Monday, November 23, 2009

Book About Moving to a New Home

I was in the children's section recently and noticed this book. I took this photo of it with my cell phone, so it's not the best photo. I immediately placed it on my wish list. The book is not about adoption, but it would be very appropriate for children who are faced with a big move to a new life. The book is written from the point of view of a young girl who has moved with her family to the United States from a Latin American country. She notices how things are the same and different between the two countries. She adjusts to a new culture and new way of life, even though it isn't easy at times for her. By the end of the book, the new place feels like home. It is bilingual English and Spanish. Just Like Home/Como en Mi Tierra written by Elizabeth I. Miller and illustrated by Mira Reisberg.

Does anyone know of any children's books that specifically address older children being adopted internationally? The books I have come across portray children who were adopted as a baby, and that is not what I am looking for right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


UPDATE: It appears that Mexico is starting to limit the ages that international dossiers can request to age five and older. Some states are not accepting dossiers for ages under eight, etc.

We have been communicating with the DIF, and things are progressing. We don't know when we will get a referral, as it is hard to predict. We've been on the waiting list for over 25 weeks for siblings of any gender. We know after talking with the DIF that if there were siblings cleared for adoption that were a match with us, we would have received a referral by now. The siblings that could be a match with us haven't been cleared for adoption through the courts. That process can be complicated and can take a while. We would have more possibilities for being matched if we are open to only children, large sibling groups, or older ages. The entire adoption process our preferences have been evolving, so we will see.

We know we aren't the only couple on the waiting list for siblings, because in the reception room of the DIF, we met another couple who were also waiting for siblings. It was nice to meet them and be able to exchange stories with them. They are lovely people and live in the same city as the main orphanage. There are many couples in Mexico who are also hoping to adopt, and that can mean that international applicants will wait longer for a referral.

We will eventually get a referral, we are confident of that. Of course, we are ready right now, and hope we don't have to wait much longer.

The photograph is a basket of conchas, a popular pastry in Mexico that is excellent with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. I'm craving that right now. And pickled jalapeno peppers. Is there such a thing as adoptive-mother-in-waiting cravings?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More About Adopting in Mexico

The adoption path has twists and turns and sometimes it is hard to see what is ahead or where the path will lead.
We receive questions from time to time about adopting in Mexico, and we try to answer. We tend to get asked the same questions, so I am putting the basic questions and answers here. Of course, we enjoy hearing from others who are adopting in Mexico and hope we continue to meet others in the process!

A lot of people want to know what state we are adopting in, and although it's not really a secret, we're just not comfortable disclosing it on the blog right now. We believe people should find their own path. It may not be the same path as ours. Mexico is a complicated country to adopt from in that things vary a lot from state to state. We picked our state for a variety of reasons, a big factor was that we have family there. But mainly it was a gut instinct. We have questioned and re-evaluated our decision to pick the particular state over and over. So far each time we have felt reaffirmation that this is where we are supposed to be right now.

Others have also asked whether we are using an agency or if we are doing an independent adoption. We are using an agency. We chose our state ourselves, but that doesn't mean we are doing an independent adoption. We appreciate having the support and experience of an agency. If we had chosen to, we could have put everything in our agency's hands, and the agency would have picked our state and coordinated everything. But since P is Mexican, and we are finding that we are able to communicate with the DIF, we decided to maintain close involvement. Not everyone wants to do that, but it works for us. For example, we didn't have to submit our dossier in person to the state we chose. Our agency would have coordinated that for us. But we were going there to visit family anyway, so we took the opportunity to visit the DIF in person.

UPDATE: We cannot recommend doing what we did, as in the end it did not work out.

Some people hope to discover a state that is easier to adopt from than others, or a state where they will be able to adopt the youngest children possible. If there is such a magical state, we don't know which one it is. We called every state where we have family and spoke with adoption coordinators of the DIFs before deciding on our state. We found that in the states we called there were at least 100 Mexican families already waiting to be matched, some states even had over 300 families on their waiting list. In general, the children that are more readily available for international adoption in a quicker timeframe would be older children or larger sibling groups or children with disabilities or special needs. We shared with our agency the information we learned from the states we contacted, and our agency has contact with even more states.

