Day 2: Adoption Acronyms & Jargon

There are so many people, acronyms, and terms associated with adoption that those involved in adoption (particularly international!) quickly learn the language of Adoptionese. For example, my husband and I are at the very beginning of our second adoption, so here is what I might say to fellow adoptive mom concerning my current status:

Adoptionese: We wanted to boomerang ASAP and were just cleared by our LL SW. Our HS SW is coming to do our update on 5/22 with Kai’s next post-placement. We’re shooting to be DTC by June, but hoping to be LOI in a couple of weeks because we think we found someone on the SN boards! So, hoping for a quick PA and the dreaded LOA. Lord willing, we’ll have TA and be in GZ before mosquito season!

Regular Joe Translation: After Kai’s adoption, we knew that we wanted to adopt another as soon as possible. We reapplied to Lifeline Children’s Service, our adoption agency, and were just given clearance by our social worker! Now we need to refresh our adoption documents that were used with Kai’s adoption. So, our home study social worker is scheduled to meet with us on 5/22 to update our home inspection, interviews, etc. on the same day that she’ll be doing Kai’s 6 month post-adoption placement visit. We’re hoping that all of our home study updates, references, background clearances, etc. will be ready to send to China by June. But, as all adoptive moms do, I’ve been obsessed with browsing the special needs waiting children boards and we think we found our Lok! We’re hoping to submit our Letter of Intent and corresponding paperwork in a couple of weeks. We’re also hoping for a quick Pre-Approval after our paperwork is sent and hoping that our Letter of Acceptance wait won’t be too long! Lord willing, we’ll have Travel Approval to schedule our flights to China and will be at the US Consulate in Guangzhou before next summer! 

See the difference?! Thank God for acronyms and jargon. Well once you understand it, that is. Since I only have first-hand experience with a Chinese adoption, I’ll clue you in on our jargon. Each country has its own requirements, so terms that we use for China may or may not be used in Korea, etc.  adoptions. But all international adoptions will be much more similar in style to each other then they would be to domestic adoptions. We are, after all, dealing with two countries… and the dreaded Hauge!

Here’s your Adoptionese 101:

AP: Adoptive Parent

CA: Consulate Appointment (your scheduled date and time at the US Consulate where your new little becomes an official US citizen)

CCCWA: The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (where all the action happens on the China side of your adoption)

China Mom: A mom adopting from China (yes, we know that we are [usually] not Chinese, but it’s how we refer to each other)

Dossier: a collection of an insanely crazy amount of personal documents, writing, financials, photos, criminal clearances, medical reports, homestudy, etc. This takes forever to finally make ready.

DTC: Dossier to China (your dossier is finally sent to China! This must be done within 6 months of receiving your PA)

Gotcha Day (the day you finally meet your little; also referred to as Forever Family Day)

GZ: Guangzhou (a city in southeastern China which hosts the US Consulate; all families travel here)

Hauge: The Hauge Convention (the reason why international adoption takes so long and is so expensive, courtesy of the UN. Me no likey, you can read about it here:

HS: Homestudy (a collection of documents to prove your family’s trustworthiness and emotional, physical, financial, and psychological readiness to add a new member; this also includes several interviews, trainings, book reports, and an inspection of your home)

LOA: Letter of Acceptance (the magical document that give you confirmation of your match, but it’s much more important that PA. You’re generally in China about 2 months after receiving this document)

LOI: Letter of Intent (the paperwork you send to China once you found your child)

LID: Log in Date (the date that China receives your dossier and logs you into the CCCWA system)

OOT: Out of Translation (hooray, your dossier has been translated from English to Mandarin and can be reviewed by the CCCWA.)

PA: Pre-Approval (China’s approval of your family pursuing your new little)

SF: Special Focus Child (a child with a difficult to place medical special need or an older child)

SN: Special Needs Child (a child with a medical/cognitive special need; almost every China adoptee falls into this category)

SW: Social Worker (often your favorite and least favorite person in the world depending on the day and the news they have to share)

TA: Travel Approval (pack your bags, you’re going to China!)

Whew! Clear as mud, right? Hopefully this was a teeny bit helpful. I’ll be referencing these terms in upcoming posts, but I’ll try to include their snippet definition whenever I use them. There’ll be a quiz in the next post, so I hope you took notes!



I suppose it’s not much of a secret, but it’s official as of today. China adoption #2 is officially in progress. We are on the hunt for our Lok!

We don’t know who exactly Lok is yet or where in China he is, but we do know that we already love him and can’t wait for him to come home! We aren’t starting this adoption off with as much of a savings as we did with Kai’s adoption. In fact, we probably only have enough to cover our home study, BUT we are firm believers that God will provide whatever resources we need to bring Lok home. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. This adoption means truly trusting in Him to supply our needs.

So, if you’re sitting on an income tax refund larger than you know what to do with, I have an idea! Click here and go for it. What could you possibly buy that’s better than building a family?! 😉

So if you were thrown off by the title of this post, let me explain. A boomerang family is what the adoption community refers to as that special kind of crazy family who completes back-to-back adoptions using the same (albeit updated) dossier (adoption paperwork dissertation). I have seen many boomerangers go before us and I hope that we proudly carry the torch while we journey to Lok.

