Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Process

I realized that I hadn't really explained the remainder of the adoption process to everyone.  I've been getting a lot of questions about that lately, so I thought I'd share.  The biggest question we get?

When will you travel for Grace and Hope?


Grace~Victory at 3 1/2 years old

Hope~Glory at 2 years old

It's a hurry up and wait thing.  It really is 99% about our government processing paperwork at this point.

DONE WITH THIS STEP 1. This is the step where we have filed more immigration paperwork (we already had pre approval and fingerprinting MUCH earlier in the process).  In this step we request more specific approval with our new daughter's names.  Once it's approved (maybe two weeks from now) the National Visa Center will send our approval (or PA/Provisional Approval to be specific) to adopt Grace and Hope to the U.S. consulate in their country.

Time it takes: Somewhere around 3-4 weeks.  We have approximately 0 weeks left of wait.

DONE WITH THIS STEP 2.  We have had an electronic copy of this approval emailed too us and and then we send it ourselves to our agency.  They file (at this point) what's called a DS-260 form online for our children's Visas.  We will then be emailed a number that we have to have and forward to our agency.

Time it takes: This usually takes about 5-15 days (5-10 days seems to be average).  We have 0 weeks left.

3. This is the step we are currently. Our agency has a representative in Grace and Hope's country.  They drop off papers at the U.S. consulate there (called an Article 5 drop off).  They assign you a pick up date.

Time it takes: Usually this takes about 10-14 days  to process.  OUR PICK UP DATE IS JUNE 8th.

4. After our agency picks up the Article 5, they send it overnight to Grace and Hope's government.  This lets them know everything is alright on the United States end of things.  It takes from days to three weeks time to process before we get to the next step.  When it's processed we will be issued what is called a Travel Approval (or TA) by their government.

Time it takes: Days to three weeks.

5. Usually, at that point, we will travel in about 14 days.  It all depends when a consulate appointment (CA) can be set with the U.S. consulate there.

 (The actual consulate appointment will come at the end of our three week period that we are required to be in country.  It usually comes around the two and a half weeks in country mark.)

Time it takes: Usually 2 weeks until travel from actual TA.

Most likely that will leave us traveling somewhere around (guesstimate) 6 weeks (that seems more of a mid range guesstimate, because it could be sooner or later).  This would have us leaving at the beginning of July and returning toward the end of July.  (Remember, this is just a guesstimate.)

The next most common question is about how long we have to be in country and why.

Mini Introduction to time in country:

Week 1:  When we arrive in country we will be flying to Hope's province and taking custody of Hope first.  She is in a separate province than Grace.  We usually receive custody the day after we arrive (day two).  The day AFTER we take custody we officially sign papers and she is legally ours (usually day three).  We just then wait for a few days to have papers and her passport in hand.
Week 2: We arrive in Grace's city.  Her city happens to be the same city ALL ADOPTIVE PARENTS for this country are required to go for the last week.  (We will spend 1 1/2 to 2 weeks there.) We will get custody of Grace, most likely, the day after we arrive (day two in her province).  The day after we receive custody we will officially sign papers and she will be legally ours as well (day three in her province usually).
Week 3: We are still in the same city (Grace's city), one I am VERY familiar with. We stayed here during both of our adoptions previously.  We will have a medical appointment for our two girls this week (TB test, etc.), our consulate appointment this week, and receive their American Visas.  The reason we do not know if it will be just 1 1/2 weeks or 2 is because when adopting two children there is a standard 3 weeks in country (one week in the capital of each province and the last week in the city of the consulate).  Yet, Grace is where the consulate is and sometimes this can shave off time.  We should know before we travel.

(Yes, they are American Citizens automatically once they land in the U.S.)

All this is to say that we are nearing the finish line.  We need prayers and we need to financially get where we have the funds for travel (and in country fees).  Big picture, we are almost there.  There are several last things we will look at to raise funds, but really it's God...God touching hearts and moving mountains.

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We still have around $10,000 to raise (guesstimate updated on 5/24/2017).

Ways to Give:

1.  LifeSong is still accepting tax deductible donations on our behalf, even though the matching grant is met.   You can also mail a check to them with our family name and number in the memo line (it can be found in "My Story" in the link below).


2.PayPal- You can send money through PayPal "Friends and Family" to our email address 1thomkat (at) verizon (dot) net 
No money will be taken out and every penny will go toward our adoption!

3. You can mail a check directly to us.  It will be placed in a separate adoption account immediately.  You can email us at the above email and we will send our address.

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Prayer Requests:
PRAISE: Our Heavenly Father's timing, through our groaning at times, SHINES.  HE KNOWS the perfect timing.  We have received to grants.  Our delays have even blessed us.  PLEASE PRAISE HIM FOR HOW FAR HE HAS BROUGHT US!!!!
PLEASE THANK GOD AHEAD OF TIME FOR HIS PROVISION.  PLEASE STAND IN FAITH AND CONFIDENCE WITH US.

IMMEDIATE:
1.  PLEASE PRAY FOR $10,000 in SIX WEEKS.
2. .  Please pray hearts are open and there is a "yes" for something we are requesting. (Mysterious enough? :-))


OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:
Please Pray...
FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED IN THIS JOURNEY
1. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  That his pain is minimal.
2. For Grace and Hope, that they are healthy, loved on, and protected. Please pray that they dream of us and attach quicker than ANYONE could imagine.
3. Please also pray for Thomas and I. Please pray we can use this time before travel to gain physical strength.
4. Lastly, we have several expenses that we normally would have taken care of with our tax return, but couldn't this year. Could you please pray for God's provision for these expenses...and the things we still need to gather for the girls.  This isn't typical...unless we are in the adoption process...lol.  Please pray GOD shows up in a big way here!
5.  That we hear from ONE grants we have yet to hear from.  Some wonderful smaller grants
don't communicate as much.
6. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe.
 7. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.
8. That our families are safe while we are gone and that it is a peaceful time for them.

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