Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Our I800A Has Left the Building

Well, it's been a few months since I've posted an adoption update because well, I didn't figure hearing about paperwork and medical tests and the notarization of 1.2 million forms would make for a very interesting post. And that, my friends, is what we've been doing. That, and a whole lot of waiting. whomp. whomp. 

But today. Today, I have the best news ever...well, at least until I can share that we have a referral.

This morning at approximately 10 a.m., a package was left on our doorstep by our friendly Fed Ex delivery person. Had I heard him or her arrive in our driveway, I might have jumped off the stairs and sprinted to the van (picture that for a minute...ok, proceed.). Because today, friends, TODAY we received our 

OFFICIAL, SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED HOME STUDY!

I knew delivery was scheduled for today but was thinking it would be later in the afternoon. And I seriously burst into tears. Like uncontrollable sobbing. I couldn't even open it (at first, anyway!) because I was so overcome with emotion. We began this adoption process November 26, 2015, with the submission of our initial application. We submitted a round of paperwork the first week of December and officially entered "home study" a few weeks later. We have been "in home study" since early January. Our home study was complete in mid-August but due to some unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances, we are just TODAY receiving our notarized and official copies that are necessary for moving forward in the process. Some of you are probably thinking, "Big deal. That's just a few months." But for those that have traveled this journey (or walked alongside someone else who has), you know what those "few months" feel like. The grief of feeling like I'm "missing" days with a child is sometimes more than I can take. I occasionally read back through the journal that I've been keeping for her and find myself thinking, "This is one sad mama. Oh, wait. That's me feeling that hurt and grief." I hope she will one day read those pages and know just how loved she is...

We have been waiting for these "official" copies of the home study to mail our I800A application and supporting documents to the Department of Homeland Security for several weeks (the forms and cover letter were dated August 30). So you can bet your booty I put those documents in a priority envelope and drove straight to the post office. The package should be delivered to USCIS in Dallas Thursday. And don't you think I won't be using that tracking number. Just sayin'. 

Anyway. Today is a day for JOY and CELEBRATING! We are moving forward in the process! I cannot wait to pick up the boys from school this afternoon and share the good news with those little jokers!

Now what? More paperwork! I know. Oh so glamorous and exciting, right? We will continue amassing all the dossier documents while wait for the Department of Homeland Security to send us our next fingerprint appointments. Once we have been fingerprinted (again) and have all our dossier documents together, notarized, authenticated and signed in blood (not really, but it feels like it!), the entire packet will be sent for translation to Creole and then to the Haitian government for consideration for a referral. 

And then guess what happens! We wait. We wait for the day when we receive an email that introduces us to the daughter that God has been preparing our hearts for. The daughter we already love so much. The daughter we are fighting for daily. The daughter we have already shed many tears for. The sister that our boys ask about almost daily. We wait to see her beautiful face. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be!

We are so grateful for your continued support and encouragement through this process. It means the world to us, and we can't wait to bring our girl home to the village that is already loving her so well!

Will you pray with us for endurance through this process? For smooth steps in the coming months? For red tape and bureaucracy to be removed? Will you pray for our daughter who is likely in an orphanage now? Will you pray for her protection and her little heart to feel loved until we can bring her home?

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