Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Freak Out!
So, we are waiting for a court date. I so want the children to be home by Christmas but I know many miracles would have to happen for that to become a reality.

One of the families at our agency, who got a referral right before court closure in July, was notified on Monday that they had a court date on Friday, yesterday. I just got an email that they passed. How wonderful for them that after waiting all summer they could get a wonderful blessing like this so quickly? I am also thrilled they passed because they have said they will take some new photo's of our kiddo's for us and check in on them for me. Our little guy looks so sad in all his photo's. I really need someone to lay eyes on him and give me a report on how he is adjusting. That truly would be a blessing to this mama's heart.

Early last week I almost had a heart attack when I looked at our "golden ticket" which in the adoption world is your I-171H document issued by USCIS. The approval is good for 18 months, and you cannot adopt a child (from anywhere) without it. Ours was set to expire on October 10th, so when we requested that our age range be increased a few months ago I asked that they also give us our one time free extension on this document. This is a $650.00 piece of paper and believe me, no one wants to pay this fee twice.

Well, when I received our amended approval with our new age requests approved I must not have looked at the paper really carefully. This was during the time that we lost our first referral and emotions were running high. I had to copy our approval last week and when I looked closely at the document I realized they had not processed our extension. Just the age change. Our approval had EXPIRED. You cannot bring an orphan into this country without that approval! I FREAKED OUT!

Now, as I stated previously you are allowed a one time free extension if you request it BEFORE the expiration date. Ours was already more than a week over due. I wanted to cry, and I did.

I spoke with our social worker at our agency and she talked me down off the ledge. She said the approval has nothing to do with us getting a court date as it was current when we got our referral. However, we would not be able to travel to pick up the children until we got a new approval.

I called USCIS in Los Angeles and amazingly (thank you Lord!) actually got someone on the phone. I told him what had happened and how I was panicked we would not be able to travel and pick up our kids. He was very nice and told me to overnight our request for an extension and he would try and get it through without charging us the fee again.

However, there was one problem. Because our approval had lapsed we had to have our fingerprints redone by the state before our home study agency could give us an updated home study. Something we had to send with our new request.

So, I overnighted the documents to the officer I spoke with explaining that the home study update would follow soon. This all happened last week. We got an appointment for Monday morning to get our fingerprints redone and were in and out of the building in 25 minutes. The girl who took our prints said that results have been taking anywhere from 2-30 days to come back. Believe me I have been on my knee's praying for the two day turn around. Everything else is ready in our update, but they cannot give it to me until they receive news that we have not turned into wanted child molest*rs in the past 18 months.

Here is the real deal. Once I send our home study to USCIS they will process our request and then send us a new "golden ticket". However, they then need to cable our approval to the visa office in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. This can take a few weeks.

If we pass court and are given a Visa appointment in Addis before all this happens WE CANNOT TRAVEL. To say I am a little stressed over this fact would be a grave under statement. I don't want anything to stop us from getting our kids as soon as possible. I am so mad at myself for not looking at that piece of paper sooner, however, I am trying to show grace to myself for a change and not beat myself up to much.

The adoption process is a great faith builder. If God wants those children to be a part of this family he will take care of it. He is a big God and no "golden ticket" is going to stand in his way. Prayers would be appreciated for a speedy resolution to this paperwork glitch. We will get the approval, no doubt. I just want it to be quickly so we have no delays.


  posted at 3:06 AM  

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Jenna said...

Julie! You poor girl I cannot imagine the stress you must be under but you are right. God is not going to let a golden ticket stand in your way. Remember if God brings you to it....he will also bring you through it!

It will work out the way it should. I could tell you not to worry but being a Mom myself I know that you will. lol Hang in there.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger julie said...

Thanks Jenna, I am trying really hard NOT to worry. Instead I am looking at cute crib bedding and trying to decide on a theme.....

Have a great day,

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

You know.....if they don't come home before Christmas that would be OK too b/c Christmas is a crazy, off-schedule time of year and it can be overwhelming for OUR kids! If they come in January, things will be settled down, decorations put away, and you will be on a calm, winter schedule, you know?

Just a thought....

At 7:12 AM, Blogger julie said...

Hi Brenda,

I know what you mean about Christmas being crazy. However, I don't want them in the orphanage one minute more than they have to be there. My family has been told that we will be having a very laid back Christmas if by some miracle we get to pick up the children. Extended family has been told we will not be inviting them over or going to their houses for the holidays. Just cocooning at home. Everyone seems fine with that.

Have a blessed day,

At 5:05 PM, Blogger The Gang's Momma said...

Oh my word. The drama. I cannot believe how many stories like this one that I read and hear about - can ANY of us have an adoption story without the DRAMA? OY. I'm so sorry. I'm praying. PRAYING!


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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