Today we went to the Kentucky state capitol building in order to have our dossier (collection of documents for adoption) appostilled/authenticated. Basically, the secretary of state's office had to verify the county clerks in Fayette and Hardin counties, who had verified all of our notaries. We received nice certificates and seals (or stickers, as Alexis said) on all of our documents to show that they were officially state certified. While there, we took a little tour of the building with Alexis. She loved the Lincoln statue, and she kept saying, rather loudly, "Hey! He looks like Jesus!" She also wanted to know where George Washington was and if we could go look for him!
After we left Frankfort, we made a hurried trip to Lexington to get to our adoption agency before they closed for the day. They thoroughly reviewed all of our documents and packed them to be sent overnight to a hired courier in Washington, D.C. This courier will take them to the U.S. Capitol, where they will be authenticated in Hillary Clinton's office, and then sent to the Chinese consulate for review. Our agency informed us that the dossier should be back in their office by next Thursday, and they will mail it to China next Friday! We were so excited to hear this! It will take approximately 2 weeks to receive "LID" or a "logged in date" in China. Once we are logged in to their system, we can be given a match! We were told today to expect a match sometime this summer. What great news! Our estimated travel date is still sometime around the end of the year or beginning of 2012.
It feels very surreal - and almost unbelievable - to have the dossier out of our hands and on its way. We have worked on these documents for so long and it always sounded like a distant goal. My controlling nature is struggling with letting the doucments go and realizing that I have no control in what happens from here on out. But, we have trust and faith in God to encourage us, guide us and give us the strength to prepare to be a wonderful family for Annabelle! We have much to do to prepare - emotionally and physically - so that will fill our time!