"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him." -Derek Loux
POWERFUL and oh so TRUE!
So backing up a bit...our home study social worker came mid-December to update our home study. That went well and she worked hard to get it done quickly. However, it was just horrible timing. She got it to our agency right before Christmas, but our agency was closed from Christmas Day through New Year's Eve. I checked in on it the week after New Year's, thinking that it would be approved pretty quickly since it had already been approved by China once and just had a few updates. The social worker who approves home studies for our placing agency was backed up from the holiday break and then had a sick child. It ended up being a couple weeks later and then we had some things that needed to be added. We took care of that in one day and our local social worker got it turned around immediately. Finally, on Jan. 16th, our home study was approved. The next day, our local social worker had our home study to us in the mail. However, because it wasn't coming from Madison, WI, but instead from the home office in Illinois, it did not get to us as quickly as I had hoped. I checked the mail on Friday and was disappointed to not see it. Saturday- nothing. Then it dawned on me that Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and there would be no mail. I cried. Tuesday, I knew it had to be coming, but our wonderful mail lady (who happens to go to church with us) usually comes when the kids are napping. I didn't want to feel rushed getting it back to the post office so it could go out with our supplement 3 form for USCIS- Immigration. After picking Lena up at school, I drove around the blocks near our home and found the mail truck. I hope I didn't scare sweet Cindy. She did some digging and found it for me! YAY! Love her and gotta love a mama's heart for her kiddos...anything to save a day of waiting. We went straight to the post office and mailed the home study out with our immigration documents. I made sure they would get them the next day. :)
Immigration received our documents the next day- Jan. 23rd. On Friday, Jan. 25th, we got an email from USCIS. Then we got a receipt notice in the mail. Rick go this appt. notice for finger-printing on Wednesday, February 6th. And here I am still waiting for mine. This is not typical- usually they come together or very close, though I do have a few friends who had this happen to them. The husband got one appt. and the wife didn't get hers for a week or two later and some even had different appointment dates! Our system is so wrong and messed up- this takes entirely way too long for what it is. Today- something inside me said...it's been a week- CALL! Thank God I did. It took almost all day to hear back from someone, but our officer (who thankfully I have heard is one of the better ones) called and said it was an over site and I didn't have an appt. scheduled. Sigh. She said the notice would be going out in the mail and that I'd get it in 2-3 days. So that's where we are. Hoping it comes Friday or Saturday and we will be walking in early next week to get our finger prints. Please pray they let us in early! I will do about whatever it takes, even if it means crying (that actually comes very easy for me naturally...lol). The good news is that our officer told us to let her know when we get them if we go in early. I think she will approve them pretty quickly based on our son's circumstances.
So that's where we are at. I am just dying to make an announcement that we are Dossier to China (DTC). Oh that will be the day! :) We have one step after immigration- authentication. We have to send three documents to our state and to to the US consulate in Chicago to get authenticated. Hoping we can get that done very quickly.
Based on Lena's adoption timeline, that would put us traveling around mid-late August. Hoping we get to expedite some steps so that it will be quicker. We still have a goal to get there before his 6th birthday, July 1st. Not sure how realistic that is, but we can hope.