Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Well I was feeling really down about this latest hiccup, but today brought good news!

I heard back from Gretchen (the person handling our file with USCIS) today and she said that due to information that I was able to provide them about another page in our home study that says "the couple is approved...child 0-18 months..." she was able to get a supervisor to approve the change on our approval letter without us submitting an update form (and the accompanying $360 fee) AND she had already completed that and mailed it out this morning!  Wahoo!

I figured that we would still have to go through all the notarization/authentication process again with the other copies of our home study (dossier, etc)...but sufficeth to say that Chareyl figured out how we could take care of that too!  So, we should have this little problem (that could have been time consuming and fairly expensive) all taken care of in the next few days!


I will be excited to announce when we receive our corrected USCIS approval soon!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Insert sad face *here*

These kinds of things happen.  It's part of the process.  It was an honest mistake.  It is what it is.  I know these things...but I still feel sad.

I contacted USCIS about the mistake in the approval letter and they sited page 11 in our home study.  Sure enough there is the mistake right there!  I looked back at the email I sent to our case worker when our home study was done (I caught more than a dozen mistakes that had to be corrected before finalizing our home study).  One of the mistakes was that our home study read 0-12 months at time of referral in that part and that needed to be changed to 0-18 months.  When he went in to fix it he must have just not deleted the 2 when he made it 18 months (so it reads 128 months officially).


Now USCIS is saying that since it wasn't their error that we have to submit a supplement 3 form with a fee of $360 to send in a new home study and then wait to have a new approval processed.  AND before we can even do that we'll have to have the home study updated and signed by a case worker that no longer even works for our agency and then notarized.  AND I'll have to have the state authenticated copy redone (take it down to the state capital and pay to have it re-certified).  AND we'll have to have that page sent back to our translator to have it corrected on the French version of our home study.

I can't decide if I'm more upset about the additional cost, the additional time we'll have to wait before submitting to Haiti, or the additional paperwork I have to do in order to get this corrected.

I think I just need a hug.


Monday, May 18, 2015


Well that was a short high.  I just posted that we received our approval notice from USCIS (which we did), but reading through the fine print on the approval I noticed that in the section that details the age parameters we are approved for it says "age birth through 128 months at time of referral".  It should read "age birth through 18 months at time of referral".

Whoever typed this up accidentally put a 2 in the middle of that number that shouldn't be there.  It's obviously a typo, but I called to see what it will take to get it fixed and reissued and it's after business hours there so I'll have to call tomorrow.  Hopefully it's a quick and easy fix.  I know this will only be the first of likely many things like this to happen...I guess I just didn't expect it at this stage in the process.

Well, it was fun to be excited for a couple of minutes anyway...

It arrived!!!

Wahoo!!!  Opened the mailbox today and saw an envelope from the Department of Homeland Security!

We have our approval notice from USCIS!

Emailing Chareyl (our adoption worker) now!...


Ten days since my last post.  Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since we submitted our application to USCIS (our last necessary document for our dossier).  No news on that front.  However, I would be remiss if not to document this thoughtfulness...

I got a card in the mail from my sweet sister-in-law Katie.  She saw this card with this pretty, brown skinned girl on it and thought of us and our journey to our daughter.  She included such kind, thoughtful words and it meant so much to me.  Here's a picture of the lovely card:

Sometimes I am not great at "waiting well", but thoughtfulness like that helps me remember that while this is a long process that we're not waiting alone.  Thank you for that reminder, Katie.  Love you!

Friday, May 8, 2015


Nothing to report really.  Just needed somewhere to ramble.  I'm feeling in a slump today.  Not specifically regarding the adoption, but it's getting lumped in with the general melancholy.  It's been over 6 weeks since we applied with USCIS (and 3 weeks since we did our electronic fingerprints for them) and we still haven't heard back.  That is the ONLY paper we are waiting on to have our paperwork complete on the U.S. side, so it will be nice to have that in hand.

Blah.  Just blah.

Like everything hard in life, some days are easier than others to feel the capacity to endure it well.  I've felt very optimistic about things general over the last few months, but today I'm just having one of those days where I don't feel like I'm "waiting well".  I feel frustrated.  I feel like we've been doing this forever and feel like I'm just in a hamster wheel going nowhere...and then I remember that we're also really just starting this whole thing over (with Haiti this time) and that gets me a bit down.  We officially started this international journey with such excitement 2 years, 7 months and 5 days ago.  If the timeline (insert laugh here) that they gave us at that time had held accurate we would be completely done with the process by now.

All that being said, I do know that we are where we are supposed to be at the time we should be here. I believe that despite the heartache, loss of money and time, and dashed expectations...that the Lord has not decided just at this time to guide our journey to complete our family, but rather that He has been guiding us this whole time.  Orchestrating things the way they need to be.  We may or may not understand the intricacies of it all right now, but I do feel that is the case.  And I can hold those convictions while simultaneously feeling the exhaustion of the journey.  Honestly, sometimes what makes it emotionally exhausting isn't what we've already been through, but in knowing that there is so much still to go through - and now that we don't wear those rose colored glasses anymore about the process that realization can be a lot to swallow on melancholy days like this.

That USCIS approval may just pierce that melancholy and let light in for me...hopefully it comes soon.