Yesterday I (Tony) opened the mail box to find a large brown envelope. To my suprise, it was from "The Foreign Service of the United States of America - U.S. Consulate General, Guangzhou, Consular Section, Amcongen Guangzhou, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C." (Say that 3 times real fast). Rett told me when I brought this in the house that I had in my possession the "famous brown envelope". In this brown envelope, among other things, was our GUZ number. Our GUZ number is our case number when dealing with the American Consulate General. Basically the letter states that "the BCIS (INS) recently notified the American Consulate in Guangzhou that you have been approved to adopt an orphan oversees. This means we are authorized to process your child's case as soon as his or her adoption is finalized...We look forward to seeing you hear soon for your child's immigrant visa interview."
So with that said, this makes us feel good. It is nice to get some encouraging news during this looong wait. This has nothing to do with the wait, but it is information we must have. In addition to the GUZ number we received the following documents that we must take with us to China:
- I600A - Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
- Consulate General of the United States of America Medical Examination Instructions for Orphans Adopted by American Citizens
- U.S. Department of State Affidavit Concerning Exemption from Immigrant Vaccination Requirements for a Foreign Adopted Child
- U.S. Department of State Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
- Form written in Chinese - oh wait - it is the Requirements for Immigrant Visa Application Photos
- A letter stating "Welcome to the Adoptions Unit in Guangzho!"
- U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service Request for and Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation
- U.S. Consular Section Location and Surrounding Area Map (in China)
- U.S. Department of State Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Application
Wow - that is a lot of paperwork that we will eventually need to complete, but that is a good thing.
As of this coming weekend we will have waited four months. Time flies. We are still hearing the wait for referral is about 14 months. Per the FTIA's latest post on 9-25-06, "Families who are currently receiving referrals from the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) waited approximately 14 months after the dossier was officially logged in to the CCAA." Just keep praying it stays at 14 months or less.
So we have been keeping busy to keep our minds off of the wait. In fact, this weekend we stayed EXTREMELY busy. We declined some offers (to do manual labor) and decided to get out of town and we did a good job of it... We did the following:
- ROAD TRIP #1 - Saturday we went to Metamora for their big fall festival and fought the crowds. Nice day for a drive and looking at stuff...
- ROAD TRIP #2 - Saturday afternoon/evening we piled in a van with some friends that live up the street from us and went to Cincinnati. We ate and then went to some haunted houses. This first was not a haunted house. It was a haunted bus ride through the woods. It was sweet. We rode in school buses with the roofs cut off. People jumped out of the woods, hopped onto the bus with chainsaws and etc...but the best part was being rammed by a fire breathing (literally, we felt the heat) bulldozer and fire breathing semi (shooting flames about 8-10 feet out of the exhaust pipes - AWESOME). Both vehicles rammed the bus and pushed the bus honking their airhorns and etc..., again sweet! Now we know why they told us to keep all hands inside the vehicle. The second place was your classic haunted school with a tight maze leading you through the freaky place.
- We ended up returning home from our Saturday evening adventure around 3:00 am Sunday, 11 hours after we left. Thank goodness we all lived within three houses of each other. No additional traveling home was required. But it was a blast go get away and do something different with some new friends, pretending we were "back in the day" with no worries.
- ROAD TRIP #3 - We woke up Sunday morning (about 5 hours after returning home) and traveled to Indy. We went to the COLTS GAME!!!! We have not been football fans for long, but had a blast. It was a good game, great seats, and LOUD! We want to go to every game now. It was a good time.
We returned home and tried to unwind from a BUSY but fun weekend. Now we are back to the weekly grind. We have a busy week again and tonight is the only night with us both home. Oh well, the weekend is around the corner. I think we will take it easy and get some rest this weekend.
Well, I (Tony) do not post often. I think my last post had to do with our crazy cat and dog chasing squirrels up trees in our back yard. So I hope you enjoyed the update. Let me know if you prefer the squirrel updates better.