Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It looks like the petition worked!!! I received a phone call today from a friend who delivered the good news while I was at work. I was so happy that I cried! This is a huge relief on so many levels for our family. Thank you (again!) to all of our friends and family who signed the petition!!! Here's the email we received from our agency today. I keep reading it over and over again to make sure that it is real-

Dear Great Wall Family,

After advocating on behalf of adoptive families for the past 6 months, Great Wall and Joint Council are very pleased to confirm that USCIS has formally announced on their website a very positive ruling concerning the I-600A process.

In summary, it is our understanding that, effective immediately, families who filed Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008 and whose USCIS approval of that petition (aka the I-171H/I-797C) has not expired, will be able to proceed with their adoption under the I-600A process if they take certain steps while their approval remains valid. This means that families with valid Form I-600A approvals will not be required to transition to The Hague process via the Form I-800A. In order to maintain their status as ‘grandfathered’ cases, families with non-expired Form I-600A approvals must request a one-time free extension. Then, prior to the expiration of the one-time free extension, families must file a new Form I-600A and pay the appropriate fee.

Therefore, under these guidelines the following steps apply:

Families who filed the I-600a prior to April 1, 2008 will receive an I-171H/I-797C approval that is valid for 18 months.
Families are eligible for one free extension of their I-171H/I-797C if they file the request for this extension prior to the expiration of their original I-171H approval. This extension is valid for another 18 months.
Should the family need to extend their I-171H/I-797C approval a third time, they will be able to submit a new Form I-600A and pay the appropriate fee. Their approval will then be valid for another 18 months.

If the adoption from a Hague convention country is not completed after the third filing of the I-600A, the family would then be subject to the guidelines of the Hague Adoption Convention and would then need to file the I-800A. Families with a Form I-600A approval that has expired and who have not obtained an extension or filed a new Form I-600A, will also need to undertake the Hague process

We offer our collective congratulations to everyone who participated in the Joint Council Call-To-Action. Our collective voice is definitely stronger than any singular organization or individual.

If you wish to read the full text of the announcements issued by USCIS, they can be found at USCIS Announcement and USCIS Q&A.

Thank you again for your support and participation.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our Journey to Meili

Today marks 31 months since we were LID. Slowly but surely, we are getting there. We often hear that after referral, the wait seems like a distant memory. I honestly can't imagine that being the case , but I figured why not document the process just to be safe. I can't wait to watch this with Meili one day when she is old enough to understand, not because I want her to feel like she owes us anything, but because I want her to know that she was wanted and loved for a very long time before she joined our family. So, here it is. A huge thank you to those of you who sent pictures and especially to those friends and family who have been so supportive along the way!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Photo Scavenger Hunt-Please Help!

*UPDATE* You guys rock! I have everything that I need with the exception of the 'out of review/CCAA Box.' Thanks so much!

I'm working on updating our 'Waiting for Meili' video and need a few pictures to make it complete. I'm putting this plea out to blogland hoping that some of you might be able to help me out. I'm looking for:
  • pictures of CCAA before and/or after the move. Anything would be appreciated. I'm hoping for the picture that has the stacks of dossiers on the shelves...
  • A picture of the Great Wall that won't be blurry when it is full sized in the video
  • a picture of 'the box' that used to be on the CCAA's website when our LID (March 10, 2006) was out of review. I can't believe I didn't save this somewhere.
  • The China Ultrasound picture
  • a Map of China that also won't be blurry when it is full sized
  • The China 'Stork' photo-again, can't get a clear one
  • February DTC Yahoo Group Logo

If you have any of these, I would be so appreciative. I'm itching to finish my project! My email is azboutons@comcast.net

Counting Down to Meili

Apparently, I'm not the only one getting a bit anxious to have a baby girl in the house. We have a chalkboard in the hallway downstairs where we keep an ongoing to do list for Matt and I. Audrey noticed that my side was blank and decided to help me out...
The batch of referrals at the beginning of September went through February 9th, leaving only 29 LIDs until ours. I decided that it was probably a safe time to get the kids on board with tracking referrals and making some sort of visual to count down the LIDs until it is finally our turn. For Family Night two weeks ago, we made a Countdown to Meili sign and 29 paperchains to tear off as the CCAA gets closer to matching us with our baby girl.

Last week, 6 more days worth of referrals were sent and six paperchains were torn off. That leaves only 23 more ahead of us! I'm starting to get excited (We might get a referral as soon as February!) but I'm stressing big time over our USCIS paperwork but that's another post for another day.