Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movement in July with much more to come in August

I think most of you know about our LONG wait for home study approval from that state of Illinois.  The good news for families behind us in the process is that this step isn't needed anymore. The Gov. of IL signed the bill that was passed taking this step out of the process.

For us though, we finally received news over the phone on July 9th that ours had been approved. A few days later, we received a letter stating our approval.  Such a good feeling after so many months waiting.  Our agency then, had to notarize our home study and mail it to us.  The next step, was to submit I800a application to USCIS for approval. We sent that in on July 20th. We need to wait for them to send us an appointment notice for our biometric appointment.  Once we go for this appointment we should have about another 2 week wait for approval.     

This is the last and final piece of paperwork needed for our dossier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We've been lucky, in that, our agency has allowed us to send all the other paperwork we've completed already to Bulgaria. While we've been waiting for this other step, our dossier has been (hopefully) being translated so that it will be ready to be submitted to the MOJ.

From dossier submission, to travel, is usually about 2 months. We will be submitted to the MOJ, next verbal approval will be given, then written approval will be given. After that, our NGO in Bulgaria will be setting up our travel dates for trip one. It all seems like it's still so far away, but it really will come pretty fast. We won't have a lot of advanced notice, but that's fine with us. We already know Grandma will stay with the kids and pups while we are away.

So, soon you'll be seeing a post letting you all know we have I800a approval and our dossier has been submitted. Hopefully, soon after that, I'll be posting that we have trip 1 travel dates.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Update Time

I've been updating periodically on our Facebook Page, but haven't written here in a while. I wish there was more to say in this post today, but the truth is, not much has happened.

Our home study was sent to DCFS on May 14th, and we are still waiting for our approval. I have been talking with some other Illinois families who are going through the same struggle as us. On family who was submitted after May 22, got their state senator involved a little over a week ago and received their approval yesterday. I thought, well if this is what it takes, then this is what we will do as well. So, yesterday I made the call to Senator Bush's office and spoke with her chief of staff. He is having the person who handles situations like this contact me this morning to discuss in detail, our situation. We are praying with their help, we will see movement this week.

When you sign commitment paperwork for a waiting child in Bulgaria, they give you exactly 6 months to do your home study and dossier paperwork. If the 6 months comes up and your home study is done but not all the dossier paperwork is collected yet, then you can request an extension. We never dreamed we would come close to the 6 month mark. Our goal from day one was to move as quickly as possible through each step of the process.  We did too, we began this process on Feb 27, and our home study was completed May 1st. If  we were in any other state, we would probably be leaving on trip 1 to meet him, within the next month. However, since we live in IL currently, we have to have state approval on the home study. So, unfortunately for us, and our son, we have been stuck. There isn't any other way to describe it, we are S.T.U.C.K. 

Meanwhile to try to keep sane, I've been focusing on fundraising. We are making and selling magnets, and currently have an avon fundraiser going. The link for that is here:  Any purchases made now until July 15th will help benefit our adoption fund. We would be so thankful for any help this way.

I am also planning a HUGE garage sale in Michigan and my parent's house next weekend.  We are really excited for this. I think it's going to be a great time and can't wait to see how we do. We are so thankful for everyone who has donated to the sale.

As soon as the home study is approved and in my hands, I can send in the I-800a application. I've already filled out the application and it is ready to go. This step basically is us asking the US government permission to adopt a child from Bulgaria. It will take about a month to receive our approval and this is the very last piece of our dossier that is needed. I think that's all for today. I'll post here as soon as we hear about our home study.