If you are going to adopt from a Hague country like China then you will need an
I800A visa. If you want to do a SN process, get the visa first. Most SN kids are on a central waiting list. If you have all your papers together first, including the visa then you will be free to apply for a child on a waiting list. It can take months to get this visa. If you are adopting from a non Hague country like Ethiopia then wait to get your I600A visa. If you plan to adopt a healthy non SN child, you should also wait. Your process is going to take years (3-5 years) and a visa is only good for 18 months.
I've been told an American living abroad can not get an I800A visa, and this is the why I can not adopt from China (oh, and Juergen not saying yes yet would also be a reason, and not having the money). I heard from another agency that they would now work with us because Americans living abroad are now being granted I800A visas. I down loaded the application. I'm going to take a good look at it. If I could come up with the money and an OK from my wonderful husband maybe it could be done. I guess the best thing for me to do is just try to get the visa. I think we have to be with an agency before we can apply for the visa, and have a home study. Does anyone know if you have to be with an agency before you can apply for a visa? I'm so funny! Can you tell I want to adopt a sister for Sarah?