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The Journey to Giorgia Danette

"Hi Stephanie, How are You today? I have good news for you! You are off of the waiting list and ready to officially get things rolling. Yipeee!! Give me a call or email me so we can touch base. Have a great weekend!" - Edie

My Goddaughter!

Brooke on the Boat!

Adoption Timeline

I have seen how others have posted their Adoption Timeline and thought it was a great idea!! So…here is mine:
04-07-2005 – Contacted My agency regarding their singles program.
04-07-2005 – Overnighted my 10 page application to be considered.
04-12-2005 – Approved for the “waiting list”
06-24-2005 – Got the call to go ahead with the paperwork.
07-11-2005 – Set up appointment for Homestudy.
07-23-2005 – First home study visit. (The Home Inpection!!)
08-09-2005 – Criminal & Child Abuse Clearance.
08-22-2005 – Received my Police Report.
09-01-2005 – Failed Bloodwork attempt for Life Insurance.
09-02-2005 – Mailed my I-600A.
09-06-2005 – Went for Physical & Blood workup.
09-08-2005 – I-600A Receipt & Fingerprinting Appointment.
09-13-2005 – Completed both Employement Letters with Notary.
09-13-2005 – Second home study visit.
09-14-2005 – Passed Medicals/Doctor did paperwork incorrectly.
09-16-2005 – Got Fingerprinted in Dover.
10-19-2005 – Third home study visit.
10-28-2005 – Fourth home study visit.
11-11-2005 – Home study completed and sent to USCIS.
11-15-2005 - I physically picked up my approved Homestudy today!
11-30-2005 – I-797C (aka I-171H) came in the mail!
01-13-2006 – Dossier to China (DTC)!!!
02-17-2006 – LOG IN DATE (LID)!!!
2006 - ????? WAIT
2007 - ????? WAIT
November 2007 - Referral (Hopefully!!!)
December 2007 - Travel to China (Hopefully!!!)


