Saturday, April 25, 2015

April Adoption Update

April is nearly over.  Typing those words is actually kind of difficult.  DOn't get me wrong- its been a fantastic month- we had a wonderful 31 Purse Party fundraiser, lots of movement on the adoption paperwork front, a great Easter, my birthday- but in my naive thinking from a month ago, I had hoped our Dossier would be on its way to China by now and in reality, its still a few months off.  Austin is fond of saying 'it takes as long as it takes.'  But let me back up first.

(our fundraiser brunch- so fun to spend a morning with these ladies!)

I had been diligently working on compiling all of the paperwork needed for our Dossier and having everything authenticated (notarized, verified at the county, state, and Chinese consulate level).  All of our documents were ready- we had no hang ups or re-dos- praise God!

After Easter we received our finalized Home Study.  We reviewed it, emailed back and forth with our social worker and the China director for our agency, and a few days later, received the home study in the mail.  That evening, I took it and our I 800a and FedExed them to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).  A few days later I received confirmation of delivery and our official receipt date from USCIS.

(yes, the government texted me... I had to fill out another form for this to happen, but it was still kind of novel to receive this news via text)

This is the US's part of determining if we are eligible to adopt a child from a certain country.  They review our Home Study and based on China's country requirements, our tax info, and basically a lot of personal info, USCIS approves or denies our application to bring a child into the country.  This part of the process also involved us being fingerprinted (again) and having a specific officer assigned to our case.  In year's past this I 800a process took 2-3 weeks to complete.  At the beginning of the year, USCIS was processing I 800a's within a month.  The currently wait time for I 800a approval is running around 60 days.

Sixty days.  Two months.  I know- 'it takes as long as it takes.'  A lot can happen in 2 months (learning to crawl, first steps, first words).  A lot COULD be happening in two months (like our Dossier could be sent to China, translated, logged in, and we could potentially start searching for our little girl!).  Thus my difficulty and discouragement at reaching the end of April without another late night trip to FedEx.

Even though this is difficult, we are choosing not to stay in that place of discouragement.  There is very little we can physically do to speed up USCIS.  But we can pray (for more officers, faster officers, computers that don't crash, paperwork that doesn't get lost, mail trucks that don't break down).  And we are and if you'd like to add that to your prayer list, please, please! And we can trust in the timing of God- knowing that He makes all things work together for our good... even the waiting times, and slow paperwork processing times, and mail delivery times.

I am enjoying connecting to the online China adoption community.  I've learned more from a few facebook groups than countless books, 13 hours of adoption training, and months of research!  The BTDT (been there, done that) experience goes a long ways in my book.

Still selling necklaces- I've done lots of custom orders and would love to do more if you're looking for a unique gift idea.  Check out ideas on my etsy page.

Also, our youcaring page is still up and running- check it out!

Thank you for following along with our journey.  We really appreciate your prayers and support!

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