Friday, January 4, 2008

International Adoption Vocabulary

I have truly developed a new vocabulary that is specific to international adoption. Here are the top 10 new words and phrases:

  1. Home Study - An unscientific study of your emotional and psychological fitness conducted by a social worker. It is all summed up in a report that includes information about your childhood, finances, illnesses (both mental and physical) and a physical look at your home. You'll never get a I-171 without it.

  2. I-600A - An advanced orphan petition that you send to Homeland Security to get approval for bringing a child into the country. Please send check, marriage license, birth certificate and make sure that they are all certified originals.

  3. I-171 - What you anxiously hope will come in the mail and what you would gladly pay extra to have expedited. It says that you have the official green-light of the government to bring a child into the country. It's the answer to the I-600A petition that they also cable directly to the country. It is the gold ticket at the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory.

  4. CIS - Is the Homeland Security immigration department that processes your I-600A and I-171 too slowly. That is unless you are in Boston. I read that someone got there approval in about a week. Don't count on it though. Check my CIS clock at the top of the blog. Tick...Tock...

  5. Dossier - An elegant sounding name for a big stack of papers that require more paperwork that must sign, notarize, get certified, and get authenticated. I love that when you get a document notarized that then you have to trek to the Secretary of State or some government office so that the clerk behind the class window can examine the notary stamp and then certify or authenticate it. I don't really love it since I had to go twice. Why, you might ask? Because the woman behind the class said that the notaries stamp was not equally black inked on all sides. A story for another day. For others it's worse because they have to hire a Dossier preparer to do all of that and then they pay the preparer to send the information to Washington D.C. for more authentication. Oh yea, your dossier is not complete without the gold ticket!

  6. Approved! - Maybe it is not a new word but it has real meaning now. You wait to have your initial application APPROVED, your home study APPROVED, your health status APPROVED, your I-171 APPROVED and your dossier APPROVED in both countries.

  7. Referral - The word that we care most about, wait the longest to hear, think will never come, and is the answer to our prayers. If you're not waiting for one then it is the notification and identification of the child that we we will be adopting. It includes pictures, medical records, and history.

  8. Court Date - This is a good court date provided everything goes through. It is the day that the Ethiopian courts finalize the adoption.

  9. Travel Date - The date we wait for after waiting for the referral and court date. Can I please just go and get my kids? You can when you get an official travel date. But, you won't get the travel date until an Embassy date has been established.

  10. Visa - It is what you fly half-way around the world to make it on time to the Embassy date to pick up. This is the visa that we get that allows the children to come home to the states. It's what you get when you get in country after you've gotten your referral, your court date, and travel date and after you've loaded too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right stuff in your suitcases. It is the first official thing that you do with the new children in their country.
The words and phrases that we really don't want to hear:

  • delay
  • wait list
  • denied
  • re-do, rewrite, resend, re-stamp, re-authenticate
  • fingerprints
  • FBI
  • immigration
  • I'm sorry...
  • It's in the mail.
Please add your own, I know that there are more.


chou-chou said...

Valarie, this is genius!!

One to add is Embassy Date. The all-important appointment that determines when you will travel.

Of course I'm solely focused on getting a Court Date. But after that I'll be looking for an Embassy Date ASAP. :-)

VALARIE - Single, Ethiopian-bound, mother-to-be of two bright-eyed Ethio children. said...

Our agency gives us the travel date rather than the Embassy date. Everyone travels in a group as I understand and go to the Embassy at the same time. I also know that other agencies give families their court date but WHFC does not give that to us.


Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]