29 September 2015

Dossier = DONE!

Okay, technically that title is a tad bit misleading.Our dossier is as complete as it needs to be for this present moment. It was shipped (not mailed, shipped! It was a big momma) on Friday morning and is arriving at our agency as I type. oOOOoo! We still need a couple of documents: 2 that are generated in-country by our lawyer, and our USCIS approval.

About that. . . we received some advice the day after we sent in our update for our current I-600A that we should just submit a whole new one, since our old one was expiring in mid-late October, so I went ahead and sent the new one in the weekend after we submitted the update (the one with the correct homestudy). I also emailed USCIS to let them know I'd sent in an update but was also submitting a new I-600A so there would hopefully not be a lapse where we were waiting to travel.


Turns out our "current" I-600A had expired September 18th! I must have not understood the way they did the update, since October 18th is 18 months after we got our updated approval letter...

I could have been upset about it, but it was just too funny, AND we actually only lost one day, since we didn't have our correct home study update until then anyway. Our "update" for the expired I-600A reached them on Monday the 21st, and our new I-600A application reached them on Tuesday the 22nd! In the words of my four-year-old, that's so silly.

I'm praaaaaying we get our fingerprint appointments on Friday or Saturday, so we can travel down to Houston to be fingerprinted on Monday. The Houston office (begrudgingly) allows us to be fingerprinted earlier than our actual appointment date & time, so we don't have to wait. Yay!

18 September 2015

Documents to USCIS and Dossier Update

Our second packet --the "Oops! Sorry we sent you an incorrect home study please don't penalize us" packet -- is in the mail and should arrive at the National Benefits Center on Monday unless it gets routed to Topeka or blown up by a meteor, so now we're solely focused on getting our dossier finished and perfect and ready to send.

Our agency is allowing us to send it to them early to review it, so they can send it off to the lawyer in Uganda as soon as we can get the USCIS approval letter to them. Look at this gorgeous packet of time, tears, and money documents:
#awkwardkidsmiles #iknowheneedsahaircut #stillthinkheissocute
This is about 75% of what we need for our dossier!!! I do wish that some things would be a little easier to have completed... but I'm sure it's helping me grow and mature in some way. I haven't yelled at anyone (today). Mad props to my husband for praying for me when I yelled at him last night for asking "how can I help?" when I was stresscrying.

17 September 2015

Prayer Requests

IF you've been wondering how you could pray for us right now:

- PLEASE be praying our blunder with the USCIS doesn't cost us too much time (and money). Please pray we can get a court date with our current approval! That would be incredible.

- I would so appreciate prayer against fear and anxiety. These girls, I'm having to continually lay them at the feet of God. It's like fear is my auto-response -- fear that we won't be able to adopt them and bring them home with us. I want to trust God with the trust that produces peace. Also it's exhausting to be scared. But I'm not to the point of knowing how to both have peace and acknowledge that we won't be certain we get to keep them until our plane touches down in Houston with them in our arms.

- Prayers for casting my anxieties about getting everything done on Him. I'm the kind of person who's always looking forward -- usually that's very energizing to me, to be thinking of what comes next and how we make it come to pass, or different ways things might work out. I love that. But when there are so many things to do, and so very many things that I've never done before or don't know how it will work...man. I just cannot think about all the things that need to happen in the next two months. I need to be present with the kids I'm currently parenting. I need to be focused on what should get done today & this week. BUT that means it would be really helpful to have an outline for what needs to get done and when.

- There are like a hundred (okay, like twelve for this week) things that we've got to get done that could go smoothly or could be like untangling a knotted necklace (anybody? what is more tedious? THE GOVERNMENT THAT'S WHAT). It would be really helpful for our time and stress for most of those things to go smoothly.

I just need grace. and Godly wisdom. and peace. and unction. #yeahunction

16 September 2015

Happy Birthday, Mirah!

Ezra-the-Robot saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIRAH. I know. It's underwhelming
Our younger daughter turned TWO in the past week (I probably won't share her actual birthday)! We decided to name her Mirah (Meeruh), as her current name is pretty difficult for Americans. Mirah means "glad," and boy are we glad to have her! I can't wait to see her little face and touch her.

Our older daughter's name isn't changing, so we'll have to keep that one for later. If you just can't stand it, it means "star" in another language. #biggesthintever

We've been soaking up the time with only two little boys. They are so precious to us.

*none of them actually went down the slide*

15 September 2015

Tuesday Timecard

Ooooookay. Okay, Life. You can settle down now.

I've traveled to Waco and back to get our updated homestudy. I've sent it and the other necessary update documents to Immigration Services (USCIS). I've tried not to freak out as I realized later that night that our address was not updated on the front page of our homestudy, so we need to somehow send back in the correct one to USCIS and hope it doesn't majorly delay their processing time.

I haven't finished processing how I feel about it (i.e. I haven't had a good cry about it). It feels like the last nail in the coffin of being able to eek by on our current USCIS approval, which expires in late October. If you have the faith for it, I'm up for traveling in 3 weeks, but I don't see how that's possible.

All things are possible for the Almighty, so I can't totally shut out hope. Or maybe there's some something I don't know that may mean we don't have to stay back and wait for a new I-600A to be processed. The extra $1,000 stinks, but the time is really what hurts. Two months of waiting for one document to be re-approved is way harsh for my heart. I'm really, really wanting our girls home for Christmas.

On the funding front, we only have $1,136.50 left to finish out our $10,000 matching gift! That's amazing! We're going to try to send out a letter to a few people who aren't probably following our story online, but it's difficult to do at this time, as Stephen's been doing the extra beginning-of-semester craziness AND support-raising for his job.