We had to receive this letter before we could take the next step, which is to return approximately ten documents to our adoption agency, one of which is the DS-230 (Ming Jia's visa application!). Once Great Wall gets our package this week, it will be forwarded to their staff in China and they will deliver the DS-230 to the U.S. Consulate. The consulate will review Ming Jia's visa application and verify the other approvals in our file, and then they will sign off that everything is in order for the adoption to be completed. This is called the Article 5, and we cannot gain custody of our daughter without it. I am hoping that the visa application will be in the hands of the American Consulate by the end of this week, and at that point it should take about 2 weeks for them to process the Article 5. Once that happens, the Article 5 is sent to our agency's staff in Beijing and they will hand deliver the letter along with our signed LSC to the CCCWA for them to begin working on our Travel Approval. We are being told that TA takes 3-8 weeks. Boo.
I know all that is hard to follow. In a nutshell, we are waiting for:
1. Article 5 (3 weeks)
2. Travel Approval (3-8 weeks)
3. Travel dates (2-3 weeks)
Realistically, it will probably be 3 months before we travel to China. Two months is possible, but unlikely. In my heart, I still imagine a February departure :)
In other news, we sent Lakey a care package on November 30.
One of Jeremy's oral surgeons speaks Chinese and was kind enough to translate a letter that I wrote to Lakey's foster family. I included a disposable camera and hopefully her nanny will take pictures of Lakey with her friends and surroundings and give the camera back to us when we get her. I think this will be an important part of helping her understand her beginning some day. Lakey also gets the coat, socks, pajamas, blanket, and zebra. I included a photo album with pictures of her and also pictures of us (with Chinese captions so that her nanny can explain to her who we are). The Dum-Dums were supposed to be for the other kids living with the family but they got thrown out because DHL said that there was a good chance the candy wouldn't get through customs. I did, however, send several of those pop tube things you can find in the dollar section of Toys R Us for the other kids. They didn't make this photo. The stickers are for everyone too. Oh, and there is also a musical microphone for Lakey. It plays six or seven songs and you can also record messages on it. So I pre-recorded a message for her - partially in what is certain to be terrible Chinese (thanks Rosetta Stone). I don't know, it seemed like a good idea.
So that's it for now. I miss her.