It's official: our dossier has now been sent to China! I can't believe it! Everything has been signed, copied, stamped, sealed, copied, stamped, copied, signed, copied, sealed, signed, copied, stamped, copied, and signed, and has now left the country! The Chinese government will then log in our dossier to their system and we'll get our Log In Date (LID). The LID is when we can officially start counting the wait. Our agency said that the Chinese government is currently taking about 4 weeks to log in dossiers, so hopefully we'll be logged in by the end of March!
We being my alma mater, that is. High school alma mater--South Torrance High School.
Picture this: it's February, 1990. I'm a junior in high school. Our girl's basketball team consisted of 7 players, most of whom were Asian. The tallest was around 5'6" or 5'7". On the opposite side of our conference was a high school in Inglewood called Morningside. On the Morningside basketball team was a player named Lisa Leslie. You may have heard of her. She's the star member of the Los Angeles Sparks--our local WNBA team. She's also got an Olympic gold medal. And some other accolades and whatnot.
But here we are in 1990. Lisa Leslie's coach (and Leslie herself, actually) decided they wanted her to break the all-time record of points scored in a high school basketball game. The record was 103. They picked sad, pitiful little South High's basketball team. I'm not saying that to be derogatory--we really were rather pitiful. The carefully orchestrated game played out like a nightmare for South. Leslie was given the ball at every opportunity to score points while our players fouled out and played through injuries. At halftime, Leslie had scored 101 points--yes, 2 away from the record! And our players packed up, forfeited the game, and went home. Leslie even had the audacity to ask our coach if we would stick around for one more basket or so so she could make the record. As if.
Sports Illustrated did an article about the incident later, and there were many other articles, pretty much all of them making Leslie out like the victim of a team who were big meanies and didn't want her to get the record. However, 17 years later, our story has been told.
Witness the article in today's LA Times: "They made their stand, simply by walking away."
I have never been so proud to be a Spartan!
I just got an email ("just" being less than a minute ago). It was short and sweet. It said, "Congratulations, your dossier is complete and has been moved to translation."
After this translation, which is a summary, our dossier will be sent to China where it will be logged in. Once we get our Log In Date (LID), the wait officially begins.
Because nothing goes smoothly, we had three errors in our homestudy. The first was that two numbers were transposed on our financial statement. Kudos to our agency for catching that! Talk about a fine-toothed comb--they went through with a calculator to make sure everything added up. The second was some missing paperwork from our homestudy agency. Fortunately we had a copy of that and were able to fax it over right away. Third was that Kevin's blood tests expired. That was kind of a bummer. The good news there is that they didn't need to be notarized, certified (sent to the Secretary of State in Sacramento), or authenticated (at the Chinese Consulate in LA). It just needs to be an addendum attached to the original. We learned this Monday and Kevin fasted Monday night (since they were fasting tests). Yesterday morning he headed over to our doctor to see if the doctor could just write out an order for the tests which he would be able to do that day. Our doctor's nurse was very cool about it and just did that for him, so he got the tests done yesterday. The results should be in Thursday and Kevin will go back in and get the results and official letter all signed and everything, and then we'll send it in. Fortunately it only put us back a few days and we have plenty to spare at this point, but it's still frustrating to have one more thing. Still, it could have been a LOT worse. Other than those 3 things, our dossier looked great and we should be moving to translation very soon. Yay!
It was hot today. Like upper 80s here in Anaheim. I was working and the store does not have great ventilation (I can't wait for summer) and there was a general air of discontent, so it was a long day for all of us on the opening shift. I also slammed my finger in the shower door this morning, giving myself a colorful and fancy blood blister under the nail, and then got out of the shower and promptly closed the same finger into the medicine cabinet. That kind of set the tone for the rest of the day. The good news is that we're heading out to catch a movie and eat at my favorite chicken place, so the night has been redeemed!
