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Friday, February 24, 2012

Today we are....

DOSSIER

 TO

CHINA!!!!

Our dossier is a compilation of about 17 documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, medical and financial information, our 22 page homestudy, police clearances, 6 pictures of our family, employment verification, and reference letters --everything you could possibly want to know about our family.  Each document had to be notarized, certified, and authenticated.  But it is done and on its way to China!!!

This is a huge step in the adoption process! 
So...now we wait for LID (Log in Date), which is the date our dossier is logged into China's system. 
Hopefully it will be quick (right now they are taking about a week to be logged in and a week to be notified).  Then we sit back and wait to be matched! 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Authenticating Drama

I am a day late with this post because yesterday I was just way too upset to even process it.
Here's what happened.

Went back to Chicago to pick up all the documents I left to be authenticated on Monday and to have my I-800A approval authenticated the same day.
The lady told me that they could not authenticate 3 of my documents for various reasons.  That's it.
After a few minutes of asking repeatedly, she told me that Tyson's police clearance letter could not be done because I made a mistake.  The letter itself was notarized and I thought it also had to have a notarized "true original" statement attached.  It was certified by the Secretary of State already.  But the 2 pages were done by different notaries, so the Consulate would not authenticate it.

After a few minutes, when the line had dwindled, I went back up and begged nicely asked her AGAIN to explain what was wrong with the other 2 documents. 
She told me they wouldn't do my police clearance because the letter was written the day before it was notarized and they have to be done on the same day.
And the problem with my financial certificate was that it wasn't dated.
UGH.
So I quickly wrote the date on the bottom of my financial and when my number was called I turned it back in with my 800A.

But I was so upset.  I just can't believe I made these mistakes.  I should have done my research better.  I cried in the elevator for a while.

Then we went for a fun lunch and some shopping on Michigan Avenue to pass the time until we had to go back and pick up.

I was emotional, tired, stressed, and sick (I have bronchitis and laryngitis now) and to top it all off,
on our way home we hit rush hour traffic. 
So a normally 2 1/2 hour drive took me 4 HOURS to get home.
More tears.
I came home and cried on my husband's shoulder for a long time.
Then I went to bed.

The good news is that I was able to talk to the lady at the Sheriff's Department yesterday and she had new letters written, notarized and ready for pick up in an hour. 
Now I will take them back to Springfield on Tuesday and Chicago on Wednesday. 
(Why does everything happen when it's a holiday weekend?) 
That should be IT!!!

The best part of it all is that I went ahead and FedExed the rest of our dossier to California so our agency rep can start reviewing it.  So all that's missing is the 2 police clearances and she should be ready to send our DOSSIER TO CHINA!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I800A Approval!!!






Today is a great day! 
I got a call from our USCIS officer yesterday morning and she said that she would look over our file soon and if everything looked good she would issue approval yesterday or today.
I hurried (ahem...took me 2 1/2 hours) and sent a FedEx label so it could be overnighted back to me.
At 12:29 p.m. I received an email from our officer saying our approval was finished, packaged up and waiting on FedEx pick-up!

It was delivered today and I had it notarized, then drove 45 minutes to have it certified.
(Did I mention I have the stomach flu?)
I will take it back to Chicago with me on Friday when I pick up the rest of my documents, have it authenticated and then send it to our agency in California to be reviewed and translated and then it will be
PUT ON A PLANE TO CHINA!!!

This is very exciting news because as of right now we are not matched with a child.  Once China receives our dossier, we will be logged into their system and wait to be matched!
I would LOVE to see that sweet face before Easter!
*fingers crossed, prayers going up!*






Monday, February 13, 2012

Ups and Downs

In case you didn't know, adoption can be a roller coaster of emotions!
Mine have been all over the place, but today I think I have experienced all emotions possible!

I got up really early this morning to head to the Consulate in Chicago to get all my dossier docs authenticated.
Excitement.

Then, discovered my sweet son was sick and there was no way he could go to school.
Heartbreak.

Tyson said he would stay home with him so I could go to Chicago.
Guilt.

Realizing how truly incredible my husband is in the way he ALWAYS steps up without being asked.  He is an amazing husband and father.
Grateful.

So Rylee and I went to Chicago, waited for more than an hour for our number to be called, turned in all our documents.  Asked for same day service and were told they were not doing same day or next day service and we wouldn't be able to pick them up until Friday.
Disappointment (but I was prepared for that one).

