Today (well, yesterday...I see it's after midnight now) was my birthday. And it was a delightful day all the way around, filled with fun times with those I hold dear.
I have just one disappointment from the day.
For months, I have had the goal of finishing our dossier by my birthday...the best gift I could think of. My birthday has now come and gone, and the dossier still sits unfinished.
I can't be too discouraged-we're close. Very, very close. I wish I could explain the urgency I have felt in the past few weeks to have our dossier flying to Ethiopia. It's almost surreal. I cry easily when thinking about the daughter God has planned for our family, desperately wishing this stage to be over so we can officially begin waiting for her. I know it's all in God's timing, but lately-the urgency I feel clutches at my heart. I can't really explain it, I guess...I just know that it's time. Almost like the transition phase of labor, knowing that it's getting worse before it gets better, the panicked feeling to do anything to stay ahead of the pain, the frantic focus on what's at hand and just ahead. It's a heavy weight and a heart of hope all at the same time.
But seriously, we are almost done. Here's the document list for our dossier...the only documents left to gather are in bold.
1. Application letter
2. Husband's Birth Certificate-requested, still waiting
3. Wife's Birth Certificate
4. Marriage certificate
5. Husband Physical Exam Form.
6. Doctor's letter
7. Wife's Physical Exam form
8. Doctor's letter
9. Proof of medical insurance
10. Proof of life insurance
11. Financial statement
12. Husband's employment letter
13. Husband's 2nd job employment letter
14. Wife's non-employment letter
15. Home Study
16. Letters of Reference (3)
17. Husband's Police Report
18. Wife's Police Report
19. Agency Post Placement Agreement
20. Agency Recommendation
21. Power of Attorney
22. Dossier Cover Sheet
23. 2 extra passport photos each
24. Copies of passports.
25. Family photo pages
26. Approval from USCIS (Form I-171H)
If you compare this list to the dossier progress from August 31st, it's encouraging, especially considering the items that are left.
#17 And #18 are supposedly going to be ready for Mark to pick up from the police dept. on Monday.
#19 is a simple form I need to get to the home study agency.
#25 I can whip out using Picasa in an hour.
#22, the cover sheet, can't be done until all of the documents are under it!
So, #25 is all I can really do right now, all that needs to be done sooner than later. Mark's passport renewal will be $75. My passport application (can't renew if your original passport was issued if you were under age 16 and if it's more than 15 years old, both of which apply to me) will be $100. I'll really have to pray about whether to expedite them, which would be another $60 each. I know $415 is nothing for our God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills!
#26...Praying it comes quickly! Basically, USCIS takes both the home study and the fingerprint results to create one government approval piece, the I-171H. Please pray with us on that one!
Well, if you're still reading at this point, your stamina is impressive! Thanks for standing with us through this journey!