This has been quite a week. Overall, we made steps in the right direction, but it was not without much stress, prayer, worry, prayer....and more prayer.
-I finished all my medical clearance stuff. I am officially HIV, syphilis, and TB free! Whew! *wink* I am also free of drugs, alcohol, and mental disease. And shocker of all, apparantly I am completely sane. Yeah, even I was surprised at that one. Inspite of passing all my medicals with flying colors, I'm not completely done with the process. There are two documents that I needed from the dr and one was signed in black ink, instead of blue. Out of the 900 documents that have to be done for our adoption, this is the ONLY one that has to be signed in blue ink. Now the whole document has to be redone. Not the dr's fault though. The document criteria can be a tad bit ridiculous. I have to go get the document redone this week and I'm not looking forward to it. Like I said before, I don't like telling people that it wasn't done right, especially when they have gone to alot of effort to do it right in the first place, but they just messed up on one out of 32 rules for filling out the paper. Ugh.
-We filled out our I-600A form and got it in the mail, but it took running around like a chicken with my head cut off all afternoon one day to do it. Guess I should explain what the I-600A is. It is our immigration paperwork. It is basically a petition filed with the government seeking there approval for us to adopt a foreign orphan and bring them back in to the United States. I mailed in the application form, our marriage license, mine and Josh's birth certificates, and a cashiers check for $830. Yep. The application fee is $670, and then it is $80 a piece for Josh and I to be fingerprinted with the FBI. Once they receive our application, they will put our case on file, but they won't process it until they receive a copy of our completed homestudy. I went ahead and filed our application, though, because the fees are going up on November 23. This was another form that had to be filled out very precisly. I am pretty sure that I am going to have a head full of gray hair by the time this adoption is finalized. The documents are killing me, man!
-Last week I mentioned that Ray was going to have to have a test done on her bladder this week. I dreaded it all week. Ray was pretty traumatized by her recent hospital experience, and this test was going to be worse than anything she experienced while in the hospital. Needless to say, I was NOT looking forward to having to subject her to that. I made arrangements for Josh's mom to keep the boys so that Josh and I could both be with her for the test. We got the hospital and did the whole admissions, hospital bracelet, argue with the folks about how much they want you to pay, and get her in to the hospital gown thing. Only one parent could go back with her for the test. As much as I wanted to be with her, we let her pick, knowing that she would pick Josh. This girl is a major Daddy's girl.
They got in the room where they would do the test, and as soon as the nurse said "catheter", Ray started screaming. I don't think the nurse expecter her to know what that was, but after her hospital stay, she knew exactly what it was. Josh couldn't pry her off of him to put her on the table. After a few minutes of trying to fight her, the nurses basically talked him out of having the test done. They said that they were pretty sure that they wouldn't be able to do it with her fighting like she was and that she could be injured in the process of trying to start the catheter. So, the test didn't get done. Now we're not really sure what our next step is with her....
-Packet 1. Remember the packet of documents that I made the trip to Austin to have apostilled, then I paid good money to have with shipped overnight to Daniel's country?? When they did NOT arrive overnight. That was ok. I really figured the overnight thing was too good to be true anyway. I kept checking everyday with the tracking number to see where they were. The last updat on the USPS website, was that they left Chicago to go overseas on Nov 10th. By the time Wednesday rolled around and they still hadn't arrived, I started to freak out. Thursday I called USPS and put a trace on them. (Which really doen't help me at all, since they said it can take up to 30 days to trace the package!!!!) Thursday evening I got an email from my Reece's Rainbow stateside helper(she is the one helping us through the dossier document gathering process) saying that I should probably go to Austin and have another set of documents apostilled and sent overseas through UPS, not USPS. Sigh. I was pretty upset about this. It felt like starting over. These are such important documents though, that I really didn't have a choice. So yesterday I resigned myself to the fact that I would be making a trip to Austin on Tuesday. I figured out how I would get the documents printed, signed, notarized, and faxed to Reece's Rainbow tomorrow, and apostilled and sent overseas on Tuesday. Then tonight after church I come home and check the computer and low and behold my documents made it over the ocean!!!!! They arrived in Daniel's country and made it through customs!! They haven't been delivered to our facilitator yet, but I am expecting them to tomorrow or Tuesday. PRAISE THE LORD!!!! We still need to pray that the are delivered to our facilatator and translated ASAP, but it is sooooo good to know that they FINALLY made it overseas.
-We also got a draft of our homestudy!! It just needs to be checked over by us and Reece's Rainbow to make sure everything is worded right and that all the information is correct, and then she will send us the final draft!! Oh, and we were APPROVED!!! YAY!!! I was pretty sure that she was going to approve us to adopt after how great our home visit went, but it really good to see it in black and white. I've heard alot of social worker horror stories, so how wonderful our homestudy went was a HUGE blessing!!
-Last, but most importantly, the vote in Daniel's country has been scheduled. We got official word today that the bill is scheduled to be read in Parliment sometime between December 14-17. If it passes this second vote, then all adoptions between Daniel's country and the United States will be closed. Closed, not postponed. Completely closed. Even those adoptions in progress. I cannot even begin to tell you how important it is that this DOES NOT HAPPEN. Not just for Daniel's sake, but for the sake of literally hundreds of families that are in the process of adopting from Daniel's country right now. I'll post more about it this week, but please be praying about this. The only saving grace right now is that the bill is close to the end of the list of bills to be read, so we are PRAYING that they don't have a chance to get to it. That is only a temporary fix, but it'll work for me for now.
That's my update of this week. Be praying that our documents make it to our facilatator tomorrow! Praise the Lord for the victories that we have won so far!