Saturday, 22 November 2008

Our Home Study is Complete!

This week we got our foster license in the mail, which means that our home study has been received by the state. It will take a while, but hopefully not more than a month, for them to review it and send it on to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). We sent an application for an orphan visa (I-600a) to USCIS. Our home study will meet up with our application. At some point (we are not sure if this happens before or after USCIS gets our home study approval), we will get a letter telling us to go for fingerprinting. For those of you thinking, didn't you just get your fingerprint clearance back? The answer is yes, we did. But that was the FBI check. This fingerprinting will be for the Department of Homeland Security. And yes, this inability of branches of our government to communicate is costing us $160.00, another few hours of our day for the trip to the fingerprinting office, and more waiting. Visa approval can take up to three months. Since we sent our application in mid-November we should have it by mid-February. I have been told that USCIS in Chicago moves more quickly than the estimates and that we could have our visa approval by the end of January.

We are waiting for the list of dossier documents from our international agency. Apparently quite of few of them are compiled in the course of the home study, so we already have a third of the list finished. We would like to have everything together before we get our visa approval.

After we send our dossier the timing of our adoption will depend on how things go in Uganda, and how quickly our agency's Ugandan representative can find a baby available for adoption. It may be a little harder because we are asking him to find one as young as possible (the youngest allowed is six month) so that I can breast feed. That means he has to find a baby with really good paperwork proving Ugandan citizenship and abandonment.

In terms of timing, our home study was finished a month earlier than we expected, but because of some mail mix-ups and other delays our visa request was mailed later than we would have liked, so the visa and dossier may take longer than we had hoped. There is still a good chance, if everything goes smoothly, of us traveling early next summer.

Right now, on our side of things, we are praying for fast approval from the state of Illinois, quick processing from USCIS, a fingerprint appointment that we can both easily make, and no paperwork mix-ups or other unnecessary delays. We are also praying for our baby, his or her caregivers, and his or her birth parents. We would love it if you would join us in praying for any or all of these things.


mary said...

Thanks for the list of specific things to pray for.

Gretchen said...

Yeah! Glad to hear the process is moving along. We'll be praying for smoothness of process and that you would have peace and comfort for all that lays ahead. Love you guys!

Katie said...

Congrats on the home study:) It is so great to hear about the process and I look forward to reading more as the year goes on.