So we were so excited to receive our I-797 Approval Notice letter from the USCIS, since it is the last piece to our dossier. But there are a few more steps we need to complete before everything is sent to China. So what's the next step?
The USCIS letter we received is needed later in the adoption process, so we need to make a photocopy, have the copy notarized, and then send it to the TX Secretary of State to be certified (remember our posts back in March bout the paper chase process). This process typically takes 5-7 days to complete. So today, bright and early we stopped by our local UPS store to copy, notarize, and same-day deliver our I-797 letter to the Secretary of State in Austin, TX.
Then (hopefully next week) we will send the I-797 letter with the state certification, via our courier or perhaps ourselves (depending on what day we receive the state certified copy), to the Chinese Consulate in Houston--about 2-3 hour drive from Austin. The Chinese Consulate in TX requires all documents to be delivered in person, which requires us to hire a courier or to bring it ourselves. We think it would be a fun road trip, but is totally at the mercy of our work schedules, so we will see. Luckily we have already completed this process with several other documents and LOVE our courier (www.mychinadocs.com), and the process generally only takes 7-10 days. By delivering it ourselves we probably save a couple of days.
After these steps, we will have the copy of the I-797 letter, which is notarized, state certified and authenticated by the Chinese Consulate, ready to be sent to our adoption agency Children's Hope International in St. Louis, MO. And then..it will be on way to China within the same week. So here's to hoping we will be DTC -(Dossier To China) in 4-6 weeks!