Saturday, November 30, 2013

Article 5 meeting on Wednesday!

Our Article 5 meeting will be held on Wednesday!  To quote my last blog post - "At this meeting the US Embassy representative will review our home study, dossier and the child's information and will approve the adoption to continue (Lord willing!).  Sometimes they have questions about something and require additional paperwork.  If they approve everything, they will issue the Article 5 the following day.  We get notification of this via email!"

 Also, I resubmitted the two documents for getting their apostilles.  They should get back to me by the end of next week and then we will forward them ASAP to join the other documents!

Here is a concise list of events yet to happen with this adoption, created from my last blog post:

-Article 5 received,translated and authenticated (>1 week).  

-Article 5 and complete dossier submitted to Big Wig (approx 12/16)

-Complete dossier goes through 1 month of passing through lots of hands (finish approx 1/20)

-Gets signature from big wig (approx 1/27)

-is taken to the courts. (approx 1/31)

-assigned to a judge (approx 2/14)

-assigned a court date (approx 2/20)

-court date/adoption granted (approx 3/1)

-adoption gets signed court decree from the judge (approx 3/10)

-new birth certificate is applied for (approx 3/11)

-travel dates given once new birth certificate is done ((approx 3/18)

Then we get to go bring her home (end of March?)

I've done the approximate time frame on a slightly longer than average time line, so it could be longer, but hopefully will be faster!
Christy was fascinated by Daryl's stubble!

Right now I'm working on building a wardrobe for Christy.  I checked all my clothes in storage, but Esther was really hard on the sizes that Christy will need, so I'm going to have to do some shopping before the gotcha trip!

Oh, and if you are going to do any of your Christmas shopping on Amazon, please use my amazon link in the side margin to start your shopping, as that will help us prepare for bringing her home! Thanks!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Another Big Step Closer!

Today I received the letter that says our I800 application to immigrate Christy was approved!  So the US is willing to allow her to join our family and come to live in the US.  Yay!

On a side note, this week the family of a little girl that we recognized while we were visiting Christy are leaving to bring their little girl home. I have arranged it so that they are bringing "Thick It" to allow Christy's care takers to thicken the water they give her making it easier for them to give her water, and easier for Christy to take the water without choking!  They are also taking some toys that I sent.  Most of the toys are for all the children there (they all LOVED the toys we brought for Christy to play with and left most of them there).  But one we purchased just for Christy.  She has severe reflux (common in children with Down Sydrome), so they keep her in her highchair for 30 minutes after eating.  She is usually left alone during this time with nothing to do.  So we are sending her a toy that attaches to the tray (with a suction cup) so she'll have a toy to play with while she sits in her chair!  Isn't God amazing to orchestrate that a fellow Washington State family is adopting a little girl who lives in the same group home as our daughter???
This is Christy's room, her own highchair and play crib for sleeping in.

We still have many more steps yet for our adoption to take, while we wait.

Right now I am waiting for the documents that we sent to get appostilled to come back.  Evidently, the Washington Secretary of State has different policies from most of the other SOS's in the US, so I have to re-do both documents...actually it becomes 4 documents.  We had "bundled" our medical updates (Daryl and Mine) together, and we had done the same with our local police background checks.  They were rejected.

I have gotten her police background checks (they now require that the notary be done in the police office).  We are waiting for the medical updates to come back so we can do a cover sheet for each medical update form, and then we'll send both right back to be apostilled.

So here's what happens with our paperwork.

Now that our I-800 has been approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center.  It takes up to 7 days process the approval and forward it to the US Embassy in Christy's county.  This will trigger the setting up of a visa interview.

Christy loved to "taste test" your clothes, your face...your arm.
She's such a lovely, unique little girl!
At this meeting the US Embassy representative will review our home study, dossier and the child's information and will approve the adoption to continue (Lord willing!).  Sometimes they have questions about something and require additional paperwork.  If they approve everything, they will issue the Article 5 the following day.  We get notification of this via email!

Once the Article 5 is received, it is translated and authenticated, which takes a little over a week.  Then this is submitted to the right big wig along with all the second stage dossier documents that we have sent in.  This will mean that our dossier is officially complete.

At this point, it goes through a series of steps that  take about a month to complete.  Basic paper chasing, too boring to list here.  Once it goes through all the right hands and receives the required signatures, the dossier is taken to the courts.

Once the dossier is sent to the courts, it is assigned to a judge.  This take 14 days, officially.  Once assigned to a judge, the judge has 7 days to assign the court date.  Some judges require additional information from the adopting family before court, others do not.

On the day of court, the adoptive family is represented by an attorney.  We are notified via email the day of court about the outcome.  The adoption is granted unless the judge of prosecutor asks for additional information, in which case, court will be postponed....

Once the adoption is granted, there is a 7 day wait period before the adoption is finalized, and after that it takes 3 - 5 days to obtain the signed court decree from the judge.

Once the court decree is obtained, the new birth certificate is applied for, which takes up to 5 business days.

We will be given travel dates for our "gotcha trip" after the birth certificate is obtained.

Then we get to go bring her home.  The second trip requires at least 12 days in country, so we will be away from home about 2 weeks.  There is quite the process that happens once we get her in our arms again...but that is for another blog post!

Please pray with us that we will sail through this process with no more snags, and that the political climate in Christy's country will remain stable so that many more orphans can come home and be with their forever families!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our First Week Home

Since getting back from our trip to meet Christy, I was very sick with a virus.  I was having much difficulty thinking clearly.  But starting on Tuesday I began to tackle the paperwork needed for the second stage dossier.

I was able to fill out the I800 (application to immigrate
 a particular child) and gather the required documentation.  I was also able to print out the three documents that needed to be notarized and apostilled and had Jessica drive me so I could meet up with Daryl and get the signatures notarized.  The went out to the Washington Secretary of State on Thursday, and I expect those to come back late this week.

This week our assignment is to get to the local City Police and have them run a background check, and on Monday Daryl and I go see our family doctor for an updated medical report.  Then those two document will be notarized and sent in to get apostilled.

We also authorized a payment from our Reece's Rainbow grant for the last payment to our adoption agency.

That's it!  So much easier than the first stage dossier!

So the waiting is once again upon us!

We hope to bring her home sometime in February and are already making plans for that trip.  I plan to go through all our girl's clothes that are in storage (and elsewhere since Esther just grew out of the sizes that Christy will be wearing) to find all the 3T clothing we have around here.

We are in need of a LARGE suitcase to bring the necessary equipment and clothing for our time with her on our second trip (the second trip has now increased to 10 days instead of 5 due to a change in policy by the US Embassy, as they now require a TB test and positive result before we can bring her home) .

We have gotten the words "Fully Funded" removed from our FSP on Reece's Rainbow, as this extended trip, plus expenses on our first trip being higher than we expected, will cause our adoption to accrue more costs that we originally projected.  At this point, it looks like we are running somewhere between $1500 and $3000 short.  If you feel led to help with this shortfall, we greatly appreciate your generosity!  I know that God will provide, so do not feel pressured to help us out - there are so many other families with greater needs that we have!

I think the most amazing thing that I've experienced since coming home is two things - I've accidentally called Carese "Christy" twice officially making her a part of our family, and when I watch videos and look at photos I can almost feel what it felt like to hold her in my arms, and it's nearly a physical ache.  I thought other adoptive parents were just overly sentimental about missing their babies between trips, but I can verify that it's all true.  They get into your hearts and make an indelible impression on your arms so very, very quickly!