Had a fun lunch at Rainforest Cafe.
Enjoyment.

Drove 2 1/2 hours back home.
Exhaustion.

Had strong urge to call USCIS to see if we had been assigned an officer.
Overwhelmed.

Knowing I shouldn't call.  There was no way we would be assigned already.  It has only been 4 business days since we were fingerprinted.  Prepare to be disappointed and told "no officer yet".
Ashamed.

Called anyway and found out we HAVE been assigned!!!
Surprised!

Wishing I could have talked to our officer (left a VM) to find out when our approval will be done.
Anticipation.

Realizing we could possibly be DTC next week.....
ELATED!!!!


~so, not being able to pic up our dossier until friday is actually a blessing.  There is a good chance I will have our I800A approval by then, which I can get authenticated same day (hopefully) on Friday, which will save me a trip to Chicago next week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fingerprints!

Last Friday I received our fingerprint appointment letters.
OK. Wait.  That's not entirely true.

Last Friday, I lost my "patience" mojo and couldn't wait any longer.
So I called USCIS "just to see" if we had been assigned a fingerprint appointment. 
And we had! 
We were scheduled for Feb. 29, at 8:00 in Indianapolis.
(I did actually receive the appointment letters in the mail the following day)
I wasn't sure if Indy took walk-ins, as not all centers do.
So I did a little research, made a few phone calls, and relied on some pretty knowledgeable ladies on some adoption sites.
Anyway, the general concensus was that Indy does take walk-ins.
So we decided to try it.
Tyson took the day off.
We got up at 0-dark-thirty.
Dropped the kids at my friend's so she could take them to school.
Drove 2 1/2 hours (one way).
All to take a chance they might take us.

And you know what???

THEY DID!!!

We got there about 10:45 a.m. and told the security guard why we were there.
At first, she acted like they may not take us, since we were SO early.
Then she messed up thoroughly searched my purse, handed our paperwork off to another lady,
who said "It's fine".
They took us back right away, printed us both, asked us to fill out the comment card, and we were out the door!
All in 10 minutes!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!

I know they say getting printed early doesn't speed up the 800A process, but as fast as approvals are coming in right now, I figure it can't hurt!  I am really hoping we are approved before our assigned print date.  (Right now approvals are coming in about 38-40 days.  We are on Day 19 so if you do the math.....) 

We are thisclose to DTC!!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

And Another......

In my last post I showed you all (yep...all 16 of you eager followers!) my little desk makeover.
Well, a desk isn't much good if you don't have a chair to go with it.

 I found this little gem at the thrift store last week for $4.99


I gave it a good cleaning and then I took the seat off and spray painted it lime green.
(These unseasonably warm temps are just fueling my spray painting addiction!)

I cut a thick piece of foam to fit the seat

Then I cut fabric to cover it and just stapled it to the bottom of the seat


Then I reattached the seat to the chair and this is what we had!


And this is how it looks in her room with the desk!




We figured we purchased the desk and chair and re-did both of them for under $50!
And Miss Rylee just LOVES them!




*TOTALLY UNRELATED SIDENOTE!!*

Today I decided to call USCIS just to see if we had been assigned a fingerprint appointment yet.  I know I will received notice in the mail, but the whole "patience" thing totally failed me today.  Anyway, we have been scheduled for February 29 in Indianapolis!!!  I am trying to figure out if Indy takes walk-ins.  One guy I talked to at USCIS told me that all centers take walk-ins, but if they have a full schedule that day they may turn you away.  We called the Indy office and the smart a** gentleman on the phone said that Indy does not take walk-ins, but you can go to any center you want, so if we wanted to go to a location we know takes walk-ins, we were free to do so.  I don't know what we will do.  I am hoping we receive our notice in the mail Monday or Tuesday.  I would feel better going to Indy and trying to walk in as opposed to a different center (just in case they won't take us).  But Tyson will have to take the day off work, and it is almost a 3 hour drive each way...so if they turn us away (wherever we go) he will have to take another day off.  We are trying not to use many of his days off so he will be able to use them when we travel and get back home.  Plus, it's not always easy for him to get a day off with short notice because it is difficult to get all of his patients rescheduled.  What to do, what to do?