now!!!

Today we found out from Holt that we are currently #18 to be matched with our baby! Great news! We think that the process will slow down a little, but still believe will will be matched sometime this summer. Next update from Holt will be April 11.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Moving Up The List!

On October 5th, 2007 we found out that in 3 months since our home study was approved, we had moved from #40 to #29 on the adoption list! Hopefully we'll be in the teens when we get our next update on January 8th!

The Home Study.

After the initial application to Holt, the next step was the home study. This is conducted by a licensed agency that investigates every aspect of our life, family, and past. You must use an agency approved by Holt and in Oklahoma, there is only one, The Adoption Center of NE Oklahoma in Tulsa. Now understand, our adoption is through Holt, all the Adoption Center did was the home study part.

The process started in February with an exhaustive questionaire, health & medical records, marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce decrees, tax returns, physicals, letters of recommendation, numerous questions about what kind of child we would accept, how we would raise a child, and a very, long detailed account of our life's history as told by us. Heather from the adoption center then visited our new house (which we were still moving into) and gave us the thumbs up as far as bringing a baby into the home.

In April we attended a day long workshop at the Adoption Center in Tulsa. Most of it didn't apply to us since we were the only couple pursing an international adoption, but it was interesting to listen to other couples and learn about adoption in general from Heather and the other presenters.

By mid - June the homestudy was complete, but there was a delay due to Heather's vacation. Finally sometime in late June it was sent to Holt International for their approval. On July 3, 2007 our home study was approved and accepted by Holt. We were then places on the waiting list to be matched with a baby under 2. We made it clear we want a girl, but said we were open to either sex. We were #40 on the list when we were matched!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where Did This Journey Begin?

This is a story most of you know, but here goes. Cathy and I dated for ten years before we got married on June 17, 2006. Cathy is a few years older than I am (sorry babe) and has three children from her previous marriage. I had been previously married for a few years, but have no children of my own. I think one of the things, among several, holding us back from getting married all of those years we dated was, I never was sure if she would be willing to consider adopting a child. As crazy as it sounds, neither of us remember specifically when we decided to get married (I didn't actually propose until she got the ring), and when both agreed we wanted to adopt a baby, but the first time we remember being excited about it was when we were skiing in Santa Fe in February 2006. We told our friends and family about both adventures in March at my 40th birthday party.

In June 2006 we attended an China adoption workshop in Yukon. It was the week before we got married. The lady presenting was from Enid and had her 4 year old daughter from China there. We both fell in love the moment we laid eyes on her. When we walked out of the seminar, we looked at each other and agreed, this is what we were supposed to do.

We contacted the agency, The Great Wall out of Austin, TX. They took our preliminary information and submitted it. Due to the fact we had both been married before and had just gotten married, we would have to wait a year to apply. The rule was actually three years, but there was some flexibility on a case by case basis. We excitedly decided we would wait a year and then start the journey.

On December 15th, 2006, the last day of school before Christmas break, I got a call from my mom. She said she had just read a story in the paper about China changing their policies on adoption. I called Great Wall to see what was going on. My heart sank as I was told that China was now requiring a five year period for 2nd marriages and no parent could be over 50 years of age. We were devastated. I asked our GW worker if there were any options Cathy and would qualify for as far as overseas adoption? She said she normally didn't refer other agencies, but she suggested Holt International in Oregon. They have been around for many years and have the highest standards in ethics and procedure. They are well known and received in all the countries they work in.

We did a little research in Holt, and right after the holidays, we contacted them to discuss our situation. They said we qualified for the Vietnam program and recommended getting started right away. We submitted our formal application in early February, 2007.

That is the story on how we started this journey. Since we are starting this blog a little late, I am going to summerize the next steps in a few blogs. We will try to keep this updated so our friends and family can share our adventure. We are looking forward to it!