We found out in early April that we were out of translation...one step closer to getting our letter of approval (LOA) from China! I was wondering if we would end up getting it on Evan's birthday, the same day we got Lena's last year. Nope- not in the plans. However, we did get the call on yesterday, Monday, April 22nd from our agency that our LOA had arrived! YAY! That was 33 days from being logged in, which is very good. However, LOAs have been coming very quickly lately. I saw one at day 10, 14, and 17 and MANY in the 20s and the 30s- all non medical expedites. There have been some people having to wait 40-60 days and a few more really unlucky ones who had to wait in the 70-90 day range. All of these are still so much better than last year's waits. But I am now thinking we may have not been expedited at all. Hoping we can at least expedite a few things towards the end of the process!
Today our LOA came via Fed Ex, along with some other documents we need to file our I-800 with immigration here in the US. We will send it out over night mail today so that they get it tomorrow. That process will likely take 2-3 weeks and then our agency can submit our article 5 at the US consulate in Guangzhou, China. Dropping off the article 5 to pick-up is 10 business days or 2 weeks. This is a step we are hoping to expedite. Once you have that, you wait for China to issue your Travel Approval (TA) and you can leave 1-3 weeks later, depending on the date of your Consulate Appointment (CA). So I think we are looking at 6 weeks at the shortest-10 or 11 weeks at most until we are on a plane to China to go get our son! WOW! So much to do yet too...a couple more grants to apply for, a few books to read and write reports on for our agency, and of course just the every day stuff that consumes our time.
There is a wonderful family in China now who met their two daughters yesterday, both from Reid's orphanage. They took a photo album with pictures of our family and home (captioned in English and Chinese) to give to him. He will get that on April 29th. We are not sure if he already knows he has a family based on the people always wanting to get a picture or video of him, but he will for sure know soon if he doesn't already! We are hoping the photo album helps him get to know our faces and the things we like to do to help prepare him even a little bit. We are coming soon sweet boy! We know so many of your friends have gone and that you have waited so long. It will be your turn very soon little cutie!
Lastly, we got a nice surprise picture of Reid from October of 2011, about five months after I first saw his precious face and fell in love. It is definitely one of my favorites!