#BringCalebHome: Paperwork and Bonding

It’s Saturday afternoon here in Guangzhou, China as I am writing this. It is hot! Like 95 with suffocating humidity hot. We have had Caleb for five days and have about five days left before getting back to Delaware. One question we’ve been asked is why the trip to China is so long (15-16 days).

The process of adoption here (not sure about other places) is very linear and happens a step at a time. You cannot “Pass Go” or “collect $200” until the step before is complete. So here is a quick rundown of our itinerary and the process of adoption.

May 10-13: Arrive, Sightseeing in Beijing (helps adjust to the time change), fly to province.

May 14: Receive Caleb- 24 hours with Caleb before adoption

May 15: Officially Adopt Caleb, get everything notarized

May 16: Apply for Chinese passport

May 17th: Touring Day (waiting for paperwork to process)

May 18th: Health Clinic Check-up

May 19th: Touring/Shopping

May 20th: Zoo Visit

(Now we really start working our way home)

May 21st: Visa Appointment at the US Consulate

May 22nd: Shopping Day (i.e. waiting for paperwork)

May 23rd: Pick up Visas, go swimming one more time, pick favorite place to eat, and say good-bye to the other families.

May 24th: Leave Guangzhou and begin long journey home

Every step along the itinerary is build around paperwork of either the adoption or the visa process. Most of the appointments take 1-2 hours with travel. Some 3-4. Which leaves time during the day to bond with your child. Doing this in a hotel room is less than ideal- but families make it work.

Attachment/Bonding is a long process that has many stages over the course of weeks, months, and years. I think we are off to a good start, though you can see the difference in the process with Malachi (14 months at adoption) and Caleb (25 months at adoption).

We are ready to come home. We looking forward to a bowl of cereal, water with ice cubes, seeing Abbie and Malachi, and sleeping in our own beds. Thank you for your continued prayers!

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor of Orchard Church in Magnolia, Delaware. Elder in the Pen-Del Conference.
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