Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A has been received at the USCIS. This document amends our "Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country." That is a lot of words. What does it mean?
Let's break this down. The i800a requests approval to adopt from a Hague Adoption Convention country. This is an international agreement to safeguard
intercountry adoptions which took effect for the United
States in April of 2008. Basically it aims to prevent the abduction, sale of, or traffic in children,
and it works to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best
interests of children. It also recognizes intercountry adoption as a means of offering the
advantage of a permanent home to a child when a suitable family has not
been found in the child's country of origin.
We got our approval as "suitable" when we adopted the girls. That means we met the requirements of adoption education, income, etc. etc. etc. The Supplement 3 updates our family status to include Abigail and Jennifer, and asks that they find us suitable to add an additional child. We were able to file just the supplement since our fingerprints had not yet expired from the time of our last approval.
If all goes according to plan (and our agency spent no small amount of time hashing this out with USCIS to determine the correct way to file) we should be assigned to the same officer we had with the girls, and be processed fairly quickly. If the supplement attempt fails for whatever procedural reason, we will have to start over with a brand new i800a, likely meaning two additional months of waiting time. So....we are hoping for the best!
Once our approval arrives in the mail, we'll immediately send it to our agency who will oversee its
authentication for our
dossier. If you followed the process with the girls you may remember that the
dossier is the all important file of documents that will be sent to
China. It contains the application and
letter requesting permission to adopt a Chinese orphan, home study,
police reports, immigration approval, reference letters, medical
reports, marriage certificate, birth certificates, letters of
employment, and photos of our family and house.
It is totally a guessing game when predicting travel dates on an adoption, but our past experience was almost five months from the time we sent our dossier until the time we adopted our girls. At this point traveling in March seems to be the best guess.
Due to our income level and Isaac's particular needs, we were able to qualify for a grant with our agency towards a good piece of the fees that are due within the next month. There are still very significant agency and international fees remaining however, so we need to begin some serious fundraising and applying for grants. It is difficult to see how any family can possibly come up with the amount needed for an international adoption. But I learned with the girls that God is bigger than the balances due. He has clearly led us to this point, so we are doing all we possibly can, and attempting to trust Him (and not our checkbook) for the rest. We know that where He guides, He provides.