Hi Everyone, here is my CRAZY list of "Things to do While Waiting". If you are already overwhelmed by the process...don't read my list. These things are not all MUSTs...I am just a crazy planner and list maker. I compiled this list from a whole bunch of different groups and sites. I thought it might be helpful in a couple of months! There are some things that I am not exactly sure what they are but from what I understand, DTC groups organize. So, we will see! If anyone has anything to add…please let me know. I have exceeded my goal of 100 things to do...but will always welcome more suggestions! At this rate, I will have NO WAIT!! LOL
NOTE: I have lightened the ones that I have completed. I hope that you can still read them.
  1. Announcements - Prepare and address your baby announcements!!
  2. Blog - If you don't have one…get one! They are great and addictive! DONE!
  3. Books - Read "Attaching in Adoption" by Deborah D. Gray. If you read only one book -- make it this one!!
  4. Car - Get your car serviced BEFORE you go!!
  5. Car Seat - Research and buy a car seat. Learn how to install it. Practice taking it in and out of your car. Have your workmanship inspected by a Certified Car Seat Safety Officer.
  6. Care Package Part 1 - After The Call, mail your baby's Care Package to her!! Get Orphanage Address.
  7. Care Package Part 2 - In the Care Package, include the Orphanage Questions in Chinese -- if you are fortunate, someone will take the time to write out the answers to the questions and give them to you when you receive your child. Later you can have the answers translated to learn about her healt, and for her Life Book.
  8. Care Package Part 3 - Include a small photo album in the Care Package with photos of Mama, Grandma, Grandpa, Puppy, Home, Nursery, etc. Under each photo, cut out and paste the Chinese characters explaining the family relationship to your child. The staff at some SWIs will show these photos daily to your child the week before you arrive to help familiarize her with new faces & concepts!!
  9. Care Package Part 4 - Prepare a Care Package (shoe box size plastic container) to send your child when the Referral arrives. Include gifts for your child and her caretakers, clothing, small toy(s), blankie, 2 disposable cameras (in case one breaks), and!!! camera instructions in Chinese.
  10. Caregiver Questions - Prepare a list of questions for your child's caregiver or foster mom
  11. China - Research childs province.
  12. Clothes - wash all of babies clothes and bedding in Dreft.
  13. Daycare - Find a day care provider(s) AND a backup provider!
  14. DFAQs - Practice your responses to Dumb FAQs (DFAQs) so you'll know what to say in the supermarket check-out line when someone asks: "Is she your REAL daughter?"
  15. Diaper Bag - Research, buy and fill your diaper bag(s)... (some recommend one for the car & one to carry) and a DAYCARE one.
  16. Diapers - Stock up on diapers (size 3 or larger) and wipes so you won't have the expense of purchasing them while you are on Family Leave. Get scent-free, allergy-free wipes.
  17. Documents - Citizenship (N-643 Citizenship on Behalf of Adopted Children)
  18. Documents - Form SS-5 social security application (you'll need a SS# for your tax return.
  19. Documents - Get the forms for re-adoption and/or name change if applicable in your state.
  20. Documents - Get 3 years of W-2s, tax returns and employment letters ready -- you'll need these for the I-864 (Affidavit of Support) for your child's embassy appointment -- remember to get tax returns and the I-864 notarized. ( I believe this only applies when one parent doesn't travel - check with your agency!) DONE!
  21. Documents - copies of tax returns just in case
  22. Documents - Get China visa photos for me. DONE!
  23. Documents - Get China visa photos for travel friend.
  24. Documents - Copies of all Document disc or memory card. DONE!
  25. Documents - Prepare or update your will.
  26. Documents - Research all the different legal paperwork you need to revise for your new child and prepare it so all that's needed is to mail it in: new Will, Power of Attorney, insurance/ stocks/ bonds beneficiary changes, etc.
  27. Documents - Research post-adoption tasks such as birth certificate, re-adoption, social security card, legal name change, child's new passport, proof of Citizenship. Start gathering the paperwork necessary. For USA residents, there is an international adoption Yahoo Group for each State which can be very helpful in traversing State Law intricacies. Ex: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/InternationalAdopt +official State 2 letter code, e.g.: for Texas: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/InternationalAdoptTX
  28. DTC - Join a DTC group! DONE!
  29. Embroider or cross-stitch the Red Thread legend.
  30. Entertainment - Facts for Community Entertainment ( museum, zoo, library story times, etc)
