WooHoo!!! Yes, sirree, I'm going the Happy Document Dance!
Today I received my "Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition," the much awaited I-171-H form!
I'd just been on the phone to A., the China coordinator at my agency, and a few minutes after hanging up, she rang me back to tell me that it had just arrived in their daily mail. The agency receives a copy and so do I, but my mail is delivered in the afternoon and the agency's mail is delivered mid-morning. The first thing I felt was a brief sense of relief and then a major brain switch to logistics. I needed to get to my agency ASAP but I was working, meaning, I had to bring my four daycare babies with me, then as I knelt down and offered a prayer of thanks to the Lord, I was overcome with humility at His greatness in fulfilling his promise to me and I started bawling like a baby.
It was just after noon when I got the call and my daycare babies were just starting to wake up from their morning naps. I got them up, changed and fed them in record time, loaded all four into carseats and was at my agency shortly after 2pm to sign and have the forms notarized that pertained to this I-171-H form.
While I was there, I read my homestudy, which was quite nice and a bit different than I imagined it would be. It was much more simplistic than I expected, my life story crammed into neat paragraphs under specific headings and that was it.
A. also showed me what the certification document looks like and the authentification seal from the Chinese Embassy that's placed on the back of that document, since some of my documents have already been certified and authenticated. The photo doesn't due to Chinese seal justice.
Certification from the Secretary of State of California
Authentification seal by the Chinese Embassy (actual size ~3"x5")
As of this moment, the forms in my dossier that require certification are already enroute to my agency's Sacramento office to be taken to the state capitol, having left my agency at 3:30pm today by Fed/Ex. How is that for efficiency! They will be returned to my agency's local office this Thursday and taken immediately to the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco. Authentification takes 2 to 4 days. It is predicted that my "group," those families whose dossiers are also ready, will be sent to China March 26, this coming Monday, unless my authentification holds the group up (shh, don't tell anyone it was me), which means they will be sent March 27 or 28. I can't wait to see my arrival in Beijing date since it may very well be on April Fool's Day.