Hooray! We got our ultra-quadruple-certified, very seriously authenticated birth certificates. Yesss! We are golden!!! (click on the picture to see a larger version--it's all written in Chinese)
If you're curious, in order to get this we had to order certified copies of our birth certificates, then once we received those we had to mail them *back* to the secretaries of state in those same states for certification of the certified copies, then once we got those back we had to mail them *back* to those states again, this time to the Chinese consulates for authentication (in Chinese) of the certification of the certified copies. Makes perfect sense, right?
Next step is to write a letter for our dossier while we continue waiting for the I171-H form to arrive from the INS. Has anyone tried bribing the INS? (Just kidding officers! Unless any of you are reading this and *are* willing to take bribes, in which case please email me privately with the name to put on the check!)
Does anyone have any other tips about speeding up the I171-H? Or failing that, some fun ideas of what to do while we wait? Anyhow, once we have the form, we have everything for our dossier and will send it to our agency for translation and delivery of the dossier to China (DTC). We're hoping to be DTC in May (hoping, hoping, hoping), which means we *could* be traveling to China in the December/January timeframe.
(Obligatory disclaimer to our anxious friends and family: although we pretend we have this all in hand, in actuality we have no control over anything, so this timeframe is just a wild-ass guess. Do not make any plans yet.)
Talk to y'all soon, and thanks for all the good wishes and fun comments!