On Friday, for the first time (of many times I am sure), I became frustrated about road blocks in our adoption journey. Up until now, I have been pretty "patient" with the length of time paperwork has taken. On Friday, my heart was SO heavy for Malachi. In fact, I decided to give USCIS a call to find out exactly what was going on with our paperwork. The conversation left me frustrated. Attempt to track with me for a moment because I would love for you to be able to pray specifically for us.
This is the last (and probably most important) step in our paperwork process. USCIS (US citizenship and immigration services) requires that they have A) our home study. B) our I-600A application and C) our fingerprint results. Once they have all 3 of those they can process our case and upon approval they will send us our "golden ticket :-)" - Form I-171H. A very important form to get Malachi citizenship! So where are we??
USCIS has A) our home study and B) our I-600A application. However, the sweet little USCIS lady on the phone Friday said that our "A" and "B" are apparently in 2 different departments and haven't been placed together yet :( When I asked how long that might take she replied, "we have thousands of orphan petitions coming through so it takes a while to sort through and match things together." (insert knot in my stomach thinking that our paperwork is among thousands of paperwork attempting to find its way together.) So, that's where "A" and "B" are, so where is "C" (fingerprinting)? Well... "technically" once they received our A &B we should have gotten a fingerprint appointment pretty quickly. It's been a month since they received everything and the sweet little USCIS lady checked the computer and said, "no, I'm sorry. They haven't even scheduled you yet. I am not sure why." geeeeeezzzzz!! Not sure why? Come on. Just make up an answer :) ok.ok. Back to the explanation. So. Once we (finally) get our fingerprint appointment, the results "should" be in within a week or two. THEN... Yes, THEN...USCIS will finally have (if our A &B have reunited)... They will have A,B, and C.
Once they have all 3 they give themselves 1 to 12 weeks processing time before sending us our "golden ticket." I know people who have gotten theirs in 1 week, and I know people who didn't get theirs until (gritting my teeth) 12 weeks :(. So... Please, please pray for us.
1) our home study and I-600A to unite!
2) for USCIS to get us a fingerprint appointment
3) for us to receive our "golden ticket" quickly!!
4) for us to get our Dossier to Ethiopia before the rainy season!!
I left the phone conversation frustrated and sad. My heart was aching for my little boy and I felt like USCIS was "holding us up." My poor, poor co-workers on Friday :) they were so patient with this adoptive mama! At the end of my (grouchy) day, I was reminded of something that I claim all the time (except when my thoughts are clouded by emotions). EVERY step in this journey is divinely created. The set-backs and the "speedy" times are all hand crafted by our Maker to align Lee and I with the child He has in mind for us... To align us with our son. Knowing this doesn't make this crazy process easier, but it grants us strength and peace to know that His timing is always perfect! He knows Malachi, He knows where Chi is and how to get him to us.
Thanks for journeying with us! I will keep you updated!! Maybe after this (painful) explanation of the USCIS step, you can rejoice with us when I finally blog things like "our paperwork was united" or "we got our fingerprint appointment," etc!!
Oh and P.S. - even though I was fleshly saying "ugh" when the USCIS lady said they had THOUSANDS of orphan petitions... When I came to my senses later, I rejoiced that thousands of orphans will one day have forever families!! Forgive my selfishness! :(
Ohh and exciting news!!! The Lord moved on the hearts of people to give and Anna (with the 30/30/30 challenge) reached her goal of 30,000 dollars in 30 days!! They reached the goal on day 27!!! Wow!! HE amazes me! Pray boldly. Pray expectantly. Have Faith. Step into His calling!!
"WAIT for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
And WAIT for the Lord."
- psalm 27:14
Sent from my iPhone