Anyway, long story short, we didn't forget about the paperwork. In fact, I just picked up our finalized homestudy. Tuesday I'll walk it into our local USCIS office and hopefully I'll walk out of the office with our I-171H in-hand.
What's next after that?
- Well, then I will take all the documents I've collected since May, and those that are not already certified (like birth certificates or marriage certificates) will get notarized.
- I'll take all the notarized copies to our County Clerk's office. The Registrar there will certify that the notary signatures on our forms are legitimate.
- Then I'll take all the certified documents to our Secretary of State. Luckily we have a branch right here. The Secretary of State will certify that the County Registrar's certification is legitimate.
- Next, I'll mail all the doubly-certified documents (plus a copy of each) to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, where the Chinese Consul will authenticate the California Secretary of State signature.
- Then, I'll make copies of all the doubly-certified and authenticated documents, along with the photographs we need to supply, and mail them to our agency, which will run a critical review of everything to make sure we have it all.
- The agency will translate the documents into Chinese and send them off to China (our DTC, or date to China).
- China will verify they've received our file by assigning us our LID, or log-in date. This is the date that will be used to determine where we fall "in line" for our next child.
And then the long wait begins.
I don't know how long it will take to get our documents back from the Chinese Consulate. I think it took us about 20 days last time. If that's the case, and everything goes smoothly with the certifying and authenticating (it did not with Marcie), and if there are no problems when our documents go through critical review, our paperwork should land in China some time in late October or early November.
It's still a little surreal, thinking about B.S. #3. I don't quite feel like the ground has settled from B.S. #2 yet. I mean, Marcie's still not even sleeping through the night (a topic of another post)! But I have no doubt that by the time our referral finally makes it to America that we will be more than ready. Dare I say downright antsy.