Thursday, September 23, 2010

Polish adoption group?

I came across this website and I wondered if anyone has ever been to any of their events. There was a picnic here in IL last weekend. I saw that they have meetings in other states as well.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not really officially waiting yet...

I e-mailed Lina to confirm that everything was received and to confirm that we were officially waiting. I was surprised to find out that it takes about 2 months for "translation & authentication", then we are placed on the waiting list.

Also, while Lina did send our paperwork to Poland, she requested we do 2 things. Our au pairs' medical form was missing a few boxes that were not filled in and she sent it back to us. And my children's medical forms were the DCFS forms that the doctor's office always uses, but Lina wanted them on the St. Mary's form. I was kind of kicking myself for that one, but the form asked so many adult questions, it just seemed odd to use it for small children. So Both sets of doctors are filling out new forms and then I will have to get them apostilled again and then they will join our other paperwork in Poland.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apstilling & Sending Dossier to Agency

WOW...that was a crazy 2 days!

We got home on Friday night, so I had to wait until Monday to get everything signed at the bank, but our I-800a approval notice was indeed waiting for us when we got home. So I went to the bank and got everything notarized (my hand hurts). Then I headed downtown Chicago to find the Apstilling place. Parking was $29. It took about 1 hour and she handed me back all but about 10 pages and said she couldn't apstill (spelling) an original document. So I gave a call to Lina (our adoption agency contact). She said to make a copy and get it notarized again. Well these documents were signed my my husband and au pair, so I thought I had to go home to get them, but Lina said that I could sign them (medical forms and FBI approvals). So, then I found a Fed EX/Kinko's and made copies, but of course I didn't have a blank notary affidavit, so I had to buy a flash drive and get it off my laptop (good thing I had my laptop). Then I found a bank and had them notarized, the back to the apstilling office. It was a total of $122 ($2 for each signature). Then I went home to organize everything.......There was 1 page missing!!!

So, today I went back to the bank, then the apstilling office, paid $2 more dollars and then back to Fed Ex. It was $52 to mail everything to Lina. Then there was the next set of payments along with it. So, I have added a lot to my running total at the bottom of this blog.

So now it will be translated.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I-800a mail

We came home from MI last night, but there was still no approval letter. So today I called and since our original appointment wasn't until August 18th, that is why the paperwork wasn't processed (something like that). So a very nice man named Elliot, set the process moving while I was on the phone and it will be on his desk by tomorrow, then in the mail to us.

My problem now is that we usually come home every Tuesday from MI for appointments, etc., but next week, we are planning a camping trip to Mackinaw Island. So, do I come home (2.5 hour drive each way) on Monday just for this letter and then back to MI, then another 6 hour drive to Mackinaw? Or do I just wait until the 23rd, when we have to be back in IL anyway for the start of school? I'm tempted to do the drive.... 2 weeks seems like nothing compared to the year we have been working on this.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Three cheers for our federal government!

I never thought I would be excited about the kindness of a federal government employee, but the 2 people we dealt with today were nothing short of wonderful. We got home from our vacation last week to find only an appointment notice for our au pair. her appointment was this Friday, so I went into the office on the notice and found out that it takes 3 weeks to reschedule for another appointment, but we could try to come when they are not busy and they might just take us...BUT we had to have all 3 appointment letters to do that. So, I called the help line and found out that there was a computer glich and David and my letters were coming. Our appointment turned out to be for Aug 18th (another bad day for us). SOOOOO, today we all went in at 8 am this morning and they were VERY busy. A VERY nice man told me to come back at 2 pm and they would take care of us. We did and were all fingerprinted before all of our scheduled appointments... I can't believe it!

Anyone know the approximate wait time from day of USCIS fingerprinting to approval letter received??

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I was so worried that we would be on our vacation when we got our fingerprint appointment notice...but we got home yesterday and there was a letter but only for our au pair's appointment. Hers is next Friday (the worst possible day for campground owners!!). So, I went into the office yesterday and asked if we could change it...well, that takes several weeks, but the nice lady behind the counter explained that they might be able to do it if we come and they are not busy on another day. But, I still have to wait until David and I get our appointment letters. Hopefully that will come this Monday or in today's mail.

I still have never heard from the grandmother in the domestic adoption that I talked about, so I'm guessing she had a bad week and now is fine. I hope the little girl is...

We had a wonderful vacation to the Smokey Mts. and we had a car FULL driving down there. My mom, our au pair, my husband and I...and 3 LOUD boys. They say our mini-van seats 7, I guess it does. But next year, I guess my mom won't be able to join us (we will hopefully have a full house!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm sorry that I left everyone sort of hanging... We were also left hanging. The grandmother was ready to bring the girl to us the day after I posted that last message, then she was going to call, then she had second thoughts, then she was going to call (you get the picture). I guess she had a bad week with her (I heard she pulled her diaper off and pooped on the carpet). Her husband doesn't want to raise her and she we are not sure if suddenly she will call us again. I sent her a nice e-mail basically saying we are ready and willing for her but that we are moving forward with our Polish adoption plans (I got no response so far). We decided we would adopt this 3 1/2 year-old if it is meant to be, but it is looking doubtful. Poor girl..hopefully they step up and care for her like she should be cared for.

So, we got a fancy letter from the Dept. of Homeland security saying that they received our I800a application and that we will receive an appointment notice in the mail. I am feeling guilty because this is a busy week for us at our Michigan campground and then we are going out of town for a week, so I am not getting my mail in IL until July 15th. I hope we don't miss the appointment to get our fingerprints done.

