We had received our all-important I800 approval from US Immigration last week. The next step was to first attain our "Guz" number ( I really have no idea what that means, I just know it's important!), and then an important letter from the NVC. We got our Guz # on Monday this week, and then the NVC letter was emailed to us at 7:42am on Tuesday morning. Whew-hoo, that was quick. We immediately forwarded it to our agency and were under the impression that those things would be forwarded to an agency rep in China, compiled with all our other recent paperwork, and then dropped off at government offices there. This is called "Article 5 Dropoff". It's a big deal because it's literally one of the last couple steps before travel.
So we had assumed our Article 5 dropoff would be either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. But for some reason beyond our knowledge, it wasn't dropped off until today. I know yesterday was a Chinese holiday, so that contributed, but I'm bummed it didn't happen before that. Anyway, it's not for me to control. I'm so thankful our we finally have our official "dropoff" date and some closure on that step before the weekend.
Typically what would happen now is it would take exactly 2 weeks from today to process our paperwork there, then we would have "Article 5 pickup". Which is REALLY exciting because after that you wait for Travel Approval! BUT... the Chinese government will be closed for several days the first week in October, which will delay our Article 5 pickup. So here's our estimated timeline:
Article 5 Drop-off: Friday, September 20
Article 5 Pick-up: mid-October??
Travel Approval: 2-4 weeks after Pick-up
Travel: 1-3 weeks after Travel Approval
We had recently been thinking that it would be possible to leave beginning of November, but now I think it will be at least mid-November, if not later. I'm trying not to be too upset. This wait is so darn hard. Yes, I have a million things to do between now and when we leave, but I'd drop it all if we could leave tomorrow and just get our girl. We've been here before. Allie came home a few months later than we originally anticipated and the wait was agony. This process is much quicker in comparison, but still the clock seems to be ticking very slowly.
We have an assortment of pictures of her through her little life so far, here are some of my favorites.
A few days old.
She is Piglet on the left:
On the left with some of her buddies at Little Flowers, a group foster home where we think she lived most of her life until recently.
Snuggling with a nanny.