Well, the 5 Days of Christmas Giveaway is over, and boy was it fun! The Josh, the kids, and I had the best time drawing the winners every evening. Thank you again to everyone who contributed!
Now for the paperwork update:
-We got our completed homestudy. It, and the other paperwork that goes with it, were approved by the team that looks over the documents in Daniel's country to make sure that the SDA will accept them. That is GOOD news.
-Sent a notarized copy of our homestudy to USCIS to join our Application for Advanced Processing of an Orphan Petition, which has already been submitted and received.
-I called USCIS to see if our case had been assigned and officer. The lady I talked to said that it hadn't. The next step with our immigration paperwork is to be given and appointment to be fingerprinted with the F.B.I. The lady said that our case wouldn't be assigned an officer until they had received our homestudy(I hadn't sent it yet, at this point). Once they had our homestudy they would assign us an officer and then schedule us for our fingerprints. I was a bit disheartened to hear that. It would take several weeks for them to receive our homestudy, assign us an officer, and then schedule our fingerprints. AFTER our fingerprints are done it can take several weeks to get the "all clear" from that. AFTER that they will make a decision about whether or not they will approve us to bring Daniel into the country. Needless to say, we wouldn't be getting our approval by the beginning of February, which is when we were hoping to have our dossier submitted to the SDA. Quite a process.
Instead of hanging up the phone and crying(which is what I felt like doing), I explained to the lady over the phone that we were adopting a waiting child and told her from what country. I went on to tell her that said country is considering closing all adoptions with the US. The lady said that she knew about that, and then told me to hold on. She came back a few minutes later and said "I hope you weren't planning on going out of town for Christmas, because your fingerprint appointment is December 27th and 3:00."
WHAT?!?! I freaked out!! I almost did a back flip, and I can't even do back flips!! That lady is my new best friend, and I don't even know her name! She was very sweet and told us good luck with everything! She even laughed at Ray crowing like a rooster in the back ground. I hung up the phone and paced around the kitchen for about 15 minutes saying "Praise the Lord!" over and over and over. I'm pretty sure that Josh thought I had lost my mind for good this time! I'm thinking that it is looking good for us to get our approval paper by the end of January. At least that's what I'm praying for!
-I faxed in Josh's medical paperwork and my re-done medical paperwork to be checked over. Mine passed. Josh's didn't. Apparently there was a small marking that resembled a possible scratch out, so Josh's had to be re-done. I despise bringing paperwork back to be re-done. The dr's office was nice about it though, and even did it that day. I faxed Josh's re-done medical to be checked, and it was approved. Done with all the medical stuff. 'Bout time.
-We got our notarized state criminal background checks in the mail. They passed the check too.
-Applied for two grants. Heard back from one saying that they are on hold for the rest of the year and not giving out any more grants and to check back with them after the first of the year. Haven't heard anything from the other one. With our adoption being independant, as opposed to through an agency, we are VERY limited as to what grants we can apply for. In fact, there aren't many at all who even accept applications from people who are adopting independantly. Sigh.
-STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE LETTER WE NEED FROM JOSH'S WORK. I'm getting frustrated and irritated, to put it nicely. They payroll lady tracked down someone who was willing to do the document. So I gathered ALL the necessary paperwork and included very. specific. instructions. The secretary at Josh's office overnighted it to the HR lady who said that she would do the document.
She never did it.
Now all the paperwork I sent her has expired. I had to do somemore and bring it back up to Josh's office. Still waiting to hear something about it. I'm ready to get it back because I have a VERY strong feeling that it isn't going to be done right, so we'll have to have it redone. Just call it a hunch.
-Luke's room(which won't just be Luke's room for long!) is fully ready for the arrival of his brother! There are bunk bed AND a toddler bed. Ray graduated to a big bed, at the same time that we got bunk beds for Luke and Daniel. I hated to take apart the toddler bed, since Kellen will be in it in a year or so, so I just found a place for it in Luke's room. When Daniel gets here we will probably put him in the toddler bed for a while, since that it what he's used to, and then transition him to the bottom bunk. For now, Ray has claimed the bottom bunk. She has slept in it every night since we set it up. She sleeps better now that she sleeps in the same room with Luke. Guess she didn't like being alone, poor thing.
Beside the beds being all set up,we also had a chest of drawers given to us and we put it in the boys room. I cleaned out Luke's closet and we are fully prepared for Daniel to get here! I even have a few clothes in the dresser. All we need now, is Daniel....
We are SOOOO close to being done with our dossier. We just need the letter from Josh's work. Our immigration approval. A notarized copy of our 2009 taxes(waiting for that to come in the mail...You can say a prayer that it gets here soon!). And a notarized copy of our actual Petition of Adoption. And then we are DONE, baby!! 3 of those 4 documents I am waiting to come to us, the adoption petition can be done anytime. We just need to fix some of the wording on the document we have and then get it notarized and that's that. SO CLOSE to being done with the paperwork.
Of course all of these documents will have to be apostilled in Austin, but I've gotten pretty good at that by now. I can actually do it by mail this time, if we get all the paperwork in time.
Prayer request of the week:
-That we get the letter from Josh's work
-We get the copy of our taxes from the IRS(I requested it around the end of October and they said that it can take up to 60 days to receive it. It has almost been 60 days, so I'm starting to get nervous. I don't have 60 more days to apply from another one.)
-The vote next week. I haven't heard anymore news about it since I posted that it had been postponed from this week to next week.
I really do plan on finishing the story of how God called us to adopt. I got busy with the drawings and just haven't done it yet. Maybe tomorrow....