Our caseworker quickly followed up the wonderful, stupendous, unbelievable, fantastic, rainbowlicious news of our dossier APPROVAL and official REFERRAL with a long detailed email entitled 'Homework Time'. At this point in the journey on 'the Adoption Highway', it is time to accelerate into the fast lane and take care of business! It looks something like this:
Item #1- Officially accept the referral. Write a letter in your own words expressing your gratitude and happiness over receiving a referral and state your intent to give the child/ren a forever family filled with love. The original gets scanned to the agency then included in the immigration paperwork package when it gets mailed.
Item #2- Complete the USCIS paperwork. This needs to be done ASAP because waiting for this approval can significantly impact the travel date. Fill out the I-800, I-864W, and DS-230 forms for EACH child. There was an instruction manual attached...priceless!
Item #3- Sign and return a 'referral acceptance letter' and a 'commitment to post placement reports' letter for the agency's files. Send it back with the immigration paperwork. Final payment is due to the agency...did I say FINAL? YES! I did. As a matter of fact, this check now includes the money to be paid for the children's visas.
Item #4- (This one really threw me for a loop) Sign the 'Family Post Placement Commitment' letter for Colombia and notarize and apostille. Send it back with the immigration paperwork.
As the sun set today, Items #1-4 had been completed. All paperwork was returned to Gladney via FEDEX Priority Two Day shipping.
Our FBI Clearance letters are also on their way to a courier in Virginia. He will obtain the apostille on those documents in Washington, DC, then forward them on to our caseworker.
Item #5- Put together a care package for each child to include a photo album, letters from each family member, a video, and a small gift. Oh boy!...this is going to be F.U.N. NOTE: the entire care package needs to fit in a large FEDEX box.
Once all of the paperwork in Items #1-4 has been submitted and the package for the children is on its way to Colombia, our caseworker will discuss our travel itinerary, our flights, and our in-country accommodations with us. The next step is to complete the visa application paperwork, and then we will need to plan a short trip to the Colombian consulate in order to obtain the travel visas after we purchase our plane tickets.
So far...so good.
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17