Another major milestone conquered! Woot woot!
We have been waiting for our USCIS (Immigration) approval since they received our application on June 7th. We found out that an officer had been assigned to our case on Tuesday, August 6th. She reviewed our file (home study, fingerprints, etc.) and approved us to be adoptive parents of a Hague convention country on Wednesday, August 14th! We received our approval letter in the mail today and immediately scanned it to our social worker at Lifeline.
Now what? While we were waiting for our Immigration approval, we were busy gathering all the required documents for our dossier (the packet that goes to China). Our I800A approval letter was all that our social worker was waiting for to complete our dossier. Now that she has every piece, she begins authentication (Secretary of State seal and other legal necessities). It takes 2-3 weeks to authenticate our dossier and then it's off to China!
I must say, completing this step and seeing our dossier off to China makes it more real than ever! It's clear that we are getting closer and closer to meeting our Emily Hope. It's all very bitter sweet because we are so excited to wrap our arms around her and bring her home but we know there's still a good bit of time that separates us. And we know that a lot can happen in that amount of time. It's daunting to consider. If you would, please continue to pray for our family. We are trusting in the peace of God that transcends all understanding. Please pray for that peace to cover our hearts every day and for our focus to remain on Christ, the only source of good. We understand God's providence, his holy hand holding our Emily Hope. But y'all, it's so hard to be on this side of our adoption. The tugging of my heart strings... harder and stronger as we get closer. I see pictures daily of the inside of Chinese orphanages, as other adoptive parents post the joys of picking up their bundles. I see babies in the background, in metal cribs (many without a mattress or blanket), on the floor, wherever, and I wonder if that could be our Emily Hope. I can't imagine the pain we will experience after knowing who she is but not yet able to go scoop her up. (Sigh) Yes, this is so real, all of it. We do long for the day we are looking back at this process when all the pain will have been so worth it!
Just a sidenote, I created a page to track our adoption timeline. You can go to that page (link on the top right column of blog) at anytime to see where we are in the process.
Also, we just placed another big order of youth and adult sized t-shirts. So, if you haven't ordered yours yet, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or click HERE for more details!