  31. Financials - Pay bills that may be due while you are away.
  32. Financials - Review overall Finances and make a plan.
  33. Financials - Save extra money in an emergency account for unexpected expenses once you are home.
  34. Financials - Set up all your bills so they can be paid electronically. Plan to schedule bill payments in advance of your trip, or have someone else pay your bills while you are gone.
  35. Financials - Start a college fund for your child.
  36. Financials - life insurance policy-get or update. DONE!
  37. Food - Make some freezer food for when you come home
  38. Food - Visit an international grocery store! DONE!
  39. Formula - Practice making formula (with hotpot if taking.)
  40. Gifts - for persons who get mail and/or watch dog
  41. Gifts - Purchase gifts for the child's foster mom, agency personnel (if applicable).
  42. Gifts - Start purchasing gifts for the officials in CHINA (your agency should be able to give you a list of whom it will be)
  43. Godparents - Decide on who will be godparents. DONE!
  44. Guardians - Decide on child's guardians? DONE!
  45. Health - Check on SARS worldwide CDC / WHO.
  46. Health - Get CDC recommended immunizations! Hep A/B, DPT.
  47. Health - Get in shape!! Lose 5,000 pounds!!
  48. House - CLEAN.
  49. House - Bake/Cook casseroles etc and freeze in size containers for your family per meal for when you get back from CHINA.
  50. House - Childproof home.
  51. House - Make arrangements for someone to stock the house with basic items (milk, bread, oj, etc.)
  52. House – Make sure all doors are locked and curling iron unplugged.
  53. House- Put a stop on your mail / arrange to have someone pick up mail.
  54. House - Remodel your house, or re-landscape your yard!!!
  55. Insurance - Double check with employer about adding child to insurance policy
  56. Language - Learn how to sing the lullabye every Chinese child knows: Mama Hao or "Mama is the Best (in All the World)". Lyrics and two different versions sung by a woman and a children's choir.
  57. Language - Learn Mandarin Chinese for Adoptive Parents: I love you = Wo ai ni!!
  58. Language - Learn Survival Chinese Phrases!!
  59. Language - Order Translation Vocabulary Cards from ChinaConnection or ChineseforAdoptiveParents.
  60. Medical Issues - Put together your own version of the Texas Medical Kit (no longer sold): useful medications for you and for baby.
  61. Medical Issues - Read about medical issues which may affect children adopted from China. Dr Jane Aronson's website has much to read and print out for study.
  62. Misc - Take a Chinese Cooking Class. (not-can't cook american yet. lol)
  63. Misc - Walk around your neighborhood wearing a child carrier, with your dog in it for real-life experience (or 20 lbs of potatoes for a less alarming experience for your neighbors!) .
  64. Money - Get money orders
  65. Money – Start getting crisp $100 bills for fees.
  66. Newspaper - Track down and purchase copies of local and national newspapers published on your child's birthday.
  67. Nursery - finishing touches.
  68. Nursery - Order furniture & paint your child's nursery. DONE!
  69. Parenting - Complete Parent Education Points for your agency. (if applicable) DONE!
  70. Parenting - Practice with kids about the ages you requested. That includes feeding, paying changing, bathing. Your friends will enjoy the help
  71. Parenting - Take Parenting course ...not a newborn course! Check with your local hospital. DONE!
  72. Parenting - Take a seminar in Adoptive Parenting.
  73. Pediatrician - Doctors Visits out of the way, dentist, primary health care person and eye doctor.
  74. Pediatrician - Find a pediatrician experienced in international adoption whom you feel comfortable with. Ask for recommended prescriptions for meds to take with you. Print out this list of Pediatrician Questions & China medical info:
  75. Pediatrician - Get antibiotics from Pediatrician.
  76. Pediatrician - Interview a pediatrician
  77. Pediatrician - Schedule the pediatrician appt for your child a few days after you return.
  78. Pet - Interview and sign up with a pet-sitter or kennel for your four-legged critters while you are in China.
  79. Pet - Make arrangements for someone to watch Pirate.
  80. Pet - Vet Visits out of the way for his annual visit
  81. Phone - Get country calling code for China and USA.
  82. Photo - Cameras & Video – Stock up on batteries, Memory, Tapes, Converter
  83. Photo - Videotape messages about your wait that you can give to your child when she reaches her 18th birthday. (Talk about all of your hopes and dreams and the process of waiting.)
  84. Photo - Videotape messages from your immediate family members about the joy of waiting for your child to arrive.
  85. Post Office - Notify post office to hold mail
