Adoption timeline and current status

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My friend had the most organized and clear adoption timeline on her blog and I realized that I have no idea when anything happened. We have been straight survival up in here! I feel like it has been NON STOP go time since we saw Lucas’s little face in December, but I already have forgotten exactly *what* we were doing in that time. So, I am trying to use her timeline as a skeleton to piece together how we got here.

 

Where is “here” exactly? We are just waiting on our very last approval, this time from USCIS. Once that arrives we will have a complete dossier. The rest of our dossier was fed ex-ed today to our agency in Maryland and they will add their pieces to it and send it ahead to Europe for translation. Hopefully that will save a little time on the front end and make it move a little faster so L isn’t waiting on us longer than necessary.

 

December 27, 2017: My friend, who had adopted from the same country, shared a little guy’s picture with me. She was in love but didn’t think their family could add another tiny guy, and at first I didn’t think much of it. But as the day wore on, I realized that I was in love, too. Brian and our son were out of town for a guy’s birthday trip and I texted him the picture and said “can we?” and he said “why not?”

December 30: We decide officially to say yes and move forward with commitment documents, called a LOI.

December 31: We meet with my friend, a notary, to have her witness all of our signatures and scan all docs and send to our agency. We celebrate with champagne and then our agency lets us know we missed a couple of notarized signatures. EEEK

 

Jan 1, 2018: Meet our sweet notary friend at starbucks, finish the docs, scan and fax again. Hit refresh on email approximately every ten minutes. All day.

 

Jan 2, 2018: agency requests family pictures and pictures of home. Send those right over.

Jan 4: receive confirmation that our application?LOI have been submitted to the MOJ in Europe for review.

hit refresh on email every ten minutes for the next eight days. Until….

Jan 12: We receive word that we are approved! Lucas is officially on hold for our family.

Jan 13: Purchase and begin required Hague training and fed ex application and first agency fee.                                                                                           Class: 175, Agency fee: $250

Jan 13: wire first payment to European agency (called an NGO)                                    $2100

Jan 19: FBI fingerprints for everyone over 18 (Brian, Noah, myself)                              $150

Jan 22: Contact home study agency and send application and fees:                                $3500

Jan 23: finish first hague training, and purchase additional training required for home study approval                                                                                                                              $250

Jan 27: First home study visit in Vienna office, give our social worker about 85% of the list of documents she needs

Jan 28: Second home study visit in our home

Jan 29: send FBI prints to agency to send for apostille

Feb 2: Stephanie physical

Feb 6: Brian physical {kids had valid physicals from foster care home study, so I just had to collect those from their physician)

Feb 9: complete additional training and submit certificate. Email home study physicals for verification. Email tax returns and financial.

At this point, we realize that we have every piece of documentation EXCEPT my child abuse clearance from the state of Maryland. I begin to attempt to track it down, but things in the office are moving verrrryyyy slooowwwwllllllly.

March 2: Brian’s passport appointment

March 14: FINALLY! Home study agency received the MD clearance so can finalize study. It’s complete!

March 16: receive home study on the day that the department of state bans “soft holds” ie..  the match process that we are using. We missed the eligibility cut off by TWO DAYS.  Whew!

march 19: Mail form 1800a to USCIS

March 20: Drive to Richmond to take docs to be apostilled at the secretary of the commonwealth and literally drive in circles. Cannot find a single parking space.  Give up and head home. Plan to return the 23rd.

March 23: receive lockbox notification (that USCIS is processing our application). I don’t make it back to secretary of commonwealth because my work appointment runs over.

March 30: Biometric appointment times arrive, and the date fits perfectly with Brian’s travel schedule.  Eli ends up hitting his head and suffering a concussion, complicating our efforts to get everything apostilled.

April 6: Finally give up and mail docs to be apostilled, a process that takes longer

April 13: Biometrics appointment

April 14: apostilles returned for missing information

April 15: request new marriage certificate from vital records because ours isn’t acceptable for apostilles                                                                                                  $53

April 16: Correct apostilles and resend to Richmond

April 24: Receive all documents, apostilled! Yay!                                                          $95

April 26: Send dossier, minus the i800a approval, to agency via fed ex overnight to be processed and sent to Europe for translation                                                                  $29

& Call USCIS adoption line and learn that we’ve been assigned an investigator. Leave her a voicemail and email inquiring on status.

April 30: receive email confirmation that we are approved, wait for official letter in mail

 

 

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