UPDATE: We have heard that the National DIF will be deciding which state that dossiers will be sent to. Finding your own state might not be an option anymore. Check into current regulations and processes. Things change.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We're still hanging in there!

It's been such a long time since the last post, people must be wondering what is happening. There were major changes that recently took place in the DIF of the state where we submitted our dossier. So adoptions have been on hold until a new adoption committee is formed. We hope things will move forward again by the beginning of next year. In the meantime, we are trying to remain patient and to not have unrealistic expectations.

It is very common in Mexico for major staffing changes to happen in the DIF offices of each state. It happens all the time, especially after elections. The DIF told us we are still on the waiting list and not to worry. So we just have to wait and see what happens.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tick Tock, The No News Clock

No news. No news, no news. Sorry, we have no news. It's sweet that people ask, it shows they are excited and interested, which we so appreciate! Waiting for news is not easy, especially when we have no idea how long the wait will be. And for now, no news is simply no news, nothing more, nothing less.

Even though we've been working very hard on this for over a year, it has actually only been two months since our dossier has been in the hands of the people who will provide the referral. It helps to keep perspective.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bilingual Households

One of the readers asked a great question. Are we going to be raising our kids in Spanish? We would love to! One of the advantages of adopting older children is that the children will already have a foundation of Spanish. Our hope is for our children to be able to build upon their Spanish and not lose it.

Coincidentally, a few days ago I found out that I won, via the Spanglish Baby website, a copy of the book 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child by Naomi Steiner. I am looking forward to receiving it, as we have been putting a lot of thought into how to raise children bilingually. That blog has a lot of useful information and links regarding this topic.

We have already starting collecting a few children's books that are versions either written in Spanish or are bilingual. We saw many wonderful children's books in Mexico that we resisted the temptation of buying when we were there in May. But now that we know where the bookstores are located with the large selections of children's books, we'll certainly be buying more when we return. It will be easier to chose which books to buy when we know their ages and interests.

Children learn new languages quite easily. P moved to the United States as an adult without knowing any English, and now he is completely bilingual. Our bigger concern is for our children to be able to build their Spanish vocabulary and grammar. Since half of our family speaks only English, and the other half of our family speaks only Spanish, our goal is for our household to remain bilingual.

We are looking at different options for how we can nurture bilingualism in our household as well as researching schools. We are seriously considering implementing, at the very least, the One Parent One Language method for raising children bilingually. P would only speak in Spanish to the children, even if we are around people who don't speak Spanish. When addressing the group, he would speak in the group's language, but when speaking directly to the children, it would be in Spanish always.

We will both be speaking Spanish with them when we meet them. I'm not fluent, but I have been working on my Spanish for years. I hope that speaking Spanish to them will come naturally to me, even though Spanish is not my first language. I think it will help us all bond as a family if we all speak the same language at first. I hope to continue speaking as much Spanish as possible with them even after they become fluent in English. Speaking Spanish at home would benefit all of us in building and maintaining our Spanish fluency.

I know that even with the best of intentions, it can be a very difficult endeavor. We've seen it with friends who have had challenges raising their kids to speak Spanish in the United States. But we think it is well worth trying!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photo Albums

I already mentioned how I have been doing a lot of reading to occupy some of the waiting time that comes along with the adoption process. Another thing I have been doing has become a new hobby. I have been making scrapbooks and photo albums.

We made a photo album that we gave to the DIF along with our dossier. The album will be a way for the DIF to introduce us to our future child or children. It wasn't a requirement for our dossier. It's something extra I wanted to add, because I am a very visual person. I made two albums with the exact same photos and layout, so I have an extra nearly identical album at home. Inside the album are a few photos of us, our house, some family members, our neighborhood, parks, school, grocery store, etc. The kids will be able get an idea of the things we will do with them and places we will go as a family regularly.