  86. Postcard - Participate in a Postcard Exchange. (pass on this one)
  87. Quilt - Participate in a 100 Good Wishes Quilt and get movin'.
  88. Read - slews of adoption books — you won't have time after you come home with your baby!!!! DONE! (way toooo many)
  89. Referral - Keep track of the latest Referral Statistics!!
  90. Referral - Make a list for referral questions
  91. Referral Call - Print out questions for The Referral Call and post them by all of your phones: home, work, cell. Practice reading them out loud! Remember, your mind will be whirling and your hands shaking... and this special piece of paper will become a cherished page in your child's baby book!
  92. Registry - Register at Babies R Us, Target, Walmart or wherever strikes your fancy. DONE!
  93. Resources - Library for Parenting Resources. DONE!
  94. Resources - Read up on Frugal Living.
  95. Safety/First Aid - Enroll in Red Cross First Aid & CPR training. DONE!
  96. Scrapbook/Lifebook - Create a Lifebook for your child-to-be. (in progress)
  97. Scrapbook/Lifebook - get a bin for all the little items that you want to save. Receipts, poems, thoughts, etc that your child may enjoy looking trough later. DONE!
  98. Scrapbook/Lifebook - Start a journal and write in it frequently. (print out my blog)
  99. Scrapbook/Lifebook - Join a yahoo lifebook group. DONE!
  100. Shopping - If on a budget (and who is not) start shopping sales. DOING!
  101. Shopping - research items in your province to look for ahead of time
  102. Shopping - Make a list of items you would like to get your child for future important dates. (birthday, graduation, marriage, etc.)
  103. Shopping - Make a list of persons you want to shop for in CHINA.
  104. Shopping - Sew a fleece blankie for your baby. DONE!
  105. Shopping - Shop. Print out our handy shopping list then hit the mall or logon and order online.
  106. Shopping - Smock or buy an extra-special garment for your baby's Passport photos and the Red Couch photo op!!
  107. Showers - Cyber Shower - Join our Cyber Shower. DONE!
  108. Stroller (BIG) - Find the perfect model of Stroller for YOU. Remember you can buy Strollers for unbelievably cheap prices in China... DONE!
  109. Stroller (UMBRELLA) - Find the perfect model of Stroller for YOU. Remember you can buy Strollers for unbelievably cheap prices in China...
  110. Subscriptions - subscribe to adoption/parenting magazines.
  111. Support Groups - Find new mom groups
  112. Support Groups - Join Families with Children from China - local FCC that have singles.
  113. Thank you - Get all those addresses too!
  114. Thank you - Get all those thank you notes ready.
  115. Thank you - buy lots and lots of Thank you cards.
  116. Travel - Confirm Travel Arrangements
  117. Travel - Register for out of country www.usembassy.state.gov - print contact info
  118. Travel/Airline - Call airline to request special meals and infant meal on return
  119. Travel/Converter - Purchase power converter for trip
  120. Travel/Financials - Contact Credit Card Companies before leaving and advise them of trip dates to CHINA so credit card is not locked.
  121. Travel/Luggage - make a list. IN PROGRESS!
  122. Travel/Luggage - you think this list of things to do is nuts, you should see the outta control spread sheets that I have for a packing list. So step 2 - figure out what 50% of all the crap is NOT going!!! Yeah right! Work a third job to pay for the luggage fines seems more reasonable!
  123. Travel/Luggage - Make sure you have the right luggage for the trip. Check zippers, locks & wheels for functionality. Buy or borrow luggage you don't have. The CarryOnOnly & ChinaTravel Yahoo Groups have wonderful travel & luggage advice.
  124. Travel/Packing - Eliminate unnecessary items in suitcase!
  125. Travel/Packing - Pretend pack…NOW take out ½ the clothes…
  126. Travel/Packing - Purchase Packmates to smush clothing and diapers and allow you to pack more in less space. QVC.com is rumored to have the best prices -- use the Search feature.
  127. Travel/Packing - Start Packing: Make a list of what to take with you, keeping in mind the expected seasonal temps and weather. Obtain any necessary clothing and special supplies such as medications. The Yahoo travel groups have great lists! Sheri's Packlist
  128. Travel/Shoes - Purchase walking shoes for trip – and BREAK THEM IN!!
  129. Videos - Purchase travel videos about your child's birth country, and view them when you're feeling low.
  130. Videos - Try to find popular children's videos from your child's birth country. If you live in a big city, find a radio/TV station that broadcasts in her native language. The sounds of her former homeland can be comforting.
  131. Voice Recorder for trip Also buy voice recorder with LOTS of memory
  132. Website - Build a website for your child-to-be. I choose BLOG! DONE!

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