USCIS, here we come! Docs sent yesterday.
I mentioned that yesterday was a busy day. It was the day that I sent our first batch of paperwork to the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). I did a lot of running around to git-r-done, but I got-r-done. Can I get a woo hoo? WOO HOO! It felt so good to take that baby to the post office. As we were getting out of the car, I told my little ones to kiss it. "Kiss this envelope for good luck. It's a huge step to bringing Susan home." Well I did, Kate did, Liam did and then Beck looked at me with a very perplexed look and said, "I am not kissing an envelope. It's paper!" Ha ha! He is one funny little boy. Anyway it's off and on it's way to Dallas Texas. So now we wait to hear from the USCIS. They will contact us with a fingerprinting appointment. Then once that is done we wait even longer to get our "Golden Ticket" or approval to adopt. Then we will send more documents to Susan's country. We will wait again while they translate them and then should get an approval to adopt from her country. Then we will be given a travel date and be on our way to meet our princess. We still have a little time before we travel but it's nice to be at the point where everything is in order. It was so nice to actually mail documents knowing that the paper chasing is done and now we just wait. I still have to go up to the Capital and have all of our documents apostilled. (Don't worry I had never heard that word either until I entered the adoption world.) Pretty much an apostille is a State stamp that authenticates that all documents are true, notarized copies. It's a bit silly really because it verifies what a notary has already verified. It's $15 a page and we have approx. 45 pages to be apostilled. Do the math and that's $675. $675!!!
As you know special needs adoption isn't cheap. Otherwise we wouldn't be asking for help. There are a few inquiring minds who want to know why it's so costly and where their donation is helping so here is a breakdown for those inquiring minds. So far we have paid $1275 to Reece's Rainbow, $750 for our home study, $890 to USCIS. We've had co-pays for our physicals and blood work, fees for marriage certificates and other various fees including postage and background checks. We will send a $500 wire to her country to help with the translation of our docs when they receive them. Then we will pay the facilitation team over there another $8500. This $8500 does not include transportation or housing. So on top of that we will pay for an apartment for our stay. We will pay the driver who takes us from point A to point B every time he takes us from point A to point B. We will possibly have train rides too depending on where she is (we still don't know where she is). We were told that she could be as far as a 16 hour train ride away or she might be in the capital city where we will fly into. We will have to pay for a translator. And of course we'll have a food expense as well as our flights. It will take 2 trips before we can bring her home ($3000 for 2 RT tickets x 2). There are also fees that will total approx. $1200 to bring her out of her country including her medical apt. for her Visa, Visa and her passport. It is expected that we will also make a donation to her orphanage and buy gifts and such for the orphanage staff. Then any other unexpected expenses that come up. So that my friends gives you an idea of why it's $30K.
Yesterday was a good day! It feels good to know we're making progress. Now it's time to focus on our fundraising. So I'm off to run errands. It's time to get this party started or at least the preparation for it. Please come, it will be a lot of fun and it will greatly benefit our family. Can I get another woo hoo? WOO HOO! We're on our way!