Let’s go back to China!

Important & Personal News

Hello! Remember me? I know, I know, I’ve been the world’s worst blogger as of late. It’s not that I do not love sharing with you; it’s just that I have been so insanely busy in my little corner of the planet.

Now, time to get personal. Okay, the entire vision/purpose of Lefty Lex Creations shifted a few months ago from something that I enjoyed doing/a goal that I had set for myself to its current mission: Operation Adoption Fundraiser! I share this because yesterday was my 29 ½ birthday. (Yah, happy halfie to me!). Now normally people over the age of 9 do not give a hoot and holler over half birthdays, right? And it is certainly every woman’s lifelong goal to never reveal her age; especially if she’s hitting a milestone year. However, I am broadcasting my 29 1/2th because it means that I have exactly six months until Husband and I can officially submit our application to adopt from China! Hoorray!!!


Now, there is still MUCH to be done in between now and January 10th. One of the largest being fundraising. Husband and I are very smart with our money and are not lavish people; so we have saved a healthy amount towards our adoption over the past year or so. However you would be amazed at how much an adoption costs!

The “average” Chinese adoption costs between $27,000-$35,000. Um, yikes? Why so much? (This is the question that usually follows when I astonish people with those numbers). Well, a bunch of little adoption fees add up to one giant expense overall. Application fee: $500. Homestudy: $4,000. Dossier fee: $800. Orphanage donation: $7,000. Child’s Visa: $380. Closing an adoption and brining your child home: priceless. (Sorry, I couldn’t refuse; the list was beginning to sound like a bad credit card commercial!). Obviously, the fees I listed are not the only one associated with adoption, but you get the gist.

I share this all to explain why I’ve been blog MIA. I have been working my little butt off on custom orders and preparing for craft fair after craft fair after craft fair. All of this because I want to be a mom and we need funds in order to make that a reality. If that means that I have to continue waking up at 5AM and put 3 hours of Lefty Lex work in before going to the office and then picking up the stitching again as soon as I’m home and put in a few more hours, then so be it. I’m not looking for pity here, I’m just sharing. And if you have a rich uncle who wants to donate to our adoption, by all means, send him our way!

In the meanwhile, I encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and (best of all) Instagram and if you see something that you like, I’d be more than happy to sell it to you. I also do custom orders (which I absolutely love) so if you don’t see what you’re looking for, then just ask. I will be starting bi-weekly Insta-sales, so I’d encourage those of you on Instagram to follow @leftylex.


Geez, I can be wordy! Well, hopefully I didn’t bore you all to death, and if you’ve made it this far I applaud you. And I’ll reward you with this tidbit. When shopping at my Etsy shop (, use coupon code: ADOPT to receive 15% off all purchase of $18+. And please, pass the word along! Thanks for listening to me ramble, I’ll see you all soon.



Weekend Wrap-Up: Mother’s Day Edition

I’m not gonna lie, I do not feel like blogging today. That being said, blog I must so here we go! Nothing out of the ordinary happened on Saturday. All the usual tasks: teaching my aerobics class, shopping, cleaning house. Nothing fancy.


For Mother’s Day my siblings and I decided to have a little family picnic at Balboa Park. Sisters Dee and Jeri were MIA for the day’s events, but Sisters Sam and Andi, Vince, Husband, Daddy Lex, Puppy Bosco, and yours truly were in attendance to celebrate Momma Lex. And. It. Was. Hot! Thank God, we were able to find some solace under a lovely tree while eating, but the heat was brutal in sunny San Diego this weekend! After chowing down, we spent about two hours walking around the park. 

Post lunch we hit the International Cottages. If you’ve never been to Balboa Park, the International Cottages are exactly that: international cottages. They are little houses that represent various countries from all corners of the globe. I was holding the puppy at this particular time of the day, so I didn’t tour each house, but I did venture into the following: Spain, France, England, Puerto Rico, USA (which was ridiculously lame), Iran, Ukraine, and (my favorite) China!

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China was especially awesome because there was a young girl inside who would write your name in Chinese characters for you. I briefly explained to her our plan to adopt a daughter (I tried to sneak that in without Husband rolling his eyes because he still wants to adopt a son) from China and that we want to name her Jia which means health and beauty. She was so genuinely happy to hear of our plan and quickly began writing but told me that she would translate Jia to mean “elegant” and “lucky”. Fabulous!


This is now one of my most treasured pieces of paper. I highly doubt that she will know how much I am going to study this. I absolutely love it! And best of all, she was left-handed too!

Can we pause for a moment to adore the cuteness of Husband? This is his cheesy smile and it is my favorite! Sister Sam got in on the action too. I think that even Bosco was trying his hand at Husband’s smile as well.

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We purposely stumbled upon a flower show. Momma Lex is a giant gardener, so we figured that she would quite enjoy the work of fellow gardeners. Aren’t these amazing? I want to stitch them all!

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Overall, I think that mom enjoyed her special day. And she deserves it. I know that even at the even though I am all grown and married, I can still count on my mom to be there whenever I need her. Love you, Mom… even though we all know that Bosco is your favorite child!