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Post-Placement #2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We had our 2nd post-placement visit yesterday and everything went well. Liam was his usual charming self and Allison the SW was impressed with his communication skills. We had a nice, long visit with her and she didn’t see any problems and thought he was well attached to us. Of course, we are always impressed with his progress but it’s always nice to hear it from a professional.
 

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posted by Dede at 9:43 PM 26 comments

Texas Birth Certificate

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back in August, I did a post about our tele-hearing for Liam’s Recognition of Foreign Adoption. Yesterday, we finally received the Texas birth certificate in the mail. This was quite a bit longer than the 1 week estimate we were given.

A couple of weeks ago, I started to wonder why we hadn’t received it yet and I called the state office. The lady there told me that there was no problem with the paperwork but they were still working on it and should have it mailed out soon. I’m not sure what took so long. Susan got theirs within a week by going in person. I guess they can’t handle to face to face pressure. ;-)

Anyway, it’s all done now and we can now move on to applying for a passport. We were not in any rush since we don’t have any immediate travel plans out of the country but I wanted to let any other Texas families know about the wait time in case you do have international travel plans in your future.

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posted by Dede at 8:47 PM 5 comments

Our Little Texan

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When we first brought Liam home, I immediately went to work on getting his Social Security card and other documents for him.   When I inquired about getting him a U.S. passport, I found out that the process would require me to send in his one and only original Russian birth certificate.   I was willing to make the 10 hour drive to Houston or wherever to show the birth certficate in person but I was told that it would have to be mailed on to another agency no matter what.   This is something that I refused to do since it is the only certified copy I have or can ever get.

So we began searching for a local attorney who could help us do a readoption so Liam would have a Texas birth certificate before we applied for his passport.   After lots of phone calls, we quickly found out that there are no attorneys in this area with experience in this sort of procedure.   So, back in July we talked to an attorney in Austin about doing the readoption and she informed us that the state of Texas only requires a Recognition of Foreign Adoption unless we felt for some reason that our international adoption was not leagal.   This was great news especially since the cost was less than a readoption.

The paperwork process was pretty easy (especially compared to the mountain of paperwork we completing for the actual adoption).   We sent all the forms in and copies of documents they needed to get us scheduled for court.   The attorney talked to the judge and arranged for our court hearing to be over the phone so we wouldn’t have to make the drive to Austin.

So, this morning from 8:45 to 9:00 a.m. we had our court tele-hearing and now our little man is not only an American, but also officially a Texan.   We’ll be receiving his Texas birth certificate in about a week.   Woo hoo!   Another thing to check off the list!
 

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posted by Dede at 7:55 PM 7 comments

First Post-Placement Visit

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We had our first post-placement visit this afternoon.   Everything went well.   Liam had just woke up from his nap when the social worker arrived and he was a bit shy around her at first but he was working his charm on her by the end of the visit.

It was a pretty pain-free visit.   Since we had to do 3 home studies throughout our adoption process, we’re kind of used to social workers visiting our house by now.   She mostly asked the standard set of questions;   his height, weight, eating habits, daily routine, social interactions, etc.   She was quite impressed with his speech and said that speech development is usually the biggest problem she sees with foreign adoptions but she seemed to think he was right on target or even a little ahead for his age.   She was also impressed that he knows his colors so well, which she said is advanced for his age.   Yeah... we were so happy to hear this!

I hope our little guy can keep up the good work until the next visit in January.
 

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posted by Dede at 8:37 PM 8 comments

Social Security Card

Friday, March 28, 2008

We received Liam’s Social Security card today.   This is one of the few pieces of government paperwork that came through at record speed.   I guess they don’t want anything delaying those taxes!
 

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posted by Dede at 7:48 PM 3 comments

Certificate of Citizenship

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I guess it’s official now — we received Liam’s Certificate of Citizenship last week!   I promptly applied for his Social Security card on Friday.   For those of you about to apply for Social Security cards, make sure you take all of your paperwork to the Social Security office with you.   They wanted to see the Certificate of Citizenship, our adoption certificate, his birth certificate, & his immunization shot records.   They also needed both of our Social Security numbers so make sure you have those with you too.
 

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posted by Dede at 11:58 AM 5 comments

Watching the Mailbox

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks for all of your supportive comments on my last post!

We heard from our agency today that our dossier has been translated and will be registered on Monday in the Moscow region.   They’re still estimating that we’ll travel in the first part of December.

They keep asking us about our I-171H extension and reminding us that they won’t be able to process us any further after Trip 1 without it.   Ugh...   I FedEx’ed the additional paperwork they requested last week.   I enclosed a letter stating how important it was to process it ASAP so our adoption would not be delayed.

I had hopes that they would process it immediately and that we would have the letter by now.   Since it was Veterans’ Day, there was no mail on Monday so I just knew it would be there yeterday but it wasn’t.   So, today for sure, it was going to be there, right?   Nope.

I’ve sent emails to the generic Oklahoma address and the people at the 800 number for CIS don’t even know what a I-171H is for.   Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can get this paperwork processed quickly or know how to get in touch directly with someone at the Oklahoma CIS office?
 

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posted by Dede at 8:05 PM 8 comments

A Wild Week

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What a week it has been! Lots of things progressing with our new agency.

Our completed dossier arrived in Moscow yesterday (Monday was a holiday in Russia). We had blood tests redone yesterday and have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Friday to complete our medical letters.