Feb 14, 2007
4:52 PM Picked up FULLERTON, CA
6:47 PM Left origin FULLERTON, CA
8:54 PM Shipment exception LONG BEACH, CA Delay beyond our control
Feb 15, 2007
1:41 AM Arrived at FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
6:01 AM Departed FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
6:06 AM At dest sort facility DENVER, CO
8:38 AM At local FedEx facility ENGLEWOOD, CO
8:51 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery ENGLEWOOD, CO
FedEx is so efficient! Particularly how it took them 5 minutes to get it off the plane and put it in the stack to go to Denver. Which is what I'm assuming happened between 6:01 am and 6:06 am. Unless it actually traveled from Memphis to Denver, a distance of 1094.54 miles (according to Mapquest), in 5 minutes. And for those of you not familiar with the middle of American geography (perhaps my German friends), you have to fly East over Denver to get to Memphis, and then turn around and come back 1,100 miles. But I'm not complaining.
39 Stamps and seals
5 Sets of fingerprints
Baby Hogan: Priceless
It is with great pleasure and joy that I announce that our Dossier is complete and is on its way to our agency in Colorado as we speak. The next step is our agency's Critical Review. Unless something is majorly screwed up, which is unlikely, we are 100% done with our part. After our dossier passes Critical Review, it will be translated and sent to China, where we will be put on the bottom of a very, very large stack of dossiers and wait. That's it. Wow--I can't believe our paperchase is next to done. We signed our agency contract on July 20, 2006 and have been collecting paperwork ever since--a process that was very frustrating and often lead to tears. Still, it's all worth it. Baby Hogan is out there waiting for us. She's probably not even born yet, but she's there, calling us to her, and we're here, waiting to come and get her.
Special thanks to Z, Michael, Deb, and Dorothy, our references; Dawn, my friend in Sacramento who saved us 2 weeks by walking our documents in to the Secretary of State's office; both of our parents and families who have provided nothing but 100% support; and Wendy, best friend extraordinaire, who has been cheering me on (and being a very sympathetic ear) throughout this whole process. Thanks everyone!
Received our paperwork back from Sacramento this morning. The Secretary of State verified each notary's signature and then attached an official form with a paragraph attesting to the validation, a shiny gold seal, and a small red stamp. Here's a fuzzy cell phone picture of all 13 documents. Tomorrow I'll be dropping them off at the Chinese Consulate.
The other day I was stuffing a little girl's bear--she looked to be around preschool aged (no older than 4). I asked if they were celebrating a special occasion, and she said, "I got an award at school!" I said, "Oh really? What did you get an award for?" She said, "Empathy!" I said, "Oh that's a wonderful reward. That means you're kind and considerate of others." She nodded with a big smile on her face. Then I looked at her mom and said, "I didn't know they gave awards for empathy." The mom said, "I know! Me either!"
This past several days has been an absolute whirlwind. Wednesday I had an appointment in the morning and ran several important errands, then came home in time to rush to Chinese class, where I got a perfect score on a quiz I didn't even know was coming (it was a listening comprehension quiz). Yay me! Thursday I worked all day. And Friday? Friday was a bundle of excitement!
We finally got our "Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition"--more commonly known as the I-171H form. With that in our hands (I drove up to LA to pick it up), we rushed over to AAA to get everything notarized (funny story there in a second). Then we FedExed it to a friend of mine in Sacramento where she will hand-carry all of our documents into the Secretary of State's office for "certification." Certification is where the Secretary of State verifies the identity of the notaries (or in our case, notary) who signed the documents. We'll get those back this week and then drop them off at the Chinese Consulate where they will verify the identity of the State of California. Then if all goes well, it goes to our agency and is reviewed, then translated and sent off to China! We're in the home stretch here!
So funny story about the AAA Club. We went to our bank, Washington Mutual, to ask about notarizations since most banks (except them) do it for free. They don't. The other notaries we found charged $15 per signature--we had 14 signatures. We heard that the AAA Club did them for a reduced rate. We had the "classic" membership with AAA, which is their lowest level of coverage and includes $7 notarizations. When we got there, the woman said "Oh, you can upgrade to Premier and get free notarizations!" Well how much does that cost? "$56" Okay, let's see--14 signatures times $7 per signature--$98.00--hey, sign us up for Premier! So now we have our documents and 200 miles of free towing!