This evening on my way to choir practice I stopped at our mail box and there was an envelope from the Dept. of Homeland Security. We had our fingerprints taken about 2 weeks ago for our INS approval, and they had a huge problem taking mine. We were there about 30 minutes with them trying to get clear fingerprints for me. Finally, the CIS (formerly the INS) officer gave up and said "Let's send them this way and hope for the best". So I opened envelope with some trepidation, expecting that it was a notice to go have my fingerprints retaken...and SURPRISE it was our immigration approval, the infamous "I171H" form issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security. This is "the" form we need to be able to adopt internationally and bring our child home.
Receiving this form sort of signals the end of our second trimester of our "pregnancy", with our first trimester being the completion of the homestudy, and the third being the approval of our dossier in Kyrgyzstan and the finalization of our adoption in the courts there. A dossier is a set of notarized documents you must compile which varies from country to country. Some find the dossier to be the worst part of the process, but I have never found it to be all that big of a deal. You just start chipping away at it, one document at a time, until you have it all completed. It can be frustrating at moments, as there are certain requirements for each document and finding a notary for each one can be a real test of patience. We were so fortunate that the women who work at our bank, WestStar Bank here in Montrose, helped us tremendously in notarizing almost every single document for us, even coming to our MD's office to notarize his signature. There are lots of people who remain on the sidelines who actually help move along the adoption process.
So now we sit back and wait for word that our dossier has been accepted and our son is legally ours...and then our labor pains begin! The labor pains for us consist of making travel plans, paying for the airline tickets (Gulp! We have been told we can expect them to be about $2400 per person...times 4 of us going and 5 of us coming back home!!), packing, hopping on a plane, traveling halfway around the world and finally meeting our new son.
Happy I171H Day!!!