We also signed up for 3 online classes to fulfill education requirements for our agency.

I finally heard back on the I-171H extension but it wasn’t the news I was looking for. They requested an original copy of our home study and copies of our child abuse background check report. I got that in the FedEx back to them so hopefully we will get our extension soon.

The biggest news is that we received an email from our agency today stating they had been in contact with Moscow and they are estimating that we will go on Trip 1 before Christmas! I can’t believe that we have made so much progress in just 3 weeks with this new agency!
 

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posted by Dede at 7:37 PM 12 comments

We've Been Fingerprinted Again!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! I had a chance to dress up twice this week; once for a Halloween party last weekend and again last night to go with our friend Marsha to take her 2 boys to their daycare carnival.

On the adoption front, everything is moving along nicely. Our agency should have received our updated dossier today complete with apostilles. This should be all the paperwork they need for now to get us registered.

We went to the local Sheriff’s department today to redo our fingerprints for the FBI. We were told that they can’t be more than 6 months old and we did our last ones in April so it was time to get those back up to date again.

My biggest paperwork concern at this point is our I-171H extension that I applied for back in August. Still no word on that but I have sent them a couple of emails so hopefully I’ll hear something soon.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Rob & I in our Halloween costumes.

Rob and Dede Halloween Pirates
 

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posted by Dede at 9:38 PM 6 comments

A New Beginning

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We finally made the decision to withdraw from CHI and start over with another agency. It was a very tough decision to make since it feels like we’ve just wasted the last 2 years. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we’ve made no progress since our dossier was submitted in May 2006. We were never encouraged to switch regions to go independent until last month even though we asked about this back in January. Even after moving to a new region, our agency’s only option for us was to continue waiting for accreditation.

We had been asking ourselves how to know when it was the right time to cut loose and start over. I honestly didn’t think we would do it but after talking to our new agency on the phone, there was not a doubt in our minds about this being the right thing to do and the right time to do it. It just all fell into place and felt right. I mention this because I know some other couples struggle with the same uncertainties and doubts about making this drastic of a move. My suggestion if you are considering switching is to talk to the other agencies and then follow your heart.

We’ve felt more optimistic and in control in the past few days than we had at any point in the last year or so. We’ve spent this week putting our 3rd dossier together and updating our home study. We’re getting to be quite the dossier pros! We should have it all finished up and ready for the apostilles next week.

I want to say thank you to all of you that have left encouraging comments and emails the past few weeks. It really helps having a support system. Wish us luck on our journey with our new agency!
 

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posted by Dede at 6:09 PM 10 comments

Still Moving Forward

Saturday, September 29, 2007

We finished up the paperwork for our new region this week and we’re waiting on the apostilles in Austin.   The additional paperwork needed for the new region wasn’t too bad:   3 new forms for us & 2 forms for our home study agency.   Everything should be on its way over to Russia by the end of next week.

We did find out that there’s another pilot family that our adoption agency is planning to send over to the same region hopefully at the same time with us and they put us in touch with each other.   We are excited to be having someone else there at the same time.   They received their referral this week so hopefully ours will be coming soon too!

We’ve also been in touch with Darren & Terri who adopted from the Chuvashia Republic last year.   They’ve been very helpful with travel tips specific to our new region and even sent some photos to give us an idea of what to expect on the train ride from Moscow.   Thanks Darren & Terri!

That’s about it for what’s going on with us now.   I’ve been reading on FRUA that there are rumors of reaccreditation about to start up again.   Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this is true!
 

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posted by Dede at 8:48 AM 6 comments

Still waiting...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

There hasn’t been much adoption news for us to blog about lately but I would like to say congrats to Steve & Stefanie who will be headed to Novosibirsk to meet their son for the first time next week.   I can’t wait for the day that I get to post that for us!

We’re still waiting on reaccreditation news for our agency and until then, nothing will be happening for us.   The discussions on FRUA seem to go back and forth on guessing when the next batch might occur.   Some say in September and some say maybe not until towards the end of the year.   Ah, the joy of the rollercoaster ride!

I received a letter from the USCIS in response to the I-171H extension I sent in at the beginning of August.   The letter they sent me was another fingerprinting appointment letter.   We already did that back in June when they expired, so I think there is something mixed up on their side.   I sent them a letter explaining that we had already done the fingerprinting again.   I sent them a receipt from it with the original extension request so I’m not sure what the mix up is about.

Hopefully there’ll be some good news to report next week!
 

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posted by Dede at 9:52 AM 5 comments

I-171H Extension

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

As I said in my previous post, our I-171H form expires October 31st. We finally got an answer from the USCIS yesterday that we can go ahead and apply for the extension now. Their rule is that you can't apply more than 90 days before expiration.

I have all our paperwork gathered and ready to send tomorrow. I also wanted to let you know that one of the things I discovered while filling out an updated I-600A form is that your updated home study can't be more than 6 months old from the date you submit the new form. Something to keep in mind. Our updated home study will be 6 months old on September 19th so I would have had to do another home study update if I had waited until then to apply for the extension.

Luckily the USCIS gives you one free extension to go along with that one free biometric fingerprinting we did a couple of months ago so the only cost we are out on this one is postage. Woo hoo!

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posted by Dede at 8:23 PM 3 comments