Friday, February 23, 2007

Our I-171H Arrived Today!

The I-171H is the piece of paper from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) that says we are approved to bring adopted child(ren) into the US. Essentially, it is the only approval required by the US government as pertaining to adoption. (I believe it also implies that we have met all state requirements for our State of residence as well. Regardless, the homestudy states that State requirements have been met.)

With this piece of paper our dossier is ready for authentication and certification. (Or at least it will be once we get a couple passport photos taken.) One (certification I think) is the process of the state essentially stating that the notary was a valid notary and they believe that the notary process was properly performed. The other (authentication) is the process of ensuring the certification is valid. Essentially it means we have to get it rubber stamped in triplicate, and we have one set of stamps down with two to go.

Receiving the I-171H clears one of the three major waiting hurdles for putting together the dossier. The "nice" thing is that the remaining two (authentication and certification) are pretty much involve handling the whole package rather than coordinating all the pieces.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Vietnamese New Year

Happy Tet!

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

Welcome the year of the pig!

Wishing you all a happy Tet! Have a wonderful new year :)

Friday, February 16, 2007


A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters a family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart.
-Michele Johnson-Bergmeier, adoptive mother

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Dossier Update

I'm filling out my Vietnam Dossier Tracking Sheet right now, and the following is what I have left to do before sending it to get the state certification!

I still need the following:

~Home Study - Should arrive today via FedEx
~Copy of agency license & non profit (status) - Just e-mailed to obtain that, although I believe it will come via FedEx with our home study
~Copy of agency license & non profit (status) - Just e-mailed to obtain that, although I believe it will come via FedEx with our home study Apparently this is not necessary for Vietnam
~Passport size photos - Do you know how freaking expensive these are??? &7.99 for two! We need 24 total. :P You do the math.

While I wait for those things I still need to fax to our country coordinator:

~our application form
~our latest police record reports (since they are dated differently than the ones from January)
~the photocopy of our passport certification

Once those things are finished and in my hand I will be able to make three copies of the packet and then send the originals to the Secretary of State for certification!

While I'm doing that I need to work on this:

~Family and home Pictures - working on that this weekend (Here are the instructions for it: 6 photographs of your family and home on two pages with simple captions. 4 photos reflecting family life, 2 photos of your house . Tell a story about who you are through your photos and notes about the photos. Place photos on two 8 1/2x11 sheets of paper. Type your name and address at the top of each photo page. Then take high-quality color copies of your photo pages and send three sets along with your originals to us.) Will need to e-mail for clarification on exactly what they want to show as family life; i.e. can we have pictures at theme parks, outside, etc. or do they need to take place within our home.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Busy Day

Dan and I both have come down with colds! Mine started on Saturday night/Sunday morning at 2am with a really sore throat. I didn't think much about it until late Sunday evening when my ears started hurting, the headache hit, and my throat became so sore that I couldn't swallow. Dan's in the same boat as me, and it's probably a toss up on who's sicker. However, he worked all day yesterday, and I worked on adoption stuff all day yesterday. You can read in the post previous to this one all that we got accomplished last week. I apologize for not keeping you updated closer to the date of things happening, but it was a very busy week!

Yesterday I spent much of the early afternoon e-mailing with Bonnie, who is our VN coordinator. Dan faxed her lots of documents, and she e-mailed in return that everything looked good so far. We went on to e-mail about an employment letter for me (which states that I am a homemaker and Dan's salary is sufficent for our household), which will need to be notarized before submitting it.

Along with e-maing back and forth with Bonnie yesterday, I spoke with Mr. Bradford about getting together with him to notarize our remaining documents. We will meet him at his house Wednesday evening at 6pm. Once these final papers are notarized, we have only one thing left to do before sending our dossier's for certification/authentication. We need to make a small scrapbook, with pictures of our home and us. It will need to tell a story of our home and our lives together. I will work on that tomorrow during the day and I am hopeful that we can get our dossier's in the mail by next week, if not sooner. (I forgot that we also have to get 12 passport photos taken of each of us...we'll need to do that tomorrow afternoon as well)

I also drove out to the Orange County Sheriff's Office today. I was able to get another copy of our non existant police records, and at no charge to boot! I was very happy about that. After the OSCO, I went to the USCIS office and dropped off our tax returns. Here's to hoping that the immigration officer now has everything she needs to process our I-171H. :-)

Long time no update

First of all....our DCF clearance came back last week, 1/30/07!!!!! This is important because everything that follows in this entry could not have happened without it.

This is what we've been doing since last Tuesday.

Last week was a busy one for us.

On Monday, 1/29, our DCF clearance was mailed to our agency, and they received it Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday evening, 1/30, our social worker had our home study draft completed and in my inbox. I printed it out, made some notes, and then Dan checked over it. After we made some ammendments to it, we went to bed.

Wednesday morning, 2/1, I talked with the social worker and she made the corrections to the document. She sent us an updated copy, and we approved it.

Thursday, 2/2, at noon I dropped off our "Home Study Facts" paper, signifying that we approved of the home study. She then sent it to the agency to be proofed and signed/notarized.

Monday, 2/5, it was finalized, and should be on it's way via FedEx to the Orlando immigration office. Also Monday I faxed all of our dossier paperwork to our coordinator. She has approved all of our documents that we've collected so far, and I am waiting to hear back from her to find out what final paperwork I need for our dossier's, so I can send them for certification (at the state level) and authentication (at the federal/Vietnam level).

Today, 2/6, I will drive to the local CIS office and drop off our tax returns for the last three years. (Apparently this is a new requirement for adoption in our state anyway) Once the immigration officer has those and our home study she can begin processing us for our I-171H (which will be our permission to adopt internationally). She's running about a month behind on paperwork, although I am not complaining...some states are running 4-5 months behind on their I-171H's!!!

This week I will be going back to the sheriff's department to get a second copy of our police check clearance, and we will be filling out our Vietnam application for adoption and getting it notarized. (We have to fill that application out for the VN government as part of our dossier).

That's all for now! Publish