These albums are called Peek-a-Boo Albums because they have windows in some of the pages to see through to the next page and some of the pages are made out of clear acrylic to also allow views of the next pages. In hindsight, it wasn't the most practical album style to use for making my first album, since it is extra complicated. This particular album required a lot of advance planning, so that the layers of pages not only look well coordinated, but also make sense thematically. It would have been much simpler to make a more traditional album. But I enjoyed the challenge.

I have also tried to include a variety of textures for tactile appeal, using felt, ribbons, different textures of paper, 3D paints, etc.

These albums are small, perfect for little hands. They are 6.5 inches square.

I am not really sure how the kids will respond to the albums. I showed one to a 5 year old I was babysitting, and he spent a lot of time focused on why some pages had holes while others didn't! It was cute.

We do know that the DIF certainly appreciated receiving it. They said it really helped them to visualize the life that our kids would be living. I have really been enjoying putting these albums together. I already have more blank albums similar to these with papers and themes already picked out for future scrapbooks! I have been reading about Life Books and look forward to helping our kids make them too. I plan to share more about Life Books later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're on the Waiting List in Mexico!

We are approved to adopt in our chosen state in Mexico and are on the waiting list! We are very excited!

We are so pleasantly surprised at the fast timing of our approval process. But be aware that our timeframe would not necessarily be an accurate expectation for other international families. We did things differently than it is normally done, and there is no predicting how things will be done in the future. We didn't have to, but we delivered our dossier in person to the DIF. We had arranged with the DIF in advance of our trip that we would be submitting our paperwork to them in person, and that we would be available to meet with them at any time while we were there. We ended up meeting with them in person three separate times, and we answered many questions. So, I would like to stress that everything differs depending on which state you chose and your particular circumstances.

Also be aware that the process of submitting the dossier differs by state. Some states require that the dossier be submitted to Mexico City first to be registered there. Other states have a different process or different order to the process. So if the state you are adopting from requires that extra step at the beginning of the approval process, it could add quite a bit of time before your paperwork reaches your chosen state.

We are very happy and grateful we were able to meet with the DIF in person, and that we were able to get to know each other. We are extremely impressed with how they conduct adoptions and with the care the children are receiving. We so look forward to returning! We miss it already!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Submitted Dossier

UPDATE: Verify current requirements for submission of dossiers. The processes and rules change. We have been hearing that dossiers must be submitted first to the SRE in Mexico City (Secretary of Exterior Relations). The SRE then sends dossiers to the National DIF in Mexico City and then National DIF sends it to the state.

Our dossier is in México. We're very enthusiastic! We know it is there safe and sound, since we delivered it ourselves. After a year of paper chasing, we felt a very deep need to carry our dossier to its destination. We visited family too, so it was a trip well worth while. We feel such peace.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our Dossier

We're still here! The adoption process is so unpredictable, and we are just going with the flow. Right now we happen to be overflowing with activity! I have been so busy I haven't remembered to post updates here.

Above is our road weary dossier which has traveled many miles in the last two months. In February I sent it off to my agency and never expected to have it in my home again. And yet here it is by my side, at my request, as I wanted to make a few changes to it. But it won't be here long. It is about to take yet another journey.

The reason we made changes to our dossier and added some new documents was to accommodate the different requirements of our chosen state. Each state has different procedures. I hesitate to mention which state we chose because so much of what drove our decision was purely gut instinct, and it was very subjective. We have no idea whether there will be a referral soon or if we will wait years. But the decision to choose this state was completely ours, and we are at peace that this is what we need to do right now.

We are very excited that we are so close to starting the approval process in Mexico!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trying to Decide

I realize there has been quite a delay since the last posting. Everything is still going well!

