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Posts Tagged ‘fingerprints’


I just couldn’t think of anything. Please don’t throw rotten items of food at me.

This is a little bit overdue, but that’s okay since we got some good news today.

We have had our finger prints for AZ and the FBI done to make sure we haven’t committed any crimes since we began this process. Amie’s were rejected for being poor quality. No, no crimes. Just a lousy tech. So we had them redone. It took two trips as the line was moving way too slow the first time and we had to be somewhere.

We have our appointment for our fingerprints with DHS later this month. We had our home study updated to reflect Bill’s departure from the home. He’s on a one year contract in Afghanistan. So, we still haven’t been able to apply for our I-600.

Another delay is due to some paperwork their mother needs to sign. We need this to move forward. I’m not sure what the problem is, but this has to happen (cue to pray!).

We put together a photobook for the kids. We’re sending it over with a family that is getting ready to head over. The kids will be able to see the house, their new family etc. to help give them hope and hopefully get excited.

We continue to prepare the house for their arrival. We put down a deposit on a closet organizing system, or whatever they are called. Not California Closets, but a local guy. We’ve been painting things like there is a shortage coming. Soon we’ll paint the room and move Jadon into it. Then we prep the boys’ room and move Eli in. Thankfully we’ve got time for my body to recover from all this painting. I’m thankful for my docking station with speakers so I can listen to my iPod to ease the pain.

On the bright side, we heard back about the latest grant we applied for. We received the grant, and a significant one. Not as big as the one from Show Hope, but quite helpful. So, we are pretty thankful. It has been exciting to watch the Father provide. Very different from our previous adoption. Just because he did it one way the first time doesn’t mean he use different means this time. If you are embarking on this process, there is nearly no limit to the possible ways that he can use to provide what you need. You need to be responsible, and trust him. Last time we didn’t get any grants. I am amazed that it looks like we won’t incur any debt for this adoption, again. We are amazed!

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When we were adopting for the first time we lived in central Florida.  The Department of Homeland Security office in Tampa handled all of central Florida- including 2 major metropolitan areas.  The first time we went, we misread the map and discovered this most of the way to the wrong office.  This office was in downtown Tampa.  Sadly, the office we were supposed to go to was far closer to home.  Sigh.

The office was huge with nearly a dozen biometic scanners for fingerprinting.  I always seemed to get the grumpy employees.  Yes, we had to go back since our fingerprints ‘expired’ right before Amie’s trip to China.  It was pretty much a nightmare.

So we did not know what to expect when we got our appointments last month.  We did discover that they only sent appointment slips for the 2 of us.  The  church member who lives with us also needed to be fingerprinted.  Amie called the customer service # to see what we should do.  She got a real live person in less than an hour!  Apparently, though they took our money for 3 sets of fingerprints, they didn’t actually “open” the file.  The customer service rep said that he could just go with us and there shouldn’t be a problem.

As it turned out, we had one of those weeks.  Utterly insane quite frankly.  We are trying to find affordable insurance that includes Eli who had previously been excluded due to his cleft palate.  The Saturday before our appointment we discovered that a pipe at the church froze and burst.  The kitchen was destroyed and the sanctuary was flooded.  I was working with other church officers on setting up plans for the continuation of ministry as well as repairing the building.  The last thing I needed to do was spend an afternoon hanging around a DHS Support Center.

The Support Center was on the far side of town.  Thankfully not too far from the highway.  It was actually quite underwhelming.  It was significantly smaller than the office in Tampa since it was an auxiliary office.  The main office was in Phoenix.  There were precisely 2 machines, and one person who was scanning prints.

However, the manager needed a number, and without an appointment she wasn’t sure what to do with our friend.  Unlike Amie, she was not able to get a real, live person on the line.  She wasn’t sure what to do.  But she was flexible, focused on customer service (what a relief after some of our discussions with local government officials who forgot they are public SERVANTS).  She figured that the worst that could happen is that he’d have to come back.

In and out, with the administrative hassles in less than an hour.  Yes!  This was great because I’d not slept the previous 2 nights and I was utterly brain dead.  I suspect that if I hadn’t brought a book, we might still be there.

So we return to the waiting game.  Once/if USCIS approves our application, we will then send in our dossier to the DRC, and wait.

