Thursday, April 29, 2010

I-171H is here!

It's official - our I-171h is here! This is the legendary piece of paper that takes months to get and means that the US government finds us "able to furnish proper care to an orphan". While we are still waiting for our latest FBI prints in order to finish our dossier this is still a moment to celebrate - thank you God! Precious baby, we are getting closer to you!  :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 far

I guess I'll post this permanently down the side one day but for now, here is what our timeline has been like...

Aug - heard a "now" from God about adoption! - started researching agencies and countries
Sept 1 - researching countries - heard teleconference on Bulgaria (with LMI)
Sept 1 - decided to go with LMI
Sept 4 - selected Kazakhstan
Sept 12 - sent initial application in to adoption agency
Sept 15 - listened to Kazakhstan teleconference
Sept 21 - received notice of our acceptance to LMI and the Kaz program
Oct 4 - sent our signed contract to LMI
Oct 8 - first meeting with our social worker for the home study
Oct 9 - received the LMI "binder" - the big info pack on adoption and Kaz
Oct 12 - fed-ex'd the I-600A to USCIS 
Oct 22 - 2nd visit with social worker for home study
Nov 8 - spoke at church about our adoption calling for Orphan Sunday
Nov 10 - dreaded home visit from social worker - house very clean!! :)
Nov 12  - to Jacksonville for USCIS fingerprints

Jan 13 - found out I was pregnant
     (adoption process temporarily paused because baby and adoption were going to happen at the same time - Sept)
Feb 7 - lost the baby
Feb 23 - received the final home study report - FINALLY!!!
     (still paused for several factors...)
April 6 - got the go ahead for dossier work and received all of the paperwork (our agency helps with the prep!)
April 7 - fingerprinted for FBI (again)
April 7 - fed-ex'd home study to USCIS and prints to FBI
April 12 - dossier teleconference in which paperwork was explained
April 13 - dossier prep paused to wait for FBI certification (again)

To most of you this is probably super boring, and a few months ago I totally would have agreed with you - but now I am obsessed with other people's timelines. I know that what happened to other families isn't exactly how ours will be (or even close?!) but I still can't help myself. Guess it's human nature to want to know 'how long'...and when there is no answer to that question, particularly when you are talking about something as huge as a child, you go a little nuts. :) I know God knows every little detail down to the nano-second, and as He reveals His timing to us I will keep updating the list.

Hopefully this timeline will be helpful to other families, and if I've lost you, well...maybe someday when you're adopting you might feel differently! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Something more interesting than lists of paperwork

All of this paperwork is SO boring so I've decided to show you some of the photos we have to include with our dossier.  When all is said and done we will need photos of the main living areas of the house, the outside and neighborhood, family shots, and the all important Kaz kid's room. For the past few days I've been snapping away (after carefully moving all the clutter around!), and here is what it looks like...
Home Sweet Home

And now for the more interesting ones.....

guest room/office/kids room - and Lego's favorite rug in the whole place :)

Wow - now wasn't that exciting?! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Well, we thought we'd be able to rush forward with the dossier but we were wrong. Seems we are now waiting for the FBI to do our fingerprints...again! Since their clearances are taking about 13 weeks we need to wait for that to come in first, and then get all of our other stuff done so the documents have as much time as possible before expiration - a big deal when you have to send a dossier to Kazakhstan. On the other blogs and groups that I have read the only recommendation is to have someone you know with the FBI call to push your prints through quickly, so we are working through all of our friends and acquaintances to do just that. (Please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!!)

I know that it's all in God's hands and He has the perfect timing already worked out. I know that I have to be patient and hand over all of my own fears and desires. But is so frustrating at times because each day that we are delayed is another day that our precious little one is left in the baby house. This child is so real to us! But instead of becoming bitter and angry, through it all God has continued to grow my reliance on Him...and my faith in Him - and for that I am so grateful.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dossier work starting

We had to take a pause in the adoption process because of the pregnancy, and then in order to grieve for the precious baby that we lost, but things are finally speeding up again and I am thinking in terms of toddlers once more! 

USCIS approval is still pending, but documents for our dossier are starting to be compiled now. Whohoo - another set of FBI fingerprints for us. Our fabulous adoption agency does the hard part of the prep for us which is a huge relief to this homeschooling mom but there is still plenty to do. I'm really not sure how long this will take, but once our dossier is compiled and approved (nowhere near as simple as that sounds!) it goes to Kazakhstan!! 

For those of you non-international adopters... we have to have tons of paperwork (including fingerprints, medical reports, financial statements, etc.) all in perfect order, notarized, apostilled, approved by endless agencies and translated into Russian. Once our dossier heads to Kaz, their government agencies review it and, God willing, assign us to a region and send us an invitation to travel. The exciting part of the process!