Ever since we decided on pursuing adopting in Mexico, we had one particular state in mind where we were intending to submit our dossier. But since we have family in several states in Mexico, we decided to explore possibilities in each of those states before submitting our paperwork. Our agency supports us in this which is very nice.

We, our agency, and family members in Mexico have been establishing contacts and gathering information to help us decide which state. Each state has their own civil codes which determine adoption procedures. So we are finding out that depending on which state we chose, we might need some additional documents for our dossier, since every state has their own requirements. We are gathering those documents in the meantime. We have narrowed it down now and are very close to submitting our paperwork!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Translation Completed

Just a quick update to say that the translation is finished! Now we are working toward the next step, more on that later!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Our dossier has been in Mexico for over four weeks. But it still hasn't been translated. We are crossing our fingers that the translation will done on week 5. The translator said she should have it done by Monday, so we shall see.

Now that our dossier is in Mexico, we have no way of getting a status on anything ourselves. But our agency has been keeping us updated. It took so much to get our dossier put together, approved by our agencies, then approved by the US Government. Most of those steps took significantly more time than we were expecting. So, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is not all that surprising that our dossier is taking at least five weeks to get translated. These are circumstances way beyond our control.

It's hard to know what to tell people when they ask. We have absolutely no way of knowing how things will progress now that our paperwork is in Mexico. All we can say is that we won't be able to be matched until we are approved in Mexico. And we won't be able to be approved until our dossier is translated.

Everything is still moving forward, we just have no timeline to go by. Part of having no timeline is very frustrating. But part of it is also exciting. We are going to be surprised. It will probably happen when we are not expecting it. So, we are OK with that. Everyone has told us that all the waiting is just a normal part of the process, and that in the end, it is well worth it. We believe it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Positive Adoption Language

I have found that I am becoming much more aware now about how adoption is talked about since starting our adoption journey. Whereas before, I never really thought about it. The words that we use can tell a lot about our perceptions and feelings about adoption. We can advocate for adoptive families by using language that portrays adoption in a positive light.

Unfortunately many common ways to refer to adoption have negative connotations. For instance, instead of saying "giving up a child" or "giving away a child," more positive way to phrase making plans for the child's well being is to make an adoption plan.

Another very common phrase is "real parents." This is most often used when intending to refer to the biological or birth parents. This implies that there are somehow imaginary parents who are raising children. Parents who raise adopted children are also very real. There are other ways to differentiate the people in one's life with more clarity.

Along the same lines as that are having "children of your own." As in, they had to adopt because they couldn't have their own children. That belittles adoption as a method of building a family. The children who join us through adoption will be no less our children, we will be no less a family.

Another thing people talk about is how much adopted children cost. As if they are purchased! All children are priceless. Yes, there are fees involved with the adoption process, but there are expenses involved with all children. People who have biological children will have prenatal care costs, special vitamins, maternity clothes, hospital and doctor fees, etc. Nobody expects a couple having a biological child to give an accounting of how much was spent bringing their child into the world or how much it cost them to raise their children.

Another concept we are finding is that people assume that one adopts as an act of charity or that the children will be grateful for being adopted. Raising children is not an act of charity. It is an act of love. It can be uncomfortable when people say adopted children are lucky. Although adoption is a beautiful thing, a lot of loss also come along with it. The children aren't the only ones who benefit from adoption.

When we have our children with us and we hear negative adoption language or invasive questions, I will probably be caught off guard, even though I am expecting it to happen at some point. People say and ask inappropriate things all the time, about all sorts of subjects, without even meaning to do so. It's just much harder to deal with when those comments are made in front of your children or are directed at your family. And from what I have heard, it happens more than one would think.

Following the advice of other adoptive parents, I have been trying to prepare myself for ways to respond to the common questions and comments we will likely encounter. But I am also trying not to get caught up in semantics. I'll be a much more effective advocate for adoption if my feathers don't get ruffled too easily by innocent comments. Almost always, people do not intend to be hurtful with what they say. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt though.

