Folks in the world of international adoption some of the most amazing uplifting days happen when your agency tells you that you have three letters. For us today was one of them. We are officially DTC!!!!!!!
DTC means our dossier (the paper version of every aspect of our entire life documenting each little moment in this process thus far and all the details of our family since the beginning of our time on Earth including medical exams, financial documents, letters, a home study including our life stories, photos of our family and our home, criminal clearances, immigration services approval, and sooo much more is ALL approved, done, and in the air to CHINA!!!!!!!
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
This photo was taken by Adam at a random post office he mailed it all from RIGHT after he picked it up from the China Embassy! This photo took him an enormous amount of work. You see, last week when we received our approval from US Homeland Security we thought we could be DTC really quick. Then we found out that using the system from our agency to complete all the state seals and Chinese authentications was actually going to take at least another month if we had them do it. There was a huge moment of disappointment, crushed hearts, and tears. THEN we went to action. We only get knocked down for a little while before we get up swinging and swinging we did. We called everyone, emailed everyone, and wrote everyone learning how to do it ourselves. We put a POA in place. Remember our POAs? Plan of Action. Hawkins family necessity. The plan was for Adam to run to Richmond (our state capitol), get yet another marriage certificate because the first was rejected, then run to the Secretary of State’s office and get the marriage certificate and approval from US Homeland Security sealed by the state. Following that he needed to drive straight to DC to the US State Department to get all the documents authenticated by the US then run over to the Chinese Embassy to get all the documents authenticated there. It all had to happen on this specific day because I was traveling out of town and he had to work. HOWEVER, in order to get the US State Department seals you have to get an appointment and they only give an appointment if you are traveling within 48 hours OR if it is a life or death situation. Here’s where things got real. You see, this is a life or death situation for our daughter. She must come home and we needed the appointment the next day.
Adam spoke with a not so nice person who would not give him an appointment. He told her it was life or death and she said she needed a letter from China saying so but agreed to let him email what we had (several letters from US physicians, specialists, and a national agency on her condition.) She finished with telling him the next available appointment was two weeks away. Again, tears, frustration, and get up swinging! I texted my prayer worriers and told them to get on their knees! Prayers work! We sent the letters via email and another containing our phone numbers because I left that part off. I then had to send another email with MY phone number because Adam was so tired I was afraid he would miss the call. Not seconds after I emailed my number, my cell rang. It was someone at the US State Department and she was LOVELY! She said she had received the medical documents and agreed to give us an appointment the next day!! Guess what her name was??….. Ms. Hawkins!!
Thank you GOD!
Game on again. I am telling you now this is a roller coaster of a lifetime. The next morning Adam left with his father driving him at 3:30am and me texting the prayer worriers again. He got the marriage certificate without delay then headed to the Secretary of State’s office. They nearly rejected one form but let the minor detail go and they all received their state seal!
Off to Washington DC he went then! Prayer worriers were again updated and called to action. Through traffic and getting lost a bit, he made it to the correct office eventually for his appointment at the US State Department and all the documents received their authentications that they were all correct and signed by true officials in our country!
Now his last stop was at the Chinese Embassy but it turns out the authentications really happen at a different office location for them. When he finally found it he only had 20 minutes before they closed. Again, all the prayer worriers were notified we need this big time! He walked in, took a number, and waited. Once he was called up the gentleman pointed out two problems. We were missing copies of the other seals (we already had copies of everything else for them along with the originals) and we had an outdated translation form. He handed him a new form and sent him off. Adam sent me a message to tell everyone to pray. So I did. He then ran to ask around for a copy location and was told by the security guard to go upstairs. There he found a worker who helped him copy everything while he completed the new form and put it all back together. He then ran back downstairs, went back in the line, got another number and waited. At that point it was 3 minutes to closing. They called him up at the last minute. They took his documents and gave him a return date. The next gentleman in line was turned away.
The next few days we prayed they would not reject anything. It had taken us months to get each of those documents completed we just couldn’t think of losing more time from our daughter. Then the day came to pick them up and learn of their fate. Prayer worriers once again were called to action and our God delivered!
They were approved!!!! Every document received the Chinese Authentication!!
That was the last step in our dossier journey. Adam sent it overnight to our agency and they shipped it today off to China. Our dossier will be logged in (LID: log in date) translated (OOT: out of translation) and reviewed by the authorities that protect the little ones waiting for forever families making sure we are a suitable family after all for our little princess. Once the final review occurs we will receive a letter of approval (LOA) which will be followed shortly by travel approval. There are some steps in between we will need to do once we get LOA but no need to bother you with those right now. Let’s just celebrate and praise GOD we are DTC!!!
We also received an update today on our little pumpkin! We learned she drinks from a cup, likes to play with other children, is attached to the nannies in her area, and she falls asleep alone and “naturally.” We also gained some insight into her medical state, received measurements of her size, and perhaps most moving…we learned where she was found.
An emotionally full day for us around here but getting closer to our baby girl gives up so much hope and excitement to see what God has planned for her. We cannot wait to bring her home where she is going to be so loved by so many of you. It moves our hearts to have you with us on this journey of finding our daughter and getting her home. We could not have done without many of you. Saying thank you is not nearly adequate to express our gratitude.
Please continue to life her up in your prayers and pray her home fast :) While you’re on that calls with God, we ask that you also praise Him! He has blown us AWAY with his work through every single step and moment. He has rescued us so many times and without a doubt moved mountains to get her here. It is crazy to step back on it all and realize she was ours all along and he knew that she was there waiting for us and now is clearing paths for us to get her. Thank you my Lord for all your blessings!