USCIS fingerprinting complete!

We traveled to the Homeland Security Office in Yakima, Wash. today to get our fingerprints taken for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval. The USCIS is the US department that gives us advance approval to internationally adopt an orphan. They will also be the department, that, when we get our referral of a child, will confirm with Nepal (through lots of paperwork) that the child is truly an orphan.

The fingerprinting went great! Just 20 minutes and we were done. And to think that I was nervous...even my hands were clammy. I guess the first time you do anything, especially of this nature, it's a little nervewracking.

After the fingerprinting was done, we enjoyed lunch at the Olive Garden (we had a gift certificate there - yay!) and then did a wee bit of shopping at Target. It was a fun day!

We only have two things left to do...once we get our USCIS approval, which is called an "I-171H" document, then we will get that notarized and send it to the Secretary of State for certification. Once we get that back from the State, all of our paperwork is DONE! We will send all of it to our agency, and they will send it all to Nepal!!

Certified documents received from Secretary of State

What an exciting day! State certification on all of your notarized documents is a requirement for the adoption process for proof that the notaries you used are legal. We sent 31 notarized documents to the Secretary of State for certification on Thursday, Nov. 19. On Friday, Nov. 20, the department called me and said they would process them right away since they knew we were on a tight timeframe. We got them back the very next day - Saturday, Nov. 21! And they look amazing! The Secretary of State seal, and signature, is so cool. Thank you, Sam Reed and your staff!

We have 5 more to send for certification. I need to send my birth certificate's (must have two) to Idaho for certification, and then our marriage certificate's (must have two) to Oregon to certify. (These couldn't be certified by Washington because they must be certified in the state where the events took place.) I'll send these on Monday (Nov. 23). Then, once I get our USCIS approval, I need to get that notarized, then sent for certification. Also, there were two of the 31 I received back today that didn't have the gold seal on them for some reason. So, I'll send those back with the USCIS document. No biggie.

We're getting soooo close to having our dossier done! Hallelujah!

USCIS Fingerprinting: Nov. 30!

We received our fingerprinting dates today! On Nov. 30 in Yakima (1pm for me, 2pm for Andrew), we'll be getting fingerprinted for the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to capture our biometrics as part of the USCIS approval process. The USCIS approval is the USA giving us approval in advance to adopt an orphan.

After they receive our fingerprinting, we should receive our I-171h form quickly, which is the official approval we need from the USA to adopt. And, it's also the very last document that is needed for our dossier! After we get that, our entire packet will be off to our agency for translation, then on to Nepal!


Nepal Program Update: Good news on the horizon

I’m a part of two Yahoo! adoption groups. One is through my agency, Adoption Ark. The other is one that someone created awhile ago for people that are adopting from Nepal from all over the world! The Yahoo! group is called, “nepaladopt”. Through this group, I’ve met people from Italy, France, UK, Sweden, Norway, Canada and the USA. It’s great!

There are several prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) in this group that have been waiting to be matched to their child since January 2009. Worse yet, there are a few people that have been waiting three and four years! Part of this is because they submitted their dossier before 2008, which is when Nepal closed their program. Nepal re-opened in January 2009.

At any rate, because of the long wait, and political unrest, I asked my case manager at Adoption Ark if she had an understanding of why the referrals were taking so long, and what their experience has been with Nepal. I shared that we were not told that it would take so long to be matched when we signed in to the program, and it concerned me that other families (with other agencies) are having to wait so long.

My case manager answered my questions. In a nutshell:

• This isn't true. There may be some case who applied earlier, and then the adoption program closed for about two years. It re-opened in January 2009, and now it won't take that long. If everything goes well, the PAPs will receive their referral by December 2009.
• The Ministry has given special orders to complete all the cases ASAP.

Such wonderful news to this prospective adoptive mommy!

Nepal Program Update

There has been much unrest in Nepal over the last month. The unrest comes from their current political situation. This has affected the progress of waiting families receiving referrals for their children. You might wonder, why would political unrest affect the adoption process? The reason is because dossiers first go through a government department, the department of Women, Children and Social Welfare, before going to Nepal’s matching committee. Thus, if there is political unrest, it affects the governmental department position that initially processes the adoption paperwork.

I inquired of our agency, Adoption Ark, as to how things are looking for the Nepal adoption program. My case manager wrote back on Friday, Nov. 13, to all of us adopting from Nepal though Adoption Ark. Please continue to pray for matches to be made for the waiting families, particularly because the slower the wait for them, the slower the wait for the rest of us when our dossier’s arrive to Nepal in January.

22 families have received their child and completed the process
• 40 have received a referral, but have yet to receive their travel approval from Nepal
• Another 40 have been matched by the Ministry, but the matches haven't been mailed out yet
• The Ministry and matching committee are working to complete all the matches
• May complete all the cases within a month or so