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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I-800A Status Update

Sometimes silence is golden, and sometimes... it's not.  Things have been pretty silent for us in the adoption arena these last few weeks.  The short story is that we are still waiting to hear about our application.  For the slightly longer story, read on.

This past Monday I called and spoke to a lady in the adoption department of US immigration.  Our case has not yet been assigned to an agent, so the paperwork is just there until it is our turn to have our information reviewed. 

On the positive side of things, the woman I talked to did tell me that it is taking about fifty-five days from the date of application to get a decision from them. That time frame for us would be somewhere around November 22nd, though it is not a guaranteed date.  It is encouraging to know that we have a good chance of hearing some news regarding our approval for international adoption before January. (To read more about our USCIS process, see here and here.)  We would love to have our immigration approval to be grateful for during Thanksgiving week!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

USCIS Fingerprinting

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."  These are the words we saw written in the room where swearing in ceremonies happen in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) building.

Yesterday began early...4:15 a.m. to be exact.  We had a 9 a.m. appointment at the USCIS office that services our county.  Why are we up so early then?  Because that office happens to be 2-1/2 hours (one way) from our house, and we had rush hour traffic to contend with as well.  Mark and I dropped off our children (The paperwork requested that due to limited seating availability, we not bring anyone with us that did not need to be there for the appointment.) at my sister-in-laws' house and started the drive.  

We arrived 30 minutes early and went through security with our appointment notice and ID, (You are not guaranteed admittance into the building without your appointment notice and an ID.) and were seated in the room where swearing in ceremonies for new US citizens is done.  Our US flag and emblems from each of our armed forces are on display, along with the phrase quoted at the beginning of this article.  Unfortunately, no photos are permitted in the building, so I do not have those to share.  Mark commented that we were seated in a room that is important to a lot of people, and where they have become a US citizen.  Though in some ways the room was nondescript, it reminded me that for some, this room represented a dream come true. What a privilege it is for us to have been born in this great nation!
 By Jnn13 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 

We were called in to a smaller room a few minutes before our 9 o'clock appointment time, given a short form to fill out, and then called to a kiosk where an attendant took our digital fingerprints.  Within twenty minutes, our appointment was completed, and we were on our way home. It was a five hour round trip for digital fingerprints! 

Now, we are again at one of the many waiting stages during the adoption process.  It has been said that adoption is the "paper pregnancy", and that has been very accurate so far.  Fingerprinting was the last of what was needed for the completion of our immigration application: now, we wait for our case to be assigned and approved or denied.  We have recently learned that immigration processes seem to have been very slow lately, taking up to four months for a verdict.  If ours takes that long, it could be January before we know if we have immigration approval or not.  Please pray with us for two things:1) approval from immigration for an international adoption and 2) that our approval will not take such a lengthy time to process.  

We will continue to keep you updated on how things are progressing.