To answer one of my intials questions about this whole process----YES, you have to get fingerprinted twice for this process, once for the FBI and once for the Dept. of Homeland Securtiy...because of course they don't talk to each other.

Also, we sent our 2 copies of our homestudy to get apostilled in North Carolina and it took only about a week and a half to get it back. So, everything still has to be apstilled in IL, but we are waiting for the I800 approval.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shocking development

We got a call tonight about a child that we had talked about adopting about a year and a half ago. At the time, the grandmother had decided to parent the girl. This girl is the biological sister of my sister's adopted daugther. The girl is now 3 and a half and has had a rough upbringing.

We are so shocked about this possible opportunity! We are wondering if she has so many issues that the grandmother (who is in her 40s) just can't handle her...can we? The grandmother is willing to bring her here next week for a visit.

I don't quite know what to say or do about this, but as adoptive parents or parents-to-be, if you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mailed CIS form..took some pics

I mailed the USCIS form today (I800a) with a check for $910 ($670 fee + $80 per person in our household). Thanks for the advice everyone, I ended up sending the application, our birth & marriage certificates, and the check.

Now I wait for a response, I wonder how long it takes??? I am waiting for the documents that our homestudy agency was supposed to send us (police clearances/ FBI, etc. ) Wish I had insisted they provide them to me sooner. They were supposed to make copies, then send me the originals.

We took a family picture with the self timer today for the dossier. My oldest son is sticking out his tonge, but the rest of us are looking forward. I took several, but someone is always looking silly. I am debating using the one of the 2 of husband is making a crazy face!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

SOOOO confused!

We received our 4 copies of the homestudy back from St. Mary's yesterday with instructions on how to fill out the I-800a form. Which I did sucessfully :-)
BUT, the instructions say to that a complete application includes "certified copies of dispositions regarding arrests" (FBI checks and child abuse clearances)
This did not come in the envelope from our homestudy agency nor St. Mary's. I e-mailed and got this response, "The home study’s supportive documents are not going together with the home study; the home study itself is the document you need."

I am soooo confused! I hate this feeling!

What goes with the I800a form other than the homestudy, birth/marriage certificates, and a check????

Then the other 3 copies of the homestudy... one is for us
the other 2 are part of the dossier...ok...but the police clearances and FBI clearance is supposed to be apstilled with the homestudy....


Friday, May 21, 2010

State of IL DCFS approval...finally!

I received this e-mail today...

Hi Wynter,
The mail just arrived with the DCFS approval letter! Horray! DCFS is saying that 8 weeks has just become the norm.
Now we will send to your agency your notarized home study - we send a number of copies and they distribute them to you. Let me know if you want them sent FED EX to St. Mary's.
Hope all is well,

Well, what I was told takes 3 weeks, took 8 weeks. I have a few choice comments on this, but I will not rant. So now, I need to know the best way to get everything apstilled in IL...
I already got the 1 document from Michigan apstilled, it took 2 weeks (for them to print out a pretty certificate with a gold sticker attaching it to David's birth certificate).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We ducked under a rope this time...this time

Our au pair (nanny) was going to switch families for her 2nd year in the au pair program, because she wanted some new experiences (& possibly 4 children at some point scared her a bit), BUT at the last minute we jokingly offered her a raise and a ticket to visit Germany to see her best friend....AND she took the deal! Now we don't have to worry about delaying the adoption EVEN FURTHER by getting a whole new person into our homestudy fingerprints, & medical papers, etc.

We use Cultural Care as our au pair agency. We really like having an au pair in the house...soooo nice to not have to wrap the kids up and drag them to someone's house for daycare, etc. We also like the cultural experience it brings to our family. Our current au pair is from Panama and now she will be with is until July 19th of 2011.

After they added, like 2 sentences, our homestudy is STILL with DCFS...ughhh. Then the next step is getting everything apostilled.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sent to DCFS again

The homestudy agency sent to homestudy to DCFS (a requirement in IL) on March 5th. On April 5th, they heard back, but then they wanted some wording added. So, the homestudy made these changes, but them the adoption agency had to approve it again. Of course, there was the Easter holiday in between all this so that added days as well.

I tried to be proactive and fill out the I800 form, but the I had a question about one section of it and when I asked, the adoption agency said "everything in its time" or something like that.

So, now as I wait for the final, final DCFS approval, I want to get my pictures together. I need 2 sets. Do I glue photos to a piece of paper or do a lay them out and scan them and make a color copy? Do I write captions under each photo? Do they need to be all on one page?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I am so confused by this process!

Now, it doesn't really matter that I have earned a doctorate...this process is meant to drive sane people nuts. At the beginning of February (4 weeks, not including the 2 week winter holiday) we recieved an e-mail from the adoption agency saying that there were some changes that needed to be made in the homestudy. Some of the things that they want out are things that IL require. They are going to figure it out I guess. Then we needed to provide all these finanical documents that I offered up months ago, but our homestudy agency said we didn't need. I guess now we do.

Now there is a break in comminication about the figerprint process. The paperwork from the adoption agency says one thing and the homestudy agency told me to do another thing. This question was poseed to the adoption agency: "Also David and Wynter were not fingerprinted using the FBI fingerprinting cards and sending those off to the FBI directly. The method mostly used in Illinois is to use Accurate Biometrics which scans the prints directly into the system and then using our agency's ORI number, sends a report directly to us. So the documentation for both state and FBI will be a print out - not cards. " What the heck is the difference between cards and a print out????

So we wait to see if we need to do something else. So, after adoption agency approves once again, it is off to DCFS for approval which I am told takes another 3 weeks.