The dossier collection process (which is the stage of adoption we are currently in) is commonly called the paperchase – you’re chasing bits of paper around the country, trying to collect what you need. For us, it’s been less of a paperchase (we have no court cases or arrests or medical issues to document), and more of a paperwait.
The longest wait was for background clearances to come through. Every adult living in our home has to have a background clearance report from each state they’ve lived in since they were 18. We waited – not even kidding – 5 and a half MONTHS for one state! I think something must have gotten lost in the mail, though, because as soon as our agency re-sent the form, we had the clearance within about 10 days. Ha!
We’ve been okay with the wait for a variety of reasons, though – in part, we’re renting out our basement, and we had a renter change midway through the paperchase, and needed to get fresh clearances on the new renters. Plus, we are not matched with a kid yet, and while we’re both excited to bring a new child into our home … we’re also okay taking our time and processing and preparing as much as possible.
Next steps are getting our home study approved (which should take maybe a week), and then sending it off to US Citizenship and Immigration Services to get pre-approval to bring an adopted child into the country as a citizen (which will take 4-5 weeks). After that, we just need to get that document notarized, certified by the Colorado Secretary of State, and authenticated by the Chinese Consulate (which we have already done with all of the other required documents)! Then, we take it all to CCAI, our adoption agency, they make sure everything is in order, and prepare our official dossier: a bound book with all of our fully authenticated birth and marriage certificates, financial statements, medical clearance, police clearances, home study, a handful of family pictures, etc.
So all that to say, kind of no movement – we’re not matched with a child, we don’t know when we’ll travel, we’re not even sending our dossier off to China yet. BUT, it is an important step forward toward all of those things. I’ll take it!