Of course, as we have experienced many times in our adoption... we are dealing with a delay in receiving our approval letter. We have also been warned about some (possible) future delays that could affect our FINAL approval. So I wanted to post today to share what we're waiting on (and how you can pray as we wait!)
1) First of all, we need our 2 - I800 approval letters to come in the mail - one to us, and the other to the National Visa Center. I'm not sure why they have to come through mail in a time when email is instant - but they must be mailed! So we are pacing and waiting on the mailman every day! We really, really expected it to be in our hands (and at the NVC) by now - but it's not. So PLEASE pray it comes quickly (to both locations) and that the NVC (National Visa Center) gets it into their system ASAP! We cannot move forward until these letters arrive!
2) Secondly - we need our fingerprints to be refreshed by US Immigration and the FBI as quickly as possible! We've been told this could take anywhere from 1-5 weeks. Our fingerprints "expire" (ridiculous I know) on November 13th, and they must be "refreshed" in the system before our last piece of paperwork gets approved. For this step - please pray that our Immigration Officer moves quickly to start the process, that the FBI handles their part of the "refreshing" process quickly, and that the "refresh" is uploaded into the system for Immigration and the National Visa Center quickly.
3) And finally - we need our Article 5 approved by the US Embassy. This is the FINAL piece of approval we need to be able to take custody of our daughter! We cannot take custody without it. In order for this to happen the Embassy has to get our I800 letter, our fingerprint refresh, and a final form that our agency will submit. Once that Article 5 is issued - it's time to get Kate!
I know this is all probably hard to follow, but I wanted to explain what we're waiting on so that our friends and family can understand what's next for us. This entire process could happen very quickly (in a matter of 1-2 weeks)... or it could take more than a month. That "unknown" has put us in a difficult position.
Once we take custody of our daughter, we have to attend a Thai Adoption Board meeting (before we can get her visa and leave the country). There are only 2 Board Meetings left this year.... December 1st and December 21st. If we have any hope of having our daughter home for Christmas - we have to make it to the December 1st Adoption Board Meeting. That means we need this Article 5 approval to come in before Thanksgiving (November 24th) so that we can take custody of Kate on Thanksgiving Day!
Will you pray with us? We have endured 4 very difficult Christmases since we started our adoption process. It would be a dream come true to have her home for Christmas this year! We are so close to this miracle coming true... but we need this final approval!
Right now, we are prayerfully considering traveling to Thailand to wait on the approval. If we are in Thailand - poised and waiting - then we could take custody of Kate as soon as the approval comes in. If we are at home waiting, and the approval comes at the last minute, we won't have time to book tickets, fly to Thailand, and take custody before the December 1st Board Meeting. There is, however, some risk of us getting "stuck" in Thailand for a few extra weeks if we take a chance and the approval doesn't come this month.
Please pray for us as we make this difficult decision. Please pray for everything to happen in these government offices as quickly as possible. Pray for efficient and compassionate workers. Pray against errors - we have dealt with a lot of errors in our paperwork/process the past few months. Even the smallest error can cause a big delay! Please pray for people to do their jobs with excellence and for FAVOR with every step!
*** Our "Waiting for Kate" shop is still open! If you'd like to help us bring our daughter home, please donate and/or buy a bracelet HERE! ***