OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS! I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!!!
This will be another quick “rundown post” because so much has happened since our last update. Between numerous details and crazy kiddos I’ll just give you the main points. Please excuse any incomplete thoughts, type-o’s, etc. To be honest, I’m a bit amazed that I’m actually going to attempt writing this update!
To quickly describe what these last few months have been like, I have likened it to the “morning sickness” part of pregnancy. The days are long and sometimes figuratively sickening -BUT- you get through it by remembering the miracle of life waiting for you at the end. PILES AND PILES of paperwork, appointments, notarizations, phone calls, post office trips, shuffling your upset kids around town to courts/doctors offices/agencies…. list goes on and on and on and on AND ON. Just as in early pregnancy, this process has been equal parts exciting and exhausting!
Our home study was completed on January 27th (this included home visits, mountains of paper work, psychological and physical exams, financial and family histories, and everything under the sun you could possibly imagine that correlates into who our family is and what we are about). Yesterday, March 22nd, we received word that our home study had been approved and we now have the green light to file for immigration.
The way we go about the immigration process is by submitting an application to Homeland Security (with our completed home study and other documents) in order to gain permission for our child/children to enter the United States. Our particular department processes all incoming Hague Convention cases (established in 2008) in order to provide a framework for member countries to work together to ensure that children are provided with permanent, loving homes, that adoptions take place in the best interest of a child, and that the abduction, sale or trafficking of children is prevented. In short, this is a BIG OFFICIAL way of making sure we are going about this international adoption process with integrity and care.
I’ll be picking up a few notarized copies of our completed home study tomorrow, which enables me to get the immigration documents I’ve been preparing into SATURDAY’S MAIL. This will be a 60-90 day approval process. While waiting, I’ll be finishing up all my Dossier paperwork, notarizations and apostilles (Secretary of State stamps), as well as taking care of our FBI fingerprinting (different from our home study fingerprinting process). Additionally I will also be actively and continuously applying for grants because… oh man.. are we cutting it close.
This of course brings me to the financial side of things. In adoption there are so many hidden fees. For example, this immigration application is going to cost us around $1,000… this wasn’t in our original quoted fees from the agencies. Things like the psychological exam ($600), government stamps, requesting background checks… these all cost money from their respective businesses. SO what this means is the money I had prepared to pay for the Dossier submission ($11,500) is now not fully funded. We could use your prayers that the givers of grants will consider our family, AS WELL AS for friends who have contemplated helping in the past to step forth.
Specifically we need about $2,000 by the end of May. There will be more fees down the road as we prepare for referral and travel expenses, but this $11,500 Dossier submission is THE BIG ONE. As you can imagine, applying for grants will be a huge undertaking with little ones. Just this sloppy post has already taken me 6 hours to write with the constant, sweet interruptions.
Applying for these grants will most likely take place once the kids are in bed, so I could also use your prayers for rest. Owen still isn’t a good sleeper, and consequently the late night applications sound daunting. But again, just as in pregnancy- one foot in front of the other- you know the JOY that comes at the end of this journey!
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy giving thanks to the Father who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance and light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” – Colossians 1: 11-13