Or at least we did. Today we received the elusive big brown envelope from the Department of Homeland Security. Yep, our fingerprints have been approved and now we can send our documents to China (well, actually, our agency will need a few weeks to authenticate all of our documents first, then they are off to China)!
The other mail we received, via e-mail, was from our agency explaining about the current delays in the China adoption program. As it stands now, even if they consider us an expedited family (due to my husband's Chinese heritage), we will probably not be traveling to get our daughter during 2006.
Here is an excerpt from our agencies e-mail:
CHILD ASSIGNMENT TIMES - If you have been monitoring the assignment of children from China, you are aware that for the past four months, the waiting time for child assignments has been steadily increasing. There have been numerous explanations for this such as larger than normal volume of applications, lost time because of holidays, etc. For families directly affected by this recent change in assignment practice, the reason is not as important as the event itself.
As our recent monthly updates have indicated, CCAA has been assigning children to only a partial month of login dates at a time (covering approximately 14 days). Since assignments are generally made once per month, this has had the effect of steadily increasing waiting times. Yesterday, this pattern changed again when CCAA assigned children to only 6 days of May 2005 login dates (May 25 through May 30th). We do not know whether the assignment of only several days of login dates will continue in the months ahead, however if CCAA continues to assign only a partial month of dossiers once per month, then waiting times will continue to increase. At this time, we have no clear indication of what will happen with the next few month's child assignments; but if the present pattern (of assigning a partial month of login dates) does not change, we expect waiting times to continue to rise even further. Information about the number of days of login dates that will be included in the next group of assignments is not available from CCAA at this time.
FOR FAMILIES WHO DO NOT YET HAVE A DOSSIER LOGIN DATE - From the date that dossiers are express mailed from our office, it has been taking CCAA up to 4 weeks to log in dossiers. Three to four weeks is now common. Additionally, it has been taking significantly longer for CCAA to notify us of the log in date for some groups. It has been explained that the work volume at CCAA is the cause of longer log in and agency notification times. CCAA logs in dossiers in the order in which they are received and when the staff's work volume allows it. Please be assured that we carefully monitor receipt of your dossier by CCAA and receipt of log in dates and we will inform you of your log in date just as soon as the information is released by CCAA. It will take up to 60 days to receive written verification of your login date from the time that your dossier is sent to China.
This is not encouraging.