Friday, July 30, 2010

USCIS... Fingerprint Appointment!!!

We finally heard from USCIS!!! On 7/29 (my birthday!). Brian and I received our fingerprint appointment... for August 20. Unfortunately, we did not receive Kira's form. Oh well, all three of us headed down first thing in the morning to see if we could all could get our fingerprints taken. I had heard other families adopting children with special needs going in before their appointment date and we have already requested USCIS expediate our application, so we thought it was worth a shot. Well, since Kira didn't have a form, they would not even allow her in the building! Brian was successful and had his prints taken. I will go back with Kira next week just as soon as she receives her form (I really hope it arrives in the mail Saturday).

On my birthday we also received our package of notarized documents back from Sacramento with the apostilles attached (there was one form that needs to be redone). These documents make up the bulk of our dossier. We have a few more documents (state police clearance, I-171H aka The Golden Ticket, etc.) that will need to be apostilled as well, so I think I will probably be driving to Sacramento for the remaining apostilles.

You Want What?

The state police clearance we requested really wasn't. Sure it was notarized this time, but it was from the county, not the state, definitely not what we need. Not sure how that happened because we clearly requested a "state police clearance". That's what the top of the form said that we filled out and it even had a box labeled "adoption" for us to check. I emailed Jennifer who also lives in California (she recently adopted Sophia), as well as Hansina (who is adopting Liam) to see if they could provide some advice. It seems that what we really needed was another live-scan (why didn't they tell us that the first time). The new form had a box labeled "foreign adoption" so we must be on the right track. So 7/28 our live scans were completed. Brian was smart, he made an appointment for 9:00 by his office. I on the other hand didn't... but should have. The first place I went is by appointment only, next available appointment was August 2 (uh... no). The second place I went to accepted walk-ins, but they closed at 12:00. Bummer, it was past noon. The third place I went I was finally successful. If only I had checked online I would not have had to drive all over town. And so now I wait. I wait for the mailman to come and deliver our state police clearances, so that they too can go to Sacramento to be apostilled.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Medicals... Check (Again)

Last week Brian and I went to the lab to have our blood work (TB, HIV, etc.) redone and this week we were able to have our doctors appointment. Our doctor was surprised to hear that we needed to get everything redone, but when I explained that we just received the letter from the mortgage company... and that everything else has expired and needed to be redone she completely understood. She did warn us that she didn't think that our insurance would cover anything since we were just there in February. I get to go back on Monday to get the updated medical statements notarized.

We sent twenty-four documents that had recently been notarized (again) to Sacramento to get apostilled (again). I am hoping to have the last few remaining documents in my hands Monday so that I will be able to send them off to Sacramento as well.

Still waiting to hear from USCIS.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fortunately... Unfortunately

Fortunately... we received our state police clearances in the mail on Thursday.

Unfortunately... when I requested them, I forgot to let them know that they need to be notarized. :::sigh::: I don't know what I was thinking. On Friday, I went back to the sheriff's department and was able to get the phone number to the other office that sends them out. They were able to look up the documents and said that they will send them out again, notarized this time. I let her know that the notary can not expire within the next twelve months and she said she would write a note, but no guarantees. Keep praying.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monroe Needs a Family

Monroe (12)

BOY, Born February 4, 2005


Monroe is a sunshine of a little boy! He is already 5 and blessed to still be at the baby house. He needs a family right away!

From a missionary who visited with him in June 2010: I met with the doctor in his Groupa House who brought me back to meet him. The Head Doctor wanted me to meet the children who needed equipment. While measuring him for a chair, she explained to me what was more important was that he get a family. He will be transferred in six months to the worst institution, restrained in a crib in a dark room. She broke into tears! Monroe has spastic cerebral palsy in all four limbs and is globally delayed. He is able to recognize the voices of his careworkers and understand simple directions. However, due to his spacitiy he is unable to do much of anything. No speech. With therapy he can improve but will always have limitations. I measured his head circumference and once home will check with a doctor regarding whether or not he is microcephalic as well. I will try to gather more information on him today. His temperament was sweet and his eyes twinkled. He needs a family fast!

From an adoptive family who visited with him in June 2009: Monroe has CP. It appears that he is unable to use his arms and legs and is not sitting up on his own. He has the most beautiful smile and I don't think there is much of a cognitive delay. He loves to be held and his whole face lights up when you come near him."