I have found help from all sorts of resources like books, forums, articles, adoptive parents, etc. I hope that I will be able to model for my children positive ways to handle these situations. Adoption is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide. But the private details of ones life are private, and not all questions need to be answered.

Here is a workbook that empowers children to take control over their adoption story and teaches strategies for dealing positively with uncomfortable comments or questions about their backgrounds, W.I.S.E Up! Powerbook by Marilyn Schoettle

Adoptive Families Magazine has put together some helpful insights. Here is a link with a chart of positive and negative adoption language and here is an article about nosy questions that adoptive families sometimes face.

Here is an interesting essay written by an adoptive mother, Unsolicited Comments. has this article Questions Come With The Territory.

I have also read some great responses to inappropriate questions that other adoptive families have shared on adoption forums and blogs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dossier is in Mexico

This week our dossier was sent to Mexico and arrived to the translator. We cannot imagine having to translate an entire dossier, as we know how much work it is to accurately translate technical documents. So we can very much appreciate the task at hand.

People have asked us why we can't translate it ourselves or have a bilingual friend do it for us. It is because it needs to be done by a certified translator who is impartial. After all, it will be submitted to the government and courts in Mexico.

We aren't sure how long the translation will take, but we are excited that our paperwork has at least reached Mexico!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our dossier is on its way

We finally went to Tallahassee and had the rest of our dossier documents apostilled. We paused for a moment, looking at the pile of documents, all authenticated and ready to go to the next step. Now our papers are on their way to our agency for a final review to be sure everything is in order. Then they will send our dossier to a translator in Mexico City. Once translated, it will be submitted to the National DIF for its first round of approvals. Then it will go to the state where we want to adopt to be approved there. So, our dossier will be changing many hands in the near future.

This was such a huge step for us, the culmination of eight months of chasing paper. At times it felt like I had to move mountains to get some of these papers. So many emotions, ups and downs, so many dreams went into compiling all the necessary information. I actually shed tears as I saw it go.
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our I-800A Is Approved

We found out Friday that our I-800A has been approved and has been placed in the mail to us! We are so excited!

Once we get the notice, we'll take it to a notary to make a certified copy for us. Then we'll go to Tallahassee to get the certified copy apostilled, since that is where apostilles are issued in Florida. Then our dossier will be complete and we can begin the approval process in Mexico.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where we are

Our original plan for this month was to apostille our dossier and send it to our agency to review. Then they were going to forward it to the translator in Mexico to get a head start on that while we were awaiting CIS approval.

But then we decided to change a document in our dossier, and we needed to wait for the new document to get in order. A change that seemed simple ended up taking more effort than expected. Right around that time, we discovered that our I-800A paperwork was being processed by the CIS, more than a month earlier than we expected. So, we ended up holding off on sending our file to the translator, and now we may as well wait until we have the approval to complete our dossier.

We have not yet been issued our approval from the CIS, but we're getting very close. There was a bit of a delay due to P being naturalized, rather than having been born in the US. Because of that, the CIS had to order his US immigration file to be retrieved from storage and sent to them to review before they are able to issue an approval. This is standard procedure. It adds a little more time to the approval process, but that's OK. We found out today that the CIS has just received the file.

In the meantime, the CIS has reviewed our paperwork. They informed us that there needs to be a minor addition of language to our homestudy. Our agency is putting that together now and will be forwarding it to the CIS. Very very soon the CIS will have everything they need to make their ruling.

So, despite changing the order of things we did this month, we are making great progress! Day by day, step by step, we are getting there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Support During the Adoption Process

"Dreams Come True: Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." - John Updike
Hang in there and don't lose hope!!

"We will keep praying. In the meantime, try to think positive thoughts!"

"That's fantastic!"

"I'm very excited for you two!"

"I'm praying that you are just paranoid. Have faith." - out of context that sounds so funny!!! You had to be there... it's actually very sweet!

"[I] hope it's an all clear!"


"I'm all worked up just reading about this!!"

"What a relief!"

"How frustrating!"