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DHS got back to us fairly quickly with appointments to get our fingerprints done.  They are in relatively early February, but we’ve heard that in some places you can show up days or even weeks earlier.  This could potentially speed up our process.  Why is that important?  If we adopt in 2011, we will get a tax refund, not a tax credit.  That is a big bunch of cash we can use to save for Eli’s surgery (since he isn’t currently insured) or replenish our savings after using the last few IRS checks for Eli’s adoption and then to stay afloat financially during the transition.  It is a practical concern as we think about the long range plan.

Rumor has it that there has been an outcry against the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s change of policy regarding baby curriers.  There are internet rumors that they will revert to the older policy allowing you to hire someone to transport the child to the States.  Since we already have 2 kids, it puts a strain on the family for a parent to be gone for a few weeks.  It makes it harder for the kids to adjust when Mom (or Dad) gets back.  Not an impossible thing, and many families have done it.  But something else for us to think about and plan for.

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The state of Arizona has decided we are actually qualified to adopt another human being, again.  It did not take as long as we thought it would take (take note those who follow in our footsteps, most things take far longer than you anticipate).  So we regained some of the time (only a tad) lost waiting on the state of FL to realize there was no record of any incidents related to either of us.

Curiously, she submitted the home study to the court before we looked at it.  In FL, the state did not certify us to adopt.  So, when we got the home study we found a few minor errors like the “fact” that I grew up in Nassau, NH.

Now on to the I-600A.  Note to the wise: make sure you look at the USCIS website.  Many sites that you Google that have summaries will have outdated information.  For instance, if I had not verified information on the USCIS website we would not have sent enough money to cover the fees.

Speaking of the fee, in our case it will be about $1,000 we don’t currently have in the bank account.  So if you’d pray for that outlay of cash (and/or pray about a donation- see how you can help), we’d very much appreciate it.

This is the first document in which you petition the U.S. government to adopt an orphan from overseas.  The government will see if we meet their qualifications to adopt (again).  Seeing as how Congress has an approval rating under 20% (and plummeting fast), this should not be a big problem.  Then again…

We will also need to be fingerprinted again.  That should be fun.  An appointment here in Tucson could be a much longer wait than it was in FL.  If you live in a region not on the border, rejoice!

So, our paper chase is pretty much done.  Now we have to deal with the governments of the U.S. and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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We got word yesterday, after my post on waiting, that we are no longer waiting for the fingerprints and criminal background check to be done.  That has been completed (faster than usual I suspect).  None of us are criminals (huge sigh of relief).

Now we are only waiting on the home study to be completed.  One issue with that is we still have a final payment to be made.  Waiting on the cash to come in so we can get all of this put together.

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When you are adopting a child, you spend most of your time waiting.  There are flurries of activity, but mostly you are waiting.

At the church I pastor, we are currently in the life of Abraham.  He did alot of waiting.  Many of the calls to worship I am using include the idea of waiting.  I’ve also been drawing on my lifetime of waiting (for a wife, for a child, for a call etc.).  We are currently waiting for the home study to be completed. They are waiting for the fingerprints to be processed.  So, we wait for at least another 3 weeks.  Not too long, but it just seems like nothing is happening.  Just like when God is at work while we wait.  Seems like nothing is happening, but it really is.

Tom Petty once sang, “the waiting is the hardest part”.  You’ll have to wait to hear them actually play the song.  Sorry, but it seems appropriate.

I really like the Kinks’ song, “Tired of Waiting”, though this version from my birth year is “rough”.  But in 60’s pop fashion it is under 3 minutes.

This Sunday we introduced “Everlasting God”.  The verse, adapted from Isaiah 40, declares “strength will come as we wait upon the Lord”.

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I must admit.  I have not kept up with this as well as I should have.  I’m behind on the home study stuff.

I (Steve) had my second home study interview nearly 2 weeks ago.  It was the 1-on-1 interview.  So exciting.  This person does not know me, and can’t really grasp how far I’ve come.  There were plenty of questions about my family and Amie’s family.  My brothers are 5 & 6 years older than I am.  We were never very close.  So, we still aren’t close.  I can be tough to explain why I’m closer to my in-laws than my own siblings.

There were a few instances when she said, “how about some positive descriptions.”  I am not sure I was particularly negative, just realistic.  We had the same issue when I described Eli.  It didn’t help that since we’d gotten back from NY, Eli and I have had a difficult relationship (it has gotten much better since the interview).  So the whole interview was relatively unpleasant on my end.  You’d think I didn’t like anybody.

(more…)

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