Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fingerprint Appointment

In yesterday's mail we received our biometrics appointment. This means that we were given a date and time to appear at our local USCIS office to have our fingerprints electronically scanned. Our fingerprint appointment is taking place about three weeks after our paperwork arrived in Chicago. Once the background clearances get back to them, then our I-800A can be reviewed and a decision can be made. It's nice having these little milestones, as it helps to feel like progress is being made. What an amazing Thanksgiving week to receive two letters from the USCIS!
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Receipt Acknowledgement from USCIS

I had heard through other blogs about this step, and I had a feeling I would be receiving something from the USCIS this week. So, I was not surprised when I opened my mailbox today and there was a letter from Homeland Security. It simply lets us know that our I-800A has been received, and that a separate notice will be coming in the mail with our fingerprint appointments. But at least we now have a case number and account numbers so we can follow up on the status of our filing. And I also know that our file has made it to Lee's Summit, MO.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Check Cashed

I am not sure that this really means anything significant. But it shows that it took less than a week for someone at the USCIS to look enough at our paperwork to take our money and cash our check. The check was cashed yesterday. It was for the filing fee of the I-800A plus the biometrics fee for fingerprinting me and P. It's something! Any progress is good progress at this point in time!!
The photo is of the outdoor skating rink in downtown Chicago. I took the photo the last time we were there, several years ago. I am not sure if our paperwork is still in Chicago right now or if it has been transferred to Lee's Summit, MO. But I have never been to Lee's Summit, so a photo of Chicago will do!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Celebrating Where We Are in the Process

Last night, after we put our envelope in the FedEx drop box, we went out to dinner to celebrate! After all, in our approval letter from our agency, it instructed us to use this time to take care of ourselves, and do nice things like enjoy sit-down dinners. Well, we already do that daily. But we don't eat out all that often. So we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in town.
Que rico!!

More about Filing with the CIS

I just got a courtesy phone call from FedEx letting me know that my package arrived at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services! So, we have officially submitted our I-800A today!

Since the end of September, all I-800A applications need to be mailed to the attention of the USCIS Hague Unit at an address in Chicago. The full name of the application we are filing is "Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child From a Convention Country." Mexico and the United States are both Hague Convention Countries, so we need to follow all of the Hague laws and procedures. The I-800A is the first step in our children's immigration process, so that they will be able to enter the United States legally once they are adopted. With our application, we are seeking permission from the United States Government to adopt 2 siblings from Mexico. This would also allow us to adopt a single child.

The target processing time frame for this application is around 90 days. The applications are checked for completeness initially in Chicago, and then they are forwarded to the National Benefits Center that specializes in Hague cases. I believe it is in Missouri. Before a decision is made on our application, we will get a notice with an appointment to appear at our local USCIS office to get our fingerprints scanned for FBI background checks. After our background checks clear, then our application will be reviewed and a decision will be mailed to us.

We cannot be referred (matched) with children until we receive this permission from the USCIS.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Are Filing our I-800A!

FedEx just arrived with our approval papers! Yippee!! We are putting it in the envelope with our I-800A Petition paperwork. Tonight it will be on its way to the USCIS!

Our agency sent a very nice letter along with the approval, as well as a certificate. I read parts of it to P over the phone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Homestudy is Approved!

I just found out that our agency has signed our approval! Our homestudy is now finalized! Our agency has officially accepted us into the Mexico Program. The paperwork we need is going out to us today. Once we receive it, we can file our petition to get pre-approval with the USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). We are very excited to officially be PAP's - Prospective Adoptive Parents.