Thursday, April 28, 2011

Completed, authenticated, photocopied, and FedEx-ed!!!

Whew! Our dossier is completed, authenticated (more about that below), photocopied, and now FedExed. The original dossier has been sent to a courier service in D.C. owned by adoptive parents who will personally take it to the U.S. State Dept to be further authenticated and then will hand deliver it to the Ethiopian Embassy in D.C. Basically all of this authentication is how the U.S. guarantees the Ethiopian government everything we have said is true! 2 sets of photocopies went to our agency so we can go on the official list waiting for a referral (which by the way, I was told that there is only 1 other family waiting for a toddler boy). Soooooo, that means if nothing has changed we could be #2 on the list! (butterflies!!!) Which means we could see his sweet face and learn tons about him in the very near future!!! (grin)

Now, about the authentication done here in Texas:
I had to drive to Austin (state capital) to get the Great Seal of the Great State of Texas. We could have mailed it in, but it would have taken 2 weeks to process and receive. It took 10 minutes in the office. Along the way I had an "Amazing Race" experience of my own. Caleb (almost 5) went with me and was PHENOMINAL the entire trip!!! Bless his heart he thought we were going to pick brother up :)
First, GPS says it was a 3 hour 49 minute trip....I made it in 3 hours and 13 minutes b/c I left super late and was freaking out that I wasn't going to make it on time. I left town at 1:15. I left our apartment at 12:15. Had to stop at Walgreens to pick up 4 photos we had to include our dossier. Then, I had to stop at the bank and get the notary there to add her sworn statement to the document the bank provided for us. Then, I had to go to Kinko's to make 4 sets of photocopies. Which BTW, took FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who would have guessed the Kinko's has the slowest copy machines on the planet???! I make photocopies for Caroline's teacher every week and the school's copier blows Kinko's out of the water! Anyhow, finally got on the road at 1:15. I'm already freaking out b/c of the time table GPS is telling me. Set the cruise on 78ish and roll out! Great trip there, no problems. But, I'm coming into Austin at 4:00. The office closes at 4:30. It is located in downtown Austin, near UT, but thankfully is not far from I35. Anybody who has driven in Austin knows why I am freaking. So, starting around 4:10 I notice traffic at the exits is not looking good. I'm only 8 miles, but it seems forever! Caleb was watching a movie, we both had to pee and I just started repeating OVER AND OVER (literally!!) until I got there "Lord, please make a smooth, straight path so I can get there in time". OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER....until I get there at 4:27, park in the only open space DIRECTLY in front of the building where the State Dept is located. Sign in, run to the office (we still have not peed!) and walk in at 4:28!!!!!! I was so excited I almost let Caleb pee in the hallway (not really, but he asked :). So  he and I danced and hopped around so he wouldn't have an accident (or me) and we left the office at 4:36, AUTHENTICATED! And then we went potty :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Our homestudy is finalized, approved, and in hand!!!  We are approved for a boy 2-6 years old.  We originally were thinking 2-4 years old, but it is advised that you get approved for a wider age range just in case.  Our initial plan was for a toddler, but I have been reminded lately (through a bible sutdy at church about Jonah) that our plan is not always His plan.  We are not on the official list yet, but it should be soon and very soon.  We faxed our dossier to our agency for approval before sending it off to be authenticated.  All of our papers in our dossier had to be notarized individually, and authenticating is when we send it to the capital of Texas to notarize (authenticate) that those notaries are actually notaries.  This is one reason why people call the dossier the "paper chase".  After it is authenticated we will send it to D.C. to be translated and something else, I just can't remember right now.

In the mean time, we will be sending off our i600a application to USCIS.  This is to get permission from the U.S. government to adopt a child from another country and bring them here.  Shortly after sending in the i600a we will go get FBI fingerprints and then a few weeks later receive our approval in the form of an i-171h.