Our "Paperchase"           

The process of gathering information and paperwork for the adoption process is commonly called 
the paperchase.  This is a journal of our paperchase experience.


        April 2005       
  04/16/2005 In response to an advertisement JR saw in the newspaper, we   
  attended an informational meeting about Adoption at Bethany   


Christian Services.  For some reason I was sick this morning, so   
  we arrived late.  Nothing like a first impression!  
  04/23/2005 We were so excited after attending the meeting last week that we    


decided to attend the Educational Seminar in Pella, IA.  We feel   
  like it is time to pursue the dream we have been dreaming for a   
  long time.  
           May 2005       


05/04/2005 We submitted the Preliminary Application online.  
  05/07/2005 Today Larry applied for Home Equity Line of Credit to fund adoption.  
  We also received the "Initial Application" in the mail.  This may take   
  some time to complete because it requests a lot of personal history  
  and asks many questions that we will have to think about and answer.  
  05/13/2005 A week has passed and we are still working on the Family Information   
  Guide.  It takes so much time to put your thoughts about such personal   
  issues in writing.  
  05/16/2005 Our goal is to finish up the Application paperwork by the end of   
  this week.  The Application requires that we choose a couple to be   
  guardians for our daughter in case something unfortunate should happen   
   to us.  We put a lot of thought  into this decision - we have so many  
  great friends.  But there is no doubt in our minds about the choice we    
  made.  We asked Kevin and Darla to consider and we were delighted   
  and honored that they said yes.  
  05/27/2005 We ask Mom (Jean) to witness our signature on the Application.  
  05/27/2005 We are finally done with the Initial Application & Family Information    
  Guide!  We mailed it and $500 to Bethany today and officially start the   
  process.  These documents took us a few weeks to complete!  We had  
  to answer personal questions about ourselves, our families, our   
  upbringing and what kind of parents we plan on becoming.    


These are things we have thought about often, but putting them in   
  writing was a challenging task.  
  05/28/2005 This week Bethany also sent letters to some of our friends and   
  family to request a Letter of Referral from them.  A heartfelt thanks to   
  Dean and Larry, Walt and Andreana, Kevin and Darla, and Jane   
  for helping us with this important part of the process!  We couldn't   
  make it through this without the love and support of our friends and  
         June 2005       
  06/07/2005 Over the course of the last week we told our families the exciting   
  news.  Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Nieces & Nephews -   
  Everyone is so excited about the upcoming addition to our family.  
  06/06/2005 Mailed $39 to Department of Criminal Investigation to conduct  
  initial background checks.  
  06/09/2005 We had a pleasant surprise today!  Dad and Mabel called and put dibs  
  on buying us a rocking chair for the nursery.  Thank you very much!  
  06/09/2005 We close on Home Equity Line of Credit today.  
  06/16/2005 We received our Dossier Packet from Bethany today.  The dossier is   
  the compilation of the 13 main documents that must be   
  completed/gathered, notarized, and state sealed.  Once completed,    
  the dossier is sent to China for their part of  the process.  The main part   
  of our time over the next several weeks will be spent gathering and   
  completing the 13 documents of our dossier.  
  06/21/2005 Tonight we had our first interview with our Social Worker.  Her job  
  is to evaluate us to see if we are fit to be parents.  I know we will  
  both pass with flying colors, but we were a little nervous  
  06/29/2005 This week we obtained our official documents such as birth &   
  marriage certificates.  Dean helps us in obtaining JR's birth    
  certificate from IN.  
        July 2005       
  07/01/2005 I had my required Physical today & I called Dr Chandramouli (my   
  cardiologist) to request a letter of reference from him.  
  07/06/2005 This afternoon we had our Home Visit by our Social Worker.  She is   
  verifying that we can provide a decent, safe and loving environment for   


our daughter.  There is a $1500 fee for this visit.  
  07/09/2005 We had our Passport pictures taken at Walgreens today..  
  07/11/2005 Sent I600 form & fingerprint request along with $610 to US    
  Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  They will schedule an 


