The end of last week was quite a whirlwind in our adoption paperwork process. Our visa application was logged in to the National Visa Center, assigned a case number, and cabled off to the CCCWA (Chinese offices for adoption processing) IN.ONE.DAY. All on Wednesday, March 6th.
We were still breathless from the excitement and trying to wrap our brains around what our timeline could now look like, when our agency contacted us on Thursday to say that our Article 5 (the packet of paperwork for all that visa stuff and stuff meant to trigger the travel planning process) had been dropped off already by their in-country contact in Guangzhou. WOW.
So you can imagine our surprise and delight and utter terror when I say that our Article 5 HAS BEEN APPROVED!!! And is ready for pick up by our in-country contact for movement on to the Travel Approval stage of the paperchase. (Click on the highlighted link in that sentence above for an explanation of the process called Article 5.)
Yes. What is supposed to take a "standard" two weeks has been graciously expedited. To TWO.BUSINESS.DAYS.
We KNOW that the Lord has intervened to show Himself strong. He has brought many kind and wonderful folks to come alongside us, not the least of which has been our Congressman's assistant. She's been so diligent and persistent and is almost as excited as we are about this whole trip.
But yeah. So now, I gotta get packing. And list-making. And cooking. And list-checking.
Current travel approvals are running as quickly as 7-10 days. Departure is usually about 2 weeks after that. The agency is working on it today (see step 12 below on the handy-dandy visual!). Like, now, today.