USCIS or CIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services INS: Immigration and Naturalization Services Homeland Security: includes the CIS and the INS I-600a: paperwork- we file this petition to adopt an orphaned child internationally I-171H: paperwork- the 'ok' that is sent back to us from the INS to adopt SDA: State Department for Adoptions (in Alina's country) dossier: paperwork packet for adoption (pronounced dos-ee-ay) apostille: state level notary stamp (pronounced app-uh-steel) Ds: Down syndrome SN: Special needs
In International Adoptions, there is so much to do! The following is especially meant for others who are adopting from Alina's country to get an idea of the process. It is also a record for us. For everyone else, it might be really confusing. The important thing is that we are making quick progress toward bringing our new little girl home!
-12/2/2009 Saw picture of Alina on Reece's Rainbow (RR) -12/9/2009 We decide as a family to bring Alina home! -12/11/2009 Formal commitment made, Family Sponsorship Profile (FSP) filed with RR -12/12/2009 Checks mailed to RR (Voice of Hope, Love Offering, Promise Trust) -12/13/2009 Chris and Lisa Birth Certificates ordered through Vital Check -12/14/2009 Marriage License Abstracts ordered -12/15/2009 Passport photo (Lisa), Passport application sent (Lisa), Birth Certificates arrive, first call to Home Study agency -12/16/2009 Home Study application and fee sent, I-600-a form and fee sent to USCIS -12/17/2009 Request letters of reference from 5 friends for Home Study, child abuse clearance requested for HS -12/18/09 - 1/1/10 Lisa and Chris write autobiographical statements for HS, write a heritage plan, read books about Alina's country, read The Connected Child - 1/2/10 Lisa's passport arrives -1/3/10 Home Fire Inspection for Home Study Scheduled (1/14/10) -1/4/10 Financials for Home Study completed -1/5/10 State Background Check & FBI fingerprinting for Home Study -1/6/10 Medical forms for Home Study (kids) completed by pediatrician, all 5 reference letters have been mailed to our Home Study Agency -1/6/10 USCIS fingerprinting appointment date rec'd (1/13) -1/7/10 Child Specific Petition (CSP) mailed :) to Alina's country! -1/8/10 Verification of Employment letter rec'd (used for both Home Study and dossier). Mortgage holder letter rec'd for dossier -1/9/10 First of two visits with social worker for Home Study, on-line course completed for final portion of HS education credit (Medical Issues in International Adoption through Adoption Learning Partners) -1/10/10 2008 taxes printed and ready for dossier -1/11/10 Chris medical exam/TB test for dossier -1/11/10 Verification of Employment letter for dossier mailed to CA for apostille -1/13/10 USCIS Fingerprinting, Chris medical form and doctor's license for dossier notarized -1/14/10 Home Fire Inspection for Home Study completed -1/16/10 Final social worker visit scheduled, but she had to cancel :(. Rescheduled for 1/23/10. 1/19/10 Verification of Employment letter for dossier received with CA apostille 1/19 10 Chris medical form and doctor's license for dossier re-notarized (notary crossed something out on first try...that's a NO NO for anyone who is paying attention!) 1/20/10 Proof of Home Ownership Letter for dossier received from county, already notarized 1/23/10 Final visit with social worker, Lisa medical form for Home Study received 1/26/10 Request notarized state background check for dossier, final mailing of completed forms to Home Study Agency (our part is done!) 1/28/10 Child Abuse Clearance received 1/30/10 Home Study Draft received from Social Worker 2/1/10 Home Study Approved 2/2/10 Lisa TB test, labs drawn for medical 2/4/10 Lisa physical exam completed, notarized police clearance letters received 2/8/10 Lisa medical form/doctor's medical license for dossier notarized 2/12/10 Batch of 10 documents county certified and apostilled 2/23/10 Receive i171h approval from USCIS, final few documents notarized 2/24/10 Last two documents for dossier arrive, all remaining documents are now ready for apostille; looking into international shipping options :)... 2/26/10 Final apostilles 2/26/10 DOSSIER SHIPPED 3/1/10 Dossier arrives in Alina's country! That was fast :)! One form needs to be re-done :(. Translation begins on the rest of the paperwork. 3/3/10 New form notarized, county certified, apostilled and sent 3/8/10 No tracking data available on new form that was sent. This is slow :(... 3/10/10 Final Papers arrive at their overseas destination 3/11/11 Dossier officially submitted to State Department of Adoptions in Alina's country 3/24/10 Receive SDA appointment date: April 8 4/6/10 Arrive in Kiev, Ukraine 4/8/10 Appointment with SDA 4/12/10 Begin work in region. Meet Alina! 4/16/10 Court--Adpoption Finalized 4/17/10 Gotcha Day 4/18/10 Leave Zaporozhye by train 4/19/10 Medical Appointment/Embassy paperwork in Kiev 4/20/10 Pick up Alina's Visa 4/21/10 Flight canceled due to ash cloud from volcano/Search for new travel arrangements 4/22/10 Leave Kiev for the States 4/23/10 HOME