"Hey, that's a snag in your favor!"

"[name withheld] told us all to pray for you because of what you are going through... we are all praying this problem can be fixed..."

"Please know that we are all pulling for the four of you, and we are only a computer or phone call away"

"I'm sorry. What can I do to help?"

"Hopefully this will be the last confusing thing you have to do!"

All of the above are words of support we received just in the last few days. (They are not listed in order received). And it doesn't even come close to listing all of them. This process is quite a roller coaster with so many ups and downs. It is so very comforting to have the support our friends and family. They are helping so much by being so amazingly supportive and on top of things! We are grateful!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on our I-800A

Wow, I am here to testify that federal employees do work on inauguration day. I found out today that our I-800A was assigned an agent and is scheduled to be reviewed this week! I had heard that they were starting to shorten their processing time lines, but I hadn't heard estimates on the wait being this improved. Our log in date was November 25, and I found out 56 days later that our file is about to be reviewed. Although technically we were assigned our agent three days ago, but it was a holiday weekend, so our file reached the agent's desk today. Anyway, that's way shorter than the original time frame of 90 days! Way to go CIS!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Learning and Reading About Adoption

As anyone who has gone through this process knows, there is a lot of waiting and a lot of unknown time lines. So, one thing we have been doing to make good use of this time is to try to learn as much as possible about adoption and parenting. Talking with others who have adopted or with adoptees is an excellent way to get first-hand advice and find out what to very realistically expect.

On the Internet, there are countless blogs that share a remarkable amount of candid experiences, there are forums and online groups to join, and there are also many articles and avenues for research. As a part of the Hague guidelines, we had to take Hague Compliant parenting classes, which we were able to take online. The online videos we watched covered a wide range of topics: grief and loss, the institutionalized child, attachment and bonding, sensory integration, facilitating behavior change, medical issues in international adoption, and child development. There were also classes that were country-specific, although there were none for Mexico.

We have also been reading as many books as we can find. Our local library system has quite a nice collection of adoption specific titles. We have been checking them out and reading them one by one. We aren't done reading all of them but have read a fair share. We are starting to buy our favorites to always have on hand at home.

One of the concepts that stands out in our research is that traditional parenting techniques can often be counterproductive when applied to internationally adopted children. For example, time-outs are generally not recommended as a discipline strategy. Another interesting concept is family age verses chronological age. It is absolutely normal for internationally adopted children to at times revert to the behavior of someone of a much younger chronological age, especially during times of stress. The behavior they will revert to is sometimes more in line with the number of months or years they have been a part of their new family. As they grow and become more comfortable and feel safe with their new family, they will need help building new skills, referred to as family skills, instead of relying completely on their survival coping skills.

But we are very realistic about it. We know that we can read all of the books in the world, and it will never truly prepare us for what lies ahead. Books can never replace first hand experience. Reading about tantrums is not the same as experiencing them! And we have heard from many families that they have had to pick and choose what advice to take from the books they read or to even ignore it completely. Not every strategy or concept works for or applies to every family. At the very least we are getting exposed to new ways to look at things and to possibilities we wouldn't know about otherwise. So we'll just have to wait and see what works for our family.

Of the books we have read so far, the ones that we felt opened our eyes the most and gave the most practical and useful tips were the following. We are sure that we will be finding more books that we will want to add to this list, since there are many titles on our To Read list that we haven't even read yet!

1. The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family, by Karyn B. Purvis, Ph.D., David R. Cross, Ph.D., and Wendy Lyons Sunshine. 2007.

  • Dr. Purvis led the online courses we watched. The book really helps to reinforce the concepts in the videos. Dr. Purvis is affiliated with Texas Christian University's Institute for Child Development.
  • Here are some online articles to which she has contributed which talk about some of the concepts in the videos and book.

  • This book is like a textbook for international adoption, in a good way. Plus, it has so many practical tips, from games to play and songs to sing to help with attaching and many many anecdotes to learn from. It overlaps many of the same concepts as the first book, but gives even more details to reinforce them.
  • Here are some online articles that Patty Cogen has written.

