A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Eagle Has Flown

Wednesday, we received our finished, notarized homestudy copies!  Finally!  It took more than 4 months, which is longer than we expected, but we also expected things to take longer than we expect, if that makes ANY sense at all.  When you're adopting, you're going to hit snags along the way.  When you amass an inch of paperwork that has to be JUST RIGHT and has to be stamped, signed, sealed, and stickered, there are going to be issues that come up along the way.  So whether it's the homestudy, the dossier, immigration, or something on the China side of things, you have to expect delays.  We just seem to have hit them right out the gate.

Which is okay, honestly.  Not that I want our child to wait one more second longer than necessary!  But I think God uses the in between times to teach and grow us.  Last time, I read everything I could get my hands on about adoption.  This time, getting involved in Safe Families For Children has been a blessed distraction from the hard wait.  Also, since both our Safe Families placements have been sibling sets, it's helped us kick around the idea that kids come in pairs.

See, we have the option of adopting 2 this time.  Our homestudy is written for two.  We're seeking immigration approval for 2.  And traveling ONE time to and from China for TWO kids is certainly cheaper than travelling twice for two kids.  But it's not a B1G1F kind of deal.  It's actually an additional $12,000.  And that's a big holdup for us, honestly.

Anyway, back to finally getting the homestudy.  Once it arrived, I assembled our immigration application packet, wrote a $975.00 check to USCIS, hopped in the van and mailed off our application and supporting documentation.  It should be arriving there today.  I haven't tracked it yet.  I guess I'm not as obsessive this time as I was last time.

But I did fill out the extra form that allows them to text you to say it's arrived.  So I guess I'm still obsessing a little.  :)  Last time there was a glich in the system, and we got the text over and over and over and over, lol.  Nice to know it really really really really got there.  Hopefully it will just be one text this time.

People ask why adoption costs so much.  Well, it's because of all the little fees and the medium fees (like this one) and the BIG fees.  It's not that you write one $35,000 check to one place.  It's that you're constantly writing checks for birth certificates, translation, applications, notaries, fees, fees, and more fees!  Then there's travel.  That's where the BIG fees come in.  Flights are insanely expensive.  Obviously 2 weeks of hotel living is going to add up fast.  And the orphanage fee is a big one, too.

So that's where we're at.  We're now waiting for USCIS to mail us a receipt.  Then, about a week later, they mail us fingerprinting appointments for Paul, Annaliese, and I.  (Annaliese has to be listed as an adult member of the household because she will turn 18 in February.)  Once we have our appointments, we get fingerprinted, and then they process our application.  The whole shebang takes a little more than a month on average right now.  If I were in charge, the fingerprint appointments would come in the same envelope as the receipt, to save time and postage, but no one asked me.

The other thing we're waiting on is for Katie's file to arrive at our agency.  Our agency was in China in May (and October, but that's not relevant to our story right now).  They met and photographed bunches of kids. One of the directors emailed me about one of the babies while she was still in China, saying she thought of us when she met her.  We were told it could be up to 6 months before they got her file.  We're coming up on 6 months, and no file yet.  I know it will all work out in God's perfect timing, but I'm anxious to be officially matched so we can show you her sweet pictures!

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