Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We've Been Printed!

Well, I am happy to finally post that we have finally made the journey to Charlotte to the BCIS assistance office to have our fingerprints taken. Woohoo! Finally a small step! It is not really what you would picture...and no, it doesn't feel like you are being arrested. (Well, at least not this time-when we got our prints taken locally for our homestudy clearance it did feel like we were being man-handled a bit and it was complete with the ink and all....) It is all done electronically on the federal level--pretty cool actually.

You put your fingers on this little flat glass panel and they show up on a computer screen (they show up as big as your head!)--they can keep re-doing it until they get a perfectly clear print because it shows the person if there are any areas that aren't aligning. Sometimes your finger can slip as it is rolled and it gets a little off. Hopefully they were good enough and we won't have to go back an do it again. Basically no news is good news and we went on Thursday (9/21) so I think we're okay. It was basically a big room where we and people from all different countries sit in little plastic chairs all in a row, fill our a form and show ID and then they give you a little paper number (like at the deli!) and you wait for your number to be called. You go up and they take your prints and, voila, you can go home. It's also where all immigrants go to get their green cards renewed and stuff like that.

Hey, in this process, even a little paperwork feels like progress!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

And it begins.......(the blog, that is!)

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!!
This is my first post. I have been meaning to start this for a while and I figured today was a good day. I am hoping to keep you updated as we wait for our little one from Vietnam. We have known we would adopt since we started dating, as I have known since I was 17 that I would be unable to ever become pregant. It was just a matter of waiting until we knew the time was right, unfortunately that took a little longer than originally anticipated.....

We officially started this journey at the beginning of July, 2006. We sent in our I-600A to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) the first time :) on July 7 along with a bunch of other required documents, but it was sent back because, of all things, we forgot to sign it--DUH! Not a great start, I admit, but hopefully it was a learning experience! What a letdown when we got that envelope in the mail, all excited that we were moving forward, and then all our stuff was back to us! Anyway, we mailed it right back in and it was received again by CIS on July 18. This is the first step in our state since the application process takes SOOOOOO long. Then we sent in applications with fees to our agency soon after (which was the hardest thing to pick)--it is so confusing and stressful to decide who to trust to lead you through this journey ethically as well as quickly. FYI, in case you didn't know, Vietnam has just reopened to adoptions with the US in January of this year after a two and a half year moratorium-- due to some questionable practices-- and it is of the utmost importance that the adoptions remain on the up an up or we risk problems, and besides, it is just the right thing to do....

So back to my catch-up....We selected our homestudy agency (since our Adoption Agency is located in Ohio, we have to have a different NC licensed agency do the homestudy) and we mailed them a whopping check. We started our homestudy with our first meeting on Aug 8 and finished with our third and last meeting at our house on Aug 14--was worth every penny of the extra expedited services fee to get it done quickly, as USCIS requires this to complete the processing and it got it out of the way. Also, for so long we have worried about this part, as we are currently in the process of renovating our 83 year old house and it has taken us a few years to get it to a point to even pass a homestudy!! That, I'm sure we will cover at a later date, as it is a subject in itself..... Oh, and yes, it went well and we received a favorable report by the end of that week and they let us know that they had sent it along to CIS to join the rest of our stuff.

So, now we finally have received the long-awaited fingerprint appt. to go to Charlotte to get our fingerprints taken, which is the last piece of the pie that USCIS will need from us (hopefully) and we will just be waiting (this is the theme, as you can tell! :)) until our turn comes for them to process. Which I am told will not be until the end of October or early November!!!! Yikes! What we are waiting for exactly is the coveted I-171H form--this is formal approval for us to bring a foreign orphan into the US to be ours forever and ever :) and at this time I think I will consider myself "paper-pregnant"! You really can't do anything else until you get that piece of paper ! So that's it for now, I think! We wait....I know some of you may not be quite as knowledgeable about the process we will have to go through, but I will leave that for another time..
Until next time!