|OK, if you look REALLY close, you can see this is a FedEx package that came to me. I forgot to photograph the REAL package, but you get the idea! Besides, all blog posts are more interesting with pictures!!|
For those non-adoptive families, the USCIS portion of international adoptions is a big deal because it is the FBI background check and fingerprinting ensure your suitability to adopt a child from a Hague convention country. You have to send in the application to the Department of Homeland Security along with your home study, your birth and marriage certificates along with a few other documents (and a hefty fee!). They review all of this and then send you a notice of when you have to go in to have your fingerprinting done. Usually this can take up to two months. So, there is a pretty lengthy delay just waiting on the government to do their thing. So the faster you get it to them, the faster you can start waiting. :)
The problem is you can't send the application in until your home study is done and of course, it's taken us about 3 months to get our study completed. We have a few little things to do in the meantime, but once those fingerprint records come back, everything goes to the State Department in DC to be certified and then Chinese Embassy in DC to be authenticated. After everything is authenticated, our dossier goes to China! And then the real wait begins!