Sunday, November 27, 2005

Welcome to the family blog.

We plan to use this blog to share our adoption story with friends and family as well as keep you updated on what's happening in our crazy household. Here is some information regarding our adoption from China for 'baby Emma'

Why China........
China is a country whose culture dates back to the earliest records known to man. At first glance, some of China's beliefs may seem quite different than those we hold in the western world. One example of this is the cultural preference for a male child. There are several reasons why Chinese families might prefer a boy over a girl. In rural provinces, a family's livelihood depends directly on the output of its family members. Because of this, a family with sons would be at a considerable advantage than one with daughters. Historically, it is also the son's honored responsibility to take care of his parents in their old age. A daughter, however, would be expected to care for her husband's parents rather than her own. In this regard, the Chinese believe that having a son is crucial to their livelihood, as well as a form of social security for the parents when they grow older. Although in recent years, China has done much to change these belief systems, many families, especi ally in rural areas, still strongly favor the birth of a male child. This situation is further complicated by China's One- Child Policy, which prohibits families from having more than one child. As a result of this policy, there are thousands of abandoned children throughout China, with the vast majority of them being healthy girls.

12/05/04 - Day we decided to adopt
12/09/04 - Application sent to CCAI
12/13/04 - Received Phil's certified and authenticated birth certificate
12/14/04 - I600-A filed in person
12/14/04 - Aimee was fingerprinted
12/15/04 - Phil was fingerprinted
12/15/04 - Pre Approved with CCAI
12/17/04 - Received police clearance for Aimee and Phil
12/19/04 - Approved with CCAI
12/20/04 - Received Aimee's certified and authenticated birth certificate
01/03/05 - Physicals and blood work
01/12/05 - Met with Social Worker
01/20/05 - 2nd meeting with Social Worker
02/01/05 - 1st draft of homestudy
02/25/05 - Aimee drove dossier to county recorders office to be certified and then to the secretary of state office to be authenticated.
03/01/05 - Final draft of homestudy to USCIS
03/01/05 - Aimee drove dossier to Chinese consulate to be authenticated
03/04/05 - Picked up dossier from Chinese consulate, photocopies all pages and sent to CCAI minus the 171-H
03/14/05 - Passed critical review at CCAI
03/22/05 - Approved by USCIS
03/28/05 - 171-H sent to CCAI
03/31/05 - Dossier sent to China
04/04/05 - Dossier received in China
04/19/05 - Dossier logged in!
05/05/05 - Received brown envelope

Once China has logged in your dossier the wait begins, about 6-8 months. We hope to find out who Emma is, where she is living and all of her information sometime in October(we have delayed by a month if not two). Once we receive this information we can expect to travel within 5-7 weeks. We will be traveling with a group of other adoptive parents for approximately 2 weeks in China.

While we wait…
We have read many books on regarding Chinese adoption and have educated ourselves about the Chinese culture. We joined the local Families with Children from China (FCC) chapter and have attended their events. Through FCC we have met other adoptive families in our area and have started a Chinese playgroup. We have begun to work on Emma’s nursery. Many hours have been spent on different Yahoo groups for Parents who have adopted or are in the process of adopting from China. And of course Aimee has spent many hours in retail therapy!

Our current list of things "to do" while we wait
*decorate nursery. We decided Emma will have her own room
*get rid of all the excess "stuff" in our house (where did it all come from?)
*review packing lists of what to take to China
*start a lifebook for Emma
*organize mounds of paperwork that we'll take to China
*gather items for Emma's package. (This is a small package we will send to Emma the day after we find out where she is. This package will contain a small "blankie", disposable camera, small soft photo album and one outfit.)
*Aimee to take real estate renewal exam
*set up a living trust
*put 4 years of photo albums together.


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