  appointment to get our fingerprints taken.  Once the I600 form is    
  approved USCIS will issue a "Notice of Favorable Determination   
  concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition."  
  This is more commonly called the I171H form.    
  07/18/2005 JR has his required Physical this afternoon.  If you ask him about it, he  
  can tell you how fun it was!  
  07/20/2005 We went to the local Police Department to request our Police  
  Clearance Letters for our dossier.  
  07/21/2005 JR picks up our Police Clearance Letters.  We both go to the main  
  Post Office and apply for our Passports.  The cost for this was  
   $254 for expedited service, plus additional $60 to Post Office.  
  07/22/2005 I pick up our final  Medical Paperwork for our dossier.  
  07/26/2005 We mailed our Medicals & Police Clearance Letters to Bethany.  
  07/29/2005 Our Passports have arrived!  
        August 2005       
  08/07/2005 Mom come over to help us with the  pictures we need for our Dossier.  
  It looks like she did a good job and we will have some decent pictures.  
  08/08/2005 US Department of Homeland Security - Fingerprint Appointment  
  8:00 am.  Instead of using ink for fingerprinting, it is now completed on a   
  computer touch-pad.  The computer instantly reads your fingerprints,    
  and immediately lets them know if it is needs to be re-read.  
  08/11/2005 Today is an exciting day!  We mailed all outstanding Dossier Paperwork,   
  along with $5000 (International Program, Admin, and Post Placement   
  Fee) and $610 (China Adoption Center Fee).  I think that  
   about wraps up the paperwork from our standpoint.  Bethany will   
  send the dossier paperwork to be State Sealed.  Then once we receive   
   our fingerprints and the I171 H form from USCIS the Dossier  
  should be ready to go to China!  
  08/14/2005 Bethany called - there's a slight setback with JRs birth certificate.  


We need to send an additional copy to the state for State Seal.  I have a  
  copy at home, so I run home to get it and send it top priority!  
  08/17/05 Mom comes over tonight and teaches me how to design a Web site.  
  We thought this would be a great way to share our adoption experience   
  with our friends and family.  
  08/20/2005 We are so sad today.  Pogo, our cat, unexpectedly died this  
  morning.  He was a good ole boy and we miss him terribly!  
  08/22/2005 We received an email from Bethany.  They have received 5 USCIS    
  I-171H fax approvals - and we are one of the five!  We have been  
  waiting for this form since 07/11/05 when we submitted our I600  
  form.  In response to the receipt of our I-171 form, there is an   
  additional form that we need to submit to Bethany.  It must be   
  signed and notarized today.  We complete that and mail it so   
  Bethany should receive it tomorrow.  
  08/23/2005 Receive the original I-171 approval in the mail.  We are nearing the  
  end of our "Paperchase"!  Just waiting for State Seals to return  
  and then the dossier is off to China!  
      September 2005     
  09/04/2005 We have unexpected visitors - Dad and Mabel!  They brought by the    
  money for us to  purchase a rocking chair to rock our baby with over the  
  next few years!  They also gave us a lovely card.  All our family is    
  getting excited about the "Little One"!  


  It has been 135 days from the date we submitted our Preliminary   
  Application!  We will receive our referral 6-8 months from the   
  day that China receives and logs our Application (our Log-In Date).    
  We should have a Log-In Date by the end of this month.  So, unless  
  we hit an unexpected roadblock, we should receive our referral in April  
  or May of next year.  That means we may be traveling in May or June.  
  This is so exciting!  Our little one is that much closer to coming home!  

The Paperchase is over!  We are now entering into the phase of the adoption that we call


"The Wait" - the long, long wait.  The majority of our paperwork is done and now we start 


 the fun stuff - prepare for travel, decorate the nursery, baby-proof the house. . .


And wait.


Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  
For if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  Hebrews 11:1-2