Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dossier Away!

This morning I packaged up what amounted to about five months of work, copied in fourplicate (that's one more than triplicate), and notarized, certified (there may be a few more "ied" terms that are applicable), a bunch of required photographs, checklists, and a few other sundry items, and stuffed the whole business into a FedEx small box.

Each step of the way has added more value to that sheaf of papers, from the 51-page questionnaires that Deb and I each had to fill out for the homestudy, to the medical exams, to the numerous trips to the bank to have documents notarized. Add to this trips to be fingerprinted, loads of information to be digested from our adoption agency, not one, but two trips into Grand Rapids Secretary of State's office to certify all the documents and varying amounts of cash for many of these steps.

But the most valuable thing that package represents is an 8-year-old girl waiting in a Chinese orphanage, waiting for her Dad, Mom and two older brothers to come and pick her up and take her home to join the family.

All this, in a FedEx small box, which is now on its way to begin the next phase of the adoption process.

Please handle with care.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Today we received a letter from the US Department of Homeland Security. It was the long-awaited FDL, or Favorable Determination Letter. This single page sheet was the culmination of nearly 11 weeks of waiting, a trip across town to be fingerprinted, a rather hefty application fee, and a rather large set of documents that were sent in near the end of February.

The next step now is to get state certifications for this and most of the other documents in our dossier, make several copies of the whole business, and then ship the stack of papers to our adoption agency so it can be authenticated, translated, spindled and mutilated and finally sent off to China.