The Paper Chase

The journey begins with what is called "The Paper Chase" this is where we compile a small mountain of paperwork. Have it notarized, certified, and authenticated. When this is done the dossier is then sent to China and we begin the "Wait".

March 1999 - We have made the decision to adopt a baby from China. When we checked into adoption a few years ago, we found that we just couldn't afford it at the time. We had given up hope of adopting. Maybe God just wasn't ready for us to adopt. Like many, we were not looking to adopt when He was ready. We went to the local Family Expo put on by a local Christian radio station on the 14th of this month. There was a booth there that I originally thought was a Photo Studio. Since it had been a while since we had a family portrait taken, I went over to sign us up. Little did I know that I had just changed our lives. It was the Chinese Children Adoption International booth. I knew in my heart, as we talked to some very nice people, that this was the answer to our prayers. We have just finished our application and need to get it sent. We are also working on our INS form.

March 22-30, 1999 – We took Cassie to Disney for Spring Break. Jeff had to go to Orlando for work, so Cassie and I decided that it would be fun to go. Jeff took a few days vacation. We all had a blast. I kept finding myself drawn into China at Epcot. What a wonderful place. I felt closer to our little one, so far away. Jeff’s conference was held the first 2 days, so Cassie and I stayed at the hotel and thought of names for her new sister. We came up with Victoria Jo (Jo after my mom.) When Cassie told her Dad, he agreed that it was a great name.

April 6, 1999 – We haven’t heard back from CCAI yet but have talked to them several times. What great people. We went down to the El Paso County Vital Statistics section to obtain certified copies of our birth certificates. I found out that the hospital spelled my name wrong on mine. I made a quick call to my Mom, then a call to Denver to find out how to get it changed. I have to send the copies of the certificates to Denver and they will take care of it.

April 9, 1999 - We have our INS form 1600-A done and in the mail. We are getting copies of our marriage license on Monday. I talked to Jennifer at CCAI. She is always so nice, and patient when I ask my million questions. We mailed the copies of my wrong birth certificates to Denver. We should get the corrected copies within 4 weeks. Now that I don't have anything to do, I can relax this weekend. Ya right! I want to do more! Cassie has field hockey practice so I can keep my mind off of the adoption for awhile. This is her third year and she really enjoys it. She is getting quite good. I have a feeling that they may make her into a goalie. I don't know if I like that idea or not.

April 15, 1999 – We did well this year and got our act (and papers) together to our tax guy early, so we don’t have the mad rush this year. I received my corrected Birth Certificates in the mail yesterday. Yea! Tonight is our first get together with CCAI, if they have it. I hope they do. We had a winter storm move in and even the schools are closed today. I would like faces to go along with names. We subscribed to the CCAI mailing lists yesterday and have found some wonderful information and a lot of support. It is so nice to talk to people that have either been there or are in the same place we are.

April 19,1999 - We went downtown and applied for our passports. We did find a place a few blocks away from the post office that did passport photos for ˝ price. Cassie was so cute, telling the lady that took our photos all about China and her new sister. The gentleman in the passport office said our passports would be mailed to us in about six weeks. CCAI called today and Jeff needs to get a letter from our Doctor about the surgery he had on his hand last year in March. He had to make an appointment (for the 21st of this month) to talk to our Doctor about the letter.

April 22, 1999 - CCAI called. They have all of our referrals in, except for one. I will call them tonight and have them get busy. That, and the letter from our Doctor, is all we need to get really rolling. If we can get the papers in to them soon, we go to our first ˝ day class the 8th of May. Now if only the INS would call with our fingerprinting appointment. I know I am probably dreaming, but I would really like a DTC (Document to China) date of June. Then maybe we can get our referral from China for Christmas. Waiting is so hard! I found a really cute T-shirt on the Internet that has BABY in red and an arrow pointing down to a map of China. I told Jeff and Cassie that I would love to have that from Victoria for Mothers day.

April 30, 1999 – It is official! We received the acceptance packet in the mail today from CCAI. Now we know what we can get working on. Our ˝ day class will be the 8th of May, which works our wonderfully, since Jeff’s nephew is getting married that morning in Denver and Jeff’s mom will just take Cassie to the reception with her while we go to our class. Jeff is getting so excited about being a daddy again. We also made our appointments for our physicals. UGGH! I know I am going to need some shots to be able to travel, but it will be worth it.

May 3, 1999 – We had our fingerprinting appointment today. It took us only about 20 minutes to get it taken care of, so that is one more thing to mark off of the list. We are almost done with the paperwork that we are responsible for. We will meet our Social Worker at the ˝ day class on Saturday.

May 8, 1999 – We had our class today on preparing our documents. We were able to hand in about half of the documents already: all of the ones for the INS. We have a few that will be going to China that we need to fax to our agency to get the O.K. on their wording, then we can send them to the Secretary of State for Certification. Then, when the INS sends us our final paper (the I-171H,) we will get all of the documents sent to the China Consulate. Our first Home Study appointment is May 23. We met our Social Worker. She is very nice and we look forward to working with her. Today was the first time I was told "Congratulations, you are going to be a mommy again." It was so wonderful, I cried a little on the way home. It is finally happening.

May 10, 1999 – Jeff and I had our Physicals today and had blood drawn for the many blood test. Now we have to find out about travel shots yuck.

May 15, 1999 – We went and played in Cripple Creek today for our Anniversary we decided to let the Paperchase (what everyone calls the gathering of all the documents you need to send to China) rest and go have fun. Cassie stayed at her best friends’ house for the day and had a blast. So everyone really enjoyed themselves. We were married 11 years ago yesterday.

May 18, 1999 – We are working in the yard today trying to get our new house to looked lived in. We are also searching for a swing set. We need to get a big one now. Since the twins and when our little one gets here.

May 23, 1999 – We had our first meeting with our Social Worker today to start our Home Study. It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, I was really nervous. I made Jeff and Cassie help me scrub the house top to bottom. But she was just so nice and helpful we have our second meeting on June 11, 1999. I was a little disappointed that it was so far off because I want to get my documents to China in June. Our SW said that she would need that much time to get the report done. So maybe we will still have a DTC of June.

May 27, 1999 – Cassie’s last day of School at Grace for the year. Yahoo. We still have a few things to finish up here at home. But we will get them done. I was very impressed with Cassie’s standardized scores well above her grade level. So she is doing just great in school.

May 18- 31, 1999 - We went camping this weekend up by Woodland Park. We had a great time. But discovered that we will need to get a bigger camper to accommodate another child. So we will start looking around. We may go back to a tent trailer they have so much more room for the money. Jolly went with us too since he has a sore on his neck that needs medication. Boy was he a hit. We decided that we would take him every time instead of paying someone to sit him. He loved his little portable barn (the back of the truck).