I thought I should take a moment and define some of the terminology I have been using in my previous posts, so here goes . . .
Dossier -- this is the packet of information we had to collect to send to China in order to adopt. In this packet are our birth certificates, marriage certificates, fingerprints, security clearance, and anything else "official" you can think of. Each piece in the dossier had to go through three different government offices to be authenticated. They first went to our local government in the form of notaries; second they went to the state to be certified; and finally they were sent to Washington, D.C. to be authenticated. Collecting these documents took about 4 months.
Homestudy -- this is when a social worker came to our house and asked us all kinds of questions about our personalities, childhood, married life, etc. We met with her four times. Twice individually and twice as a couple. She looked at our house and made suggestions on how we could make our house more child-friendly. In the home study we had to include photos of our house, which room would be the baby's room, the two of us participating in our hobbies, and anything else we deemed important. We also had to have complete physicals and be up to date on all of our vaccinations. Our medical histories are also included in the home study. Two copies of this 18 page document (I think) are included in our dossier.
DTC (Dossier-To-China) -- This is the day that our agency, Great Wall China Adoptions, sent our completed dossier to China. When we finished collecting everything for our dossier, we sent it to our agency to be quadruple-checked. Our DTC was May 27, 2005. This date doesn't have much significance to the adoption process. It is more of a checkpoint/turning point for the adoptive parent.
LID (Log-In-Date) -- This is the day China (CCAA) received our paperwork and the clock officially began ticking. Our LID is June 9, 2005.
Referral -- The referral is the information about our baby. This is what we are waiting for!! In the referral will be several photos of the baby we have been matched with, his/her medical history, and what the child's personality is like. Hopefully we will be receiving ours soon! Once we receive our referral, we will travel to China in 6-8 weeks.
CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) -- this is the government office in China that handles ALL adoptions. This is also one of the reasons why we chose China.
Hope this clears things up for people!