Thursday, March 26, 2015

State Authentication!

Today I was able to hand deliver our notarized dossier documents to the Utah State Capitol to be authenticated! Woot woot!  I took along my little buddy Max and we had a good time together.  How cute is he?

We left a prepaid FedEx envelope for them to return all our documents once the authentication process is done, so hopefully by the end of next week we'll have those in hand.  We're making good progress on the paper chase!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Progress

Today was a day of movement.  I was contacted and told that the corrected signature pages for our home study were received and that they had 3 notarized copies of our home study ready for me to pick up!

I drove up to WIAA and picked up our home study packets.  I also made copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate and put them together with our I-800a application & supplement 2 application (which I had to stop and have Mark sign), a cashier's check for our application and new sets of fingerprints, and one of our copies of our home study...and headed to FedEx to mail that envelope off!

I also filled out our application for having documents authenticated and had a pre-paid envelope made up (addressed to be mailed to us from the State Capitol).  I will hand deliver all those documents and the return envelope to the capitol myself tomorrow!

Feels good to make some concrete progress today.  Yay!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Yes, it's a virtue.

I've struggled my whole life with the elusive virtue of patience.  I'm not the most decisive person in the world (those who know me would chuckle at that understatement).  BUT once I know what I want to do I go after things with gusto.  This adoption has been no different.  After things fell through with Ethiopia I was distraught, overwhelmed, conflicted, and nervous about our next move.  Once we knew Haiti was right though we hit the ground running.  So, it's hard to have little hang ups holding us back from finishing our paper chase.  (And yes I do realize those hang ups will continue, and in more dramatic fashion, later in our adoption)

Our home study has been finished for just over a week and I thought we would been able to have it in hand within days to be able mail off our USCIS application and to get our dossier authenticated.  However, we had a little hang up.  Our case worker quit working for WIAA.  Gratefully he did agree to finish writing our home study, but once it was finished and updated he emailed a copy of it to WIAA and mailed a hard copy of the last pages with his signature on it.  Apparently, when WIAA received the pages they were printed out of line with the previous pages so they had to have him resign and mail new pages.  They still haven't received them yet.  So!  We are still waiting on those.  I am particularly anxious to get the USCIS application off since it takes so long to process and we have to attend a fingerprinting appointment that they will designate before we get a favorable determination letter back from them allowing us to move forward.

Gah!  I'm just so impatient.

I called WIAA today and they said that the new signature pages haven't come still so hopefully Monday.  So, hopefully next week we can get the ball rolling on the USCIS application and authenticating the dossier...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Homestudy is done!!!!!

I just got an email from our case worker Josh that he has made all the final adjustments to our home study and it is done!  Wahooo!  He'll drop it in the mail to WIAA now and they'll notarize it as soon as they get it!  Then I can mail off our USCIS application and get our dossier documents authenticated!

Yay!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Check and check.

Psychological letters picked up!

All dossier documents (except the one letter of recommendation) all scanned in and emailed to WIAA for approval!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tired and happy. Kind of like fat and happy, but not.

We were unsuccessful picking up our psych evaluations tonight, but have made arrangements to do it tomorrow, BUT...as I was heading to bed tonight I saw that our case worker Josh sent me a copy of our updated home study late tonight for me to review and make changes to.  I spent the last 90 minutes very thoroughly going through it and found 15 things that needed to be changed/updated.  So, I typed all of those up and sent them off to him!  Hopefully he's able to offer pretty quick turnaround time on that so we can get that puppy notarized and mail of our USCIS application!

Woot woot!

Coming along

Our psych evaluations are prepared and notarized!  We just need to pick them up.

Also, my friend is able to get their letter of recommendation notarized today and hopefully send off to state authentication.

Lastly, today I sent a $400 check to WIAA ahead of us scanning them all our dossier documents.  That way when we scan them the documents they'll already have the check to move forward with translating it! Chareyl told me that we can go ahead and scan everything except the letter of recommendation and we can get the translation process started while we wait for that.

Slowly, but surely!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Anxious to wait

The content in my updates isn't very meaty, but I'm just so anxious and need to be able to "talk" about this somewhere.  We obviously still have a very long journey ahead of us, I'm just anxious to get these last few steps done so we can start really waiting.  Yup.  It's the hurry up and wait stage for sure.

On Friday we did get a copy of our insurance letter confirming coverage details.  I was able to pass that on to our case worker, so he now has everything he needs to finish writing up our home study update!  Also, I failed to mention that our government approved funding for homeland security, so once we have a finalized copy of our home study and are able to submit our application, there won't be a big wait for our paperwork as more pressing matters are caught up on from a closure.  So that's good.

So, while we wait on our home study to submit USCIS paperwork the only documents we're still waiting on to finish our dossier are the psychological evaluation and one last letter of recommendation.  As soon as those are in we will get our whole dossier packet authenticated and translated!  Woot woot!

One last thing I remembered today when I was thinking about my number nerdy-ness about the 12th (like I mentioned in my last post).  The day the disastrous earthquake hit Haiti was January 12, 2010. Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere before the earthquake, and the death and destruction that earthquake caused really put Haiti in ruins.  Literally.  When I hear people talk about Haiti it is used as a modern time marker (before the earthquake or after the earthquake).  Any country or city would still be struggling 5 years after a disaster of that magnitude, but a country that was already so destitute has far less means and infrastructure to heal itself.