  • A lot of people criticize this book for being negative. We have read some books that are so negative that they have caused us nightmares. This was not one of them, in our experience. We see the book as a valuable insight into how an adopted child *might* perceive things. No one person or book can speak for everyone who has been adopted. Not all adopted children will feel the same way. We know that.
  • Here is an interview with Sherrie Eldridge conducted by Dawn Davenport who hosts a weekly pod cast (Internet radio show) on a wide variety of themes related to adoption.
Since this posting is already very long, perhaps we will post another entry in the future of other books or articles we have found helpful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Latest on our Dossier

Our dossier is very close to being in order. Our agency's contact in Mexico recently met with the DIF and was able to find out exactly what is needed for the dossier for the particular state where we intend to submit our paperwork. It turns out we already have everything we need. There was no special application form needed. We are going to make a minor change in the wording in one document, and I found out that another document needs a slight change in the way it was notarized. Once those changes are made we will most likely drive to Tallahassee to get our dossier documents that originated in Florida apostilled in person while we wait at the Department of State. Good excuse for a road trip! All of our documents that originated outside of Florida have already been apostilled in their respective states.

I also found out that the CIS Hague Unit has hired additional staff due receiving a much larger number of filings every single month than they expected since April 1. The CIS could possibly now process the I-800A approvals in under 90 days. We weren't expecting our approval until around February 23, so if we do get it sooner than that it will be very good news!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Contacting Us

We are very excited that we have received comments from other families who are also adopting in Mexico! It truly helps us to feel like we are not alone. Our goal in starting this blog was to connect with and share vital information with others. The adoption process can be very long and complicated and so very emotional! So it really helps to hear from others who are going through or have gone through this. Plus, from time to time, we all need moral support and encouragement! So we have decided to post an email address on our sidebar in case anyone who is adopting in Mexico would like to contact us privately. For those of you reading our blog through Google Reader or another such service, please visit our actual blog to find the email address. We hope that we will meet many wonderful friends through this blog!

Also, if anyone has a blog about their Mexico adoption experience, please share it with us so we can follow your journey! If you would like us to post the link on our sidebar, let us know. Otherwise, we will not.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Authenticating and Translating Dossier

The only item we don't have yet for our Mexico Dossier is our application to the DIF of the state in Mexico where we intend to complete the adoption. Our agency is getting it for us, and we should have it in the near future. We aren't sure if we have to get the application notarized or not.
So in the meantime we are starting to get the rest of our dossier documents authenticated. Since Mexico and the US are both Hague Convention countries, all of the documents submitted to Mexico must be authenticated with an Apostille in order to be recognized by the Mexican government. An apostille is generally issued by the Secretary of State's office of the state where the document originated in the case of documents like birth certificates. If the document is notarized it gets apostilled in the state where the Notary Public has a commission. That meant that we had to send some of our documents to other states to get them apostilled. We are finding that the cost varies considerably for this. Some states don't charge anything, others charge a dollar per document, while Florida charges $10 per document! We have over 15 dossier documents that originated in Florida, so those fees are starting to add up quickly!

Since P was born in Mexico, his birth certificate does not need to have an apostille for the dossier, since it originated in Mexico. We were able to avoid needing to use his birth certificate in our paperwork that was submitted to the US Government by sending them his US Naturalization Certificate instead of his birth certificate, as that was an option. That also helped us avoid having to have anything translated for the US Government.

Speaking of translations, the reason we are starting to get our dossier authenticated right now is so that we can send it to a certified translator in Mexico City to get everything translated into Spanish. We figure that with the time it will take to get our dossier completed, authenticated, sent to our agency for a final review and then sent to Mexico and translated, it will coincide relatively closely to when we anticipate receiving our CIS approval. Then there will hopefully be no delays in submitting our paperwork to the Mexican authorities to start our approval process there.