*** Monroe has an incredible benefactor who has offered a FULL GRANT of $20,000 for his adoption. He is facing imminent institutionalization, and will regress quickly once he is transferred. Families who are qualified ( to adopt internationally and who are approved to adopt a significantly delayed child should contact Andrea for more information. This is a very fast program and it is very possible to have him home before the end of 2010! ***


I have $20,000 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Assessor's Office

Brian is heading to the assessor's office (again) in an attempt to get the last document we need for our adoption. Please pray that they agree to give us the letter with the necessary information. They have given us a letter back in February, but not with all of the information we need, only what they typically provide for adoptions. They have no regard for what specific countries require. Also, since that original letter is now over 5 months old, it has since expired. ::: sigh ::: Why is this so complicated? It really isn't that difficult. They have spent more time with us in person and on the phone telling us "NO!" than they would if they would just write the letter. I wish there was a federal law that would make banks, mortgage companies, assessor's offices, etc. have to comply and provide the necessary documentation... without grief!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Due to the fact that it took so long to get the letter from our mortgage company, all of our other documents that we have gotten together have expired. Yes, all of the documents that we had notarized and apostilled back in January and February are no longer valid. The country we are adopting from allows 5 months and then they expire. Yesterday, I went to Brian's work, which is 90 minutes away. A lady that works their also happens to be a notary. She heard our story of how we had to redo all of our documents and she offered to notarize all of them for FREE after she got off work! Thanks Annette! Now I need to send all of the documents off to Sacramento to be apostilled.

Tomorrow morning Brian is going to try yet again with the assessor's office. The document they had given us 1) does not have all of the needed information on it and 2) it has also expired. Please pray that the assessor's office will be gracious and give us the letter we need to bring Aly home. They keep saying, "This is the letter we always give out for adoptions", with no thought to what information we told them needed to be included in the letter and that the country we are adopting from requires.

We are waiting for our state police clearance to arrive and an appointment to get our final set of fingerprints done. Once we have our final fingerprints, then we waited for the I-171H (aka The Golden Ticket), which is the final piece of paper we need for our dossier. We are getting so close!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reece's Rainbow Child of the Month: July 2010

Paula #544

Girl, DOB: April 19, 2006
Main diagnosis: Down syndrome
lagging behind in physical and mental development

She has already been transferred to a mental institution

Paula was born with a heart condition that was surgically corrected with satisfactory results.
She does not yet walk and often prefers to be by herself. She is 4 years old and her report says she functions at the level of a 2 year old. She is lagging behind in all areas of her development.

Her medical report was updated in May 2010.


I have $1193 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I-600A Has Left the Building

We are so excited to send off our I-600A today! We have gotten all of our documents ready to be notarized (again) and drove over to our notary, but unfortunately our notary closes early on Saturday :( I will pick up new copies of our marriage certificates and get everything notarized on Monday and send to off to be apostilled... again.

Of course I still have to deal with the assessor's office. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guess What I've Got...

Yay, I have our homestudy in my hands. I was out back gardening all day, when our agency called wanting to know if I wanted to pick up the home study or if they should drop it in the mail. I told them that I would be right there (after a quick shower to wash off the grime of course). Turns out it was a good thing I stopped by. We had been talking for quite awhile and I mentioned how excited I was to get to send in the I-600A (Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition) to the USCIS. That was when they realized they had forgotten to include the notarized copies of the agency's license and our social worker's license. While she was getting the copies of the licenses I had to peek and make sure I had the correct home study with our name on it. I would hate to have gotten home and found out I had another families home study.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good News and Bad News (Again)

Great news actually! We have finally received the letter from our mortgage company that we have been waiting months for. Unfortunately, because it has taken so long, all of the documents that we had completed, notarized, and sent to Sacramento to be apostilled... well, they have expired. Yes, we need to redo all of those documents. FYI, in California, it costs $20 per document to be apostilled. ::: sigh ::: Anyway, we are going to redo all of the documents tomorrow and pray that the assessor's office will be nice about redoing that document as well.

Also, our homestudy is almost completed. We reviewed the first copy and made minor changes as needed. Even better is that we got the very last document we needed for our homestudy turned in today. Hopefully that will be done any day now, then we can send it off to USCIS.