Anyway!  I remember thinking it was interesting that our home study visit was on the 5 year anniversary of the earthquake, but don't know whether or not I wrote anything down here about it or not.  It's just yet another notable event that happened on the 12th.

Praying for that home study update to come through today or tomorrow...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It's my blog and I'll blab if I want to, blab if I want to...

I feel almost apologetic when I am needing to purge myself of the recent paper chase updates on this blog. Then I remember that it is my blog.  And as double reaffirmation (does that equal four?), this blog hasn't even been public anymore for nearly a couple months.  By the time I re-publish this blog nobody will even see this post...SO!  I will ramble here as opposed to some poor soul who has the unfortunate kindness to ask how the adoption is coming.

I don't have a TON to tell since two days ago, but we get our IBESR letter notarized as well as getting our judicial POA re-notarized yesterday!  One of my friends also got her letter of recommendation notarized and in to us yesterday!  Now today Mark's authenticated birth certificate came in the mail and I got a call from our insurance company saying our letter of coverage was "approved" and ready to email out to us.  Of course that was this morning and I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm hopeful to see it by the end of the day.  That insurance letter is the last thing we need before our home study can be finalized, so that's pretty exciting!

Outside of immigration stuff (which is filled out with a cashiers check attached and already in an addressed envelope...just waiting for our home study) - other than that, the only thing we are waiting on are our psych evaluations and our last notarized (and in this case also authenticated) letter of recommendation to arrive in the mail!  That's it!  Then we can get our entire dossier authenticated and translated!  Wahoo!  I'm seeing the light at the end of this paper chase tunnel.

This is a little bit number nerdy, but I was hoping we could have everything done by a week from today.  March 12th.  We found out that our Ethiopian adoption was falling through on November 12th.  After a month of intense research and prayer we turned in our first application to adopt from Haiti with WIAA on December 12th. The time between November and December 12th felt a lot longer than a month because it was intense and emotional.  Lots of lost sleep.  But it was only one month.  And while the last (nearly) three months has felt a little bit longer also because we've intensely worked on getting all our paperwork done...I'm really pleased with the pace.  Getting all our home study and dossier documents gathered and completed in two months is fantastic.  Oh!  And our home study visit with our caseworker happened on January 12th!

So, here's my hope (we'll see what happens):  If we can have our updated home study reviewed and finalized, immigration paperwork submitted, dossier approved by Wasatch and authenticated and sent off to be translated by one week from today...that would be awesome.

Here's to hoping.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A few little baby document steps

It's only been a week since my last update, but I've been having one of those "urgent" weeks where I'm feeling a big push to wrap things up.  Those super motivated pushes have come a small handful of times throughout this process with both Ethiopia and Haiti.  I tend to believe that there is a reason for when those urgent pushes come.  Anyway, of course this one came at a time where I've been sick so that's been a bit of a bummer, but we've still gotten some things done since last week:
  • Mark's medical letter got finished and notarized (a nice lady in another office in his building that's a notary offered to go notarize it at Mark's doctor's office).
  • Reciprocal power of attorney letters typed up and notarized.
  • Judicial power of attorney letters typed up and notarized...except I did something wrong on it, so we will amend the date and try again tomorrow when the notary is working that has the expiration date that we want.
  • We gave the last of the information we need to get our psychological evaluation letters written
  • Followed up on 2 remaining letters of recommendation that friends have written but need to have notarized.
  • Looked up information on how to authenticate a document originating in Michigan and sent appropriate envelopes and checks off for that (to have a letter of recommendation authenticated).
  • Wrote our IBESR letter (about ourselves and officially requesting IBESR to adopt a child from their country).
  • Followed up TWICE more on our insurance company getting us the letter to verify coverage for our future child (we still don't have it).  I got bounced around on hold each time for more than a half an hour each.  So frustrating.
  • I hand delivered all our documents except the aforementioned insurance letter (which I'll take in as soon as I get it) to our agency so our case worker can start completing our home study amendment.  We want to get a jump start on that so we are able to submit our immigration pre-approval paperwork (it has to have a copy of the home study submitted with it).
  • I filled out our I 800a application (for immigration) so when our home study is done we are ready to quickly mail it off.
Also!  When I went in to our agency office to deliver our home study documents I was able to meet Chareyl in person.  I've talked to her several times over the phone and emailed with her many more, but I hadn't met her in person.  Just talking to her was such a solidifying re-affirmation that we chose the right agency to guide us through this journey to adopt from Haiti.  I am so impressed with her knowledge of Haiti and the adoption process there, her insight, and just in her as a person in general.  While I know that even the most knowledgable, experienced person on Haitian adoptions can't insulate us from the unpredictability of this process - I do feel like we have the right person at our side to guide us through this journey.  And I'm so grateful for that!


My newest concern is...the likelihood that Homeland Security will be closing for a period of time soon due to lack of funding from gridlock in congress on political issues.  And that is who we send our paperwork to for immigration pre-approval.  Just one more thing you can't anticipate or do anything about I guess, but grrr...

In good news I found out that while we do have to wait for our finalized home study to submit our application to immigration...we don't have to have already attended our fingerprint appointment that they'll assign us and have our favorable determination letter in hand before starting to process our dossier!  That could save us a couple of months on our timeline!  We can be getting our dossier authenticated and translated while we wait for USCIS to process our application and so it's ready to go when we get our FDL.  That was great news!  So, here's to hoping we get that home study wrapped up quickly.