This is our story....of love, life, and adoption

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Outa my hands..

The paperwork did make it to a fed ex yesterday and we rec'd confirmation this morning that our agency has rec'd it. WHOOHOOO!! They said they will get it to Cathwel ASAP. So you may ask..what's next my friend...How long will it take?
So glad you asked..because I was wondering the same thing..
I asked our coordinator...

She informed us that it takes(I always love this disclaimer..give or take) about two months to get a court date.
I was satisfied with that bit of information...Jon was not..
So I had to ask again..

And she told us that after we rec'v a court date, it is typically another two months until travel. So I am guesstimating August. And since our fingerprints will expire once again on August 25th, Let's hope we get a travel date before they expire.
I really anticipate having to redo them once more because we'll be so close...but shhhhhh!! Don't tell Jon that just yet!!


Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!!! August will be here before you know it!! How old will shebe in August? Not even a year, right? Oh how exciting for you!!! Start going to a lot of movies and sleeping late, cuz soon you will not be able to do either!!! (At least for a while!!)

Tisra said...

BIG, BIG step! It's the Hurry Up and Wait game. But, you do have to SPEED, SPEED, SPEED when you actually ahve control over something, right? Well done. Sweet Claire, your Mommy and Daddy are waiting for you!

Here's to a quick court process!

waiting for referral

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...I see you do the same thing I do. Only tell your husband what he needs to know at the time. I kind of ease my husband into the fact we may have to redo paperwork if we don't get through the courts in Ethiopia before they close. He wasn't concerned, yet. So now, if we do have to redo, I can say, "But dear, I told you this might happen"

(I'll send you my new blog soon...just not advertising until we tell all the family the GOOD news)

marina said...

Hey maybe we will go at the same time!

Tish said...

HOORAY for you! I so hope you don't have to redo fingerprints!!! Hope you travel in JULY!!!

Annie said...

Also hoping you don't have to redo your fingerprints. Going by her estimates, you could travel in July, so hopefully by the time August 25 roles around you'll already be home with your sweet Claire.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you guys! I talked to you a long, long time ago when you had just started with FHSA and I have checked your blog every few months. I can't believe your time has finally come. Congratulations. She is a sweet, beautiful baby.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

What a great feeling to have that sent off! Here's to a quick court process!

PIPO said...

Crossing my fingers for some pre-August action for you!

Tish said...

The new site looks great!

Precious Wonders & Little Monkeys said...

Haha... someone else who understands that getting husbands to fingerprint is like pulling teeth! Come on July travel!!!! So excited for ya! love sofa

Debz said...

Hoping it all comes together sooner than you expect.

Just Us said...

Woo arrived and on their way to Taiwan. Wishing you a very very speedy court process and travel to scoop up your little Claire. Yipeee!!! Kristie

Anonymous said...

Just blog-surfing here, and it makes me so happy to read your posts since late February. Congratulations on your sweet daughter!

I noticed your remark, "since our fingerprints will expire once again on August 25th, Let's hope we get a travel date before they expire" and I am compelled to reply. I want to suggest that you not delay on getting your fingerprints re-done, once you approach the time that you can request an appointment (90 days ahead of expiration, I think?) I'm sure you are familiar with how s-l-o-w USCIS can be!

We were running up against USCIS deadlines about the time we were getting ready to travel for our daughter, and it turned what should have been the happiest most exciting time into weeks of incredible stress. We had to call on our congressman to push USCIS along, since our I-171H would expire just one week before we could apply for our daughter's visa. We weren't sure we would be able to leave to go get her until about three days before our flight overseas.

Once we arrived in-country and received our new daughter, our troubles were still not over! The updated I-171H extension had not yet arrived at the overseas USCIS office, although the National Visa Center claimed that they had documentation of its receipt. We went back and forth with USCIS and NVC, and we involved our congressman's office again.

At that point, we were wondering why we chose to adopt from a country twelve time zones from home. Having to wait twelve hours between every question and response made communication between USCIS offices overseas and USCIS/NVC back home extremely difficult. Not to mention that we spent many hours at night on the phone to the U.S., racking up hundreds of dollars in overseas phone bills, and missing out on precious sleep, on top of serious jet lag.

Two days before our plane tickets home, we were told that USCIS would have to restart the I-600A processing in our home state, forward the approval to NVC, who would then forward our new I-171H again USCIS overseas. We were looking at another month stuck abroad, easily, just waiting for paperwork to be processed. We were stressed beyond our limit, longing to return home.

Then, just hours after we had been given this dismal news, a miracle happened! A senior officer at USCIS granted us the paperwork we needed in order to obtain our daughter's visa, without having received our I-171H yet from NVC. They accepted a photocopy of the I-171H extension we had received in our mailbox at home, and they said they would wait on USCIS/NVC, but we didn't have to stay in the country any longer.

We returned home with our daughter on our previously-scheduled flights, and for weeks we awoke from naps to the surprise that we were in our own home again. It took that long to sink into our brains that the nightmare was finally over!

Needless to say, I kicked myself more than a few times for not submitting our request to USCIS for an extension as soon as it was possible, a full 90 days before expiration. Instead, I had waited for our social worker to remind us, thinking she was on top of it and would advise us well. If only we had paid attention to expiration dates ourselves and moved ahead with renewals as soon as we were able, we could have avoided so many headaches and just focused on time spent with our new daughter during our first days as a family!

So if anyone can learn from our crazy adventure, please take my advice and renew your fingerprints/I-171H as soon as you are able. You will not regret spending an extra ~$160 for unneeded fingerprints as much as you might regret the agony inflicted by not getting an extension of your I-171H plenty of time ahead.

Months later, the feelings of distress from this saga are fading, we delight in our new daughter, and we do discuss the possibility of adopting from there again. I certainly would not discourage anyone from international adoption. But I would say to keep on top of your USCIS expiration dates, and don't wait for anyone to remind you to renew, though do feel free to discuss USCIS matters with your social worker.

Best wishes, Ann, for a speedy remainder of your process, and enjoy that new daughter of yours!