In fact, this new vista has catapulted us back to square one of the process. For us that means P.A.P.E.R.W.O.R.K. and more P.A.P.E.R.W.O.R.K
I do not like paperwork.
The first step involved in a program change such as ours, from a non-Hague compliant country (Honduras) to a Hague compliant country (Colombia), is the processing of a new immigration approval. Previously, we filed an I-600A application giving us permission to bring two male siblings under the age of four from Honduras into America.
Now we must file an I800-A giving us permission to bring home children from Colombia. The application must be submitted with an updated home study, additional child abuse clearance letters from each previous state of residence for my husband and I over the past twenty-eight years, updated annual health reports, other miscellaneous documents that Gladney already has on file such as our birth certificates and a marriage license, and a big fat check to cover the cost of the processing along with another set of biometric fingerprints. Yes, more fingerprints!
Our intake manager received everything she needed yesterday in order to have the social worker complete the updated home study. Next step...submit the I800-A to USCIS and WAIT.
For Honduras we were only required to have local and state criminal clearance checks. For Colombia we are required to have those in addition to an FBI criminal clearance check as part of our dossier. This also requires fingerprints.
Due to a miscommunication at the beginning of our journey, we paid for an FBI fingerprint card when we went to have our prints done for the state clearance last year. Our agency later clarified that an FBI clearance letter was not required for the Honduran program, so I huffed and puffed at the unnecessary extra expense of having something we didn't even need and filed the finger print card in my adoption file folder.
The joke was on me a few weeks ago, when, humbled, I pulled that card out of the file folder, praising God for His foresight, and put it in the mail along with a cover letter stating our urgent need for the clearance letters to be completed. The letters were returned to me a week later at which time I turned around and wrote a check, completed another cover letter, and sent the package to Washington DC for an official apostille. Gladney received those completed documents yesterday.
FBI Clearance DONE!
Well, we are! We are wading our way through the new requirements and looking for every opportunity to enjoy ourselves. I thank God everyday for my resilient family that has such a deep faith and grounding strength. God has given us each other for the ups and downs; the high roads and low roads; all the twists and turns. These are the faces of the people nearest and dearest to my heart...those whom I love!
(Oh, how I long to squeeze Thunder and Lightning into the picture.)
What's next? The psychological report is being re-formatted to fit the Colombian template. Our dossier medicals, complete with lab work, must be updated in the next sixty days. Likely, our financial report and employment letters will expire before we receive USCIS approval of our I-800A, therefore, they will have to be updated as well.
We are up to speed and looking to have a completed Colombian dossier in late March or early April.