Friday, January 25, 2008

I Love Nebraska

I love the small government that is Nebraska! After speaking with a live person at the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday, I faxed our request with releases and specific instructions for the child abuse clearance letter that we need. Well, guess what we received in our mail today?! Perfectly completed and notarized letters! I am amazed that someone took the fax, completed the check and prepared the letters and mailed it all on the same day. Impressive!

We will now mail these last documents for apostilling, and should get them back on Wednesday or so. Then we can finally send everything on its way.

We have had a nice bottle of champagne waiting for the day the dossier is sent. I have not wanted to put it in the fridge for fear of jinxing things. I think I am just about ready to get it chilling!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not just yet!

I went to Lincoln yesterday to get our remaining pile of documents apostilled. I sat in the Secretary of State's office crossing my fingers and thinking good thoughts about the State of Nebraska in general, hoping that somehow that would help things along. probably didn't hurt, but we were not able to get everything apostilled. There were two issues to fix.

The first was not too bad, and I was able to get that one taken care of while in Lincoln. The other one is taking a bit of effort. The issue we have concerns our child abuse clearance letter from the State's Health and Human Services Department. It wasn't a big deal getting the letter, and in fact we got it months ago. However, they did not have it properly notarized. They had the notary stamp and signature, but they did not include the "attestation clause" or language such as "subscribed and sworn to me by…" or "I hereby attest that…." I should have caught this earlier, but I think I just assumed that it came from an agency that does this all the time, and they must have done it right. Well, they didn't, and we need a new letter, and it has to be properly notarized.

I went to the HHS Department while in Lincoln and talked with them about it. They said they needed releases of information (new ones, because the ones from months ago are no longer on file), and then they would run the check and send us the letters. So, last night I drafted releases and an awesome letter setting forth what we need (and thanking them profusely), and faxed it to that gal's attention. Here's hoping small state government pulls through!

I was initially a little bummed about the whole thing, but then realized that we have everything else notarized, apostilled, and done! This is now the last thing that we need to do in terms of the dossier. So, while I was hoping to send the dossier this week, next week (hopefully) will be just fine!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Almost officially "waiting"

I'm off to Lincoln tomorrow a.m. to get our last items apostilled. Wish me luck that everything is in good shape and that it goes smoothly. Hope to be DTP ("Dossier to Poland"), via our agency, within 2 days!

Think of it as being 2 days before one could possibly get a reading on a pregnancy test. Only our "cycle" was a wee bit more than a month!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting Closer

We are getting much closer to having our dossier sent. We may be able to send our Nebraska documents for apostilling/authentication as early as tomorrow. I would hope for a Wednesday return. Then we will have everything done except our immigration approval! I have a question into our Agency as to whether we can send our Dossier now, or if we must wait for the immigration approval. I'm hoping we can send it all now, and then follow with the immigration document when we receive it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Immigration Fingerprinting Appointment

We just got notice of our fingerprinting appointment from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today. This is a great step and means our immigration application is being processed. Our fingerprint appointment is scheduled for February 7. I'm not sure how long approval will take after the appointment, but at least we know it is moving!

Other than the fingerprinting, I sent off Missouri and North Carolina documents for apostilling today. We should be able to finish off our apostilling (we still need to do Nebraska) by the end of next week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dossier Back From Agency!

Whoa, that was quick! Our Agency has already reviewed our draft Dossier. We have been given a few items to fix, but they are not too bad. We should be able to have those done within the week. We will do these, and then send the items for apostilling. Then, Dossier to Poland ("DTP")! Could we really have this Dossier on its way by about February 1???

I must say that it is all starting to get very exciting, and much more real. I am starting to look around our house and think about various projects to prepare the family room and bedroom. It is still tough to do very much (not knowing age/sex), but there are some things I have in mind to get going on.

I am also thinking about a scrapbook/album to document the process. I have not wanted to document (other than this blog of course) things like doctor visits and paper chasing, but I think keeping the reference letters would be nice. I would also like to begin actively working on some sort of an album as soon as we are matched with a referral. I am not a big scrapbooker (although I admire those who have a talent for it), but I want to make an effort to capture this exciting time.

One thing I've actually been thinking a lot about is school. Now, we could potentially get a 1 year old, and school won't really be an issue for a while. But I want to do preschool as early as possible, so I am trying to attempt some research in that area. I've also been looking at all sorts of books - especially focused on adoption. I want grown-up books for us (to help "prepare" us) and children's books that are adoption focused. I remember having books that had the "you're adopted and you're special" focus, and I would like to have a collection for our child. I would love any recommendations if you've got them.

Looks like I am posting more and more these days. I think I will continue to, because there is much more exciting news to post and interesting info to share in the "waiting" stage as opposed to the "paper" stage.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dossier to Agency!

This is a great step! Today we are mailing our draft dossier to our Agency. isn't the finalized/authenticated version of the dossier, but it is close! We have completed all the requirements and are sending it to our Agency to examine it and be sure everything is OK before we have all of the documents authenticated.

Our Agency will review everything and tell us if there is anything that needs to be redone. If there is anything that must be fixed, we can do that immediately. We then will send all notarized documents to the Secretary of State who will apostille (a form of authentication) each document (for a fee). When that is done, the pile of paper can go to Poland!

Things seem to be moving along at a brisk pace now. I can't believe we will be out of this stage very shortly!

Then what? Well, I think we will start planning and preparing our home. We do not know an exact age or the sex of our child, but we do know that there will need to be room for more "stuff." I'm looking forward to cleaning out "the room" and getting some bookshelves and baskets and such for the basement.

We still cannot even think about names. I think we are going to wait and see what his/her given name is and evaluate the possibilities then.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year - New Motivation

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great one. Ours was nice - had an early Christmas with Ryan's family here in Omaha. Before Christmas we had a mini-getaway in San Diego for a couple of nights, then we took the train up to my parents and spent a week with my parents, including visits with my bro and his girlfriend. We got lots of nice presents too!

I am very overdue for an adoption update! Things sort of lulled over the holidays, but we are back and attacking our dossier with a new motivation. There are some international happenings involving the Hague Convention and Treaty that (long story short) mean we must have our dossier sent to Poland by April 1. This is exciting, although it means we have a few things to get done ASAP.

We must have everything to our agency in the next couple of weeks so that they may verify things, tell us anything that must be redone/fixed/etc. and then we have to send all documents to be apostilled by the Secretary of State.

Our remaining to-do list consists of completing our online adoption courses, getting our priest's recommendation form and collecting pictures of our pretty selves. We've got an appointment with out priest scheduled for next Wednesday, we have started the courses, and we are looking for the pictures, so we should be done soon!

The exciting part of this all is that (assuming it all is done correctly) our dossier should be in Poland before April 1 and we will then be officially "waiting" for our referral soon!