Monday, January 26, 2009

REVISED**** Oooopss...forgot the N-600 & and Update on the Kids

I saw this video on another blog and had to share it......I can't imagine watching the horrors of poverty and not being moved to act.

For those newbies to adoption, please, please, please don't do what I forgot to do! I forgot to file for Pickle's N-600 -- which is the form you need to fill out to obtain US citizenship. How could I have forgotten? Hmmm.... could it be our lives were full of other stuff, which would be a great excuse. Honestly, I just forgot. The funny thing is that I felt this nagging feeling that something wasn't I was forgetting something. I went to our local SS office last week and changed Pickle's name on her SS card. When we first came home, we filed for a SS card after we received her permanent green card. Then we filed for readoption and name change in our local county, waiting 4+ months and celebrated when her file was officially stamped/recorded in Raleigh. I then ordered her Certificate of Identification, the equivalent of a birth certificate. Since she's foreign born, she can't get a "birth certificate" from the US; the CofI is her official "birth document."

So...time ticked by...we got a referral for two more children in December, and I got swept up in all the excitement, and then the holidays came. The surprise that I forgot something so important made me question what type of mom can I be to forget something SO IMPORTANT!!!! I could either get caught up in the self-pity, or just chalk it up as a learning experiene for the next time....I think I'll choose the latter.......

Most of the day Friday, I spent pulling together all the required documents and filling out the N-600. Around mid-morning, I called the 800 number for USCIS -- was told I needed to go in person to my local office. So I scheduled an appointment through INFOPASS, drove all the way to Charlotte today only to find out that you have to mail in the forms/required paperwork and wait for them to make an appointment for you to return with your child/ren for a swearing to tell the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth.....I was soooo aggravated..especially since I did my homework and called before I went. Then...if that's not enough (gotta love the Government) .....the list of documents required to file with the N-600 was more than what is listed on the USCIS website. Tonight or tomorrow, I'll have to go through all my official documents (marriage certs, birth certs, divorce certs, etc) for David and I and add to the pile of paperwork to mail in! Hopefully, someone will learn from this experience and not have to go through what I did.

Also, last week was a tough week for me. We are still waiting for a court date. Honestly, I never thought for one minute that we'd STILL be waiting for one at the end of January. It's been really I caved to my emotions and emailed Mary T., our wonderfully fantastic caseworker. She called me back....I guess my email sounded a little desperate.....Here's what I found out through talking to Mary.

  • It's taking 6 - 8 weeks to get a court date from the date you accepted your referral. This time is necessary to prepare your file for court. At this time, we are still waiting for a document(s) that is required for our file to be complete before they can request a court date. Your file must be complete before you can even submit it for a court date.

  • Once submitted to the courts for a court date, it takes about a week and a half to get an actual court date. As of last week, our file had not been submitted for a court date, so we are probably a few more weeks out (arhghghghhghghghghghgh............).

  • Court dates are being scheduled approximately 10 weeks out. Soooo,,,if you wait 8 weeks for a court date, count another 10 weeks for the actual court date. We are now looking into April for a court date. I'm praying that it's not April 8th, which is the 4th anniversary of my mom's death. I know it would be God's way of showing me I need to celebrate my mom's death, but honestly, I don't know if I'm there yet.......

  • The reason why I was having a hard week last week was the email I received early last week from Christy letting me know she was unable to get any pictures of the kids for us. (Please know that I know this is not Christy's fault...she really tried hard to get me some pictures -- thank you Christy for all of your efforts!) Gladney put a new policy into effect for the protection of the children. Only families picking up children from the older childrens house will be allowed to visit -- that's the house with children from the ages of 2 - 11. Apparently, it's been really hard on the children, especially those that have not been matched with a family. I totally understand...and realize these children are very smart and aware of exactly what's going on. During our wait, we will have to rely totally on the updates from Gladney on our children.

For all of those families that did provide updates, comments and pictures of our children, we are incredibly grateful and cherish every one of them.

And today, totally unexpected.....I got an email from Mary with three new pictures and an update!!! You know I can't share the pictures, but here's the update:

"Big S wanted me to tell you that he can't wait to see you and that he wonders when you are coming. I asked him if he likes school and all the other kids said yes right away, then he smiled and said yes. He was happy to get a picture taken for you. Today is a holiday so he was off from school and dressed in the traditional Ethiopian clothes. Little S was sleeping when I got here this afternoon but when she woke up Big S got her for a picture. Little S is a cutie. She followed me around the other day saying nay, nay (come, come). She wanted to play hand games like the older kids were doing. I stopped and sat down and she proudly hit her hands against mine a few times. Big S and Little S are both doing well.”

So the clock ticks....and we wait...knowing their is a purpose in the wait......if only it was easier.........


Anonymous said...

Robin, I am so sorry for the wasted trip, and thank you for the pointers. I am glad you got new pictures to make the day better. I know how hard the wait is. We waited for our "Big S" for 7 months with 1 updated photo. It just stinks, no way around it. Squeeze Pickles and Squeeker extra tight, it will make you feel a bit better. When we waited, we used to blow kisses at the moon and hope the babies could feel them. Hugs to you, my friend.

The Albertsons said...

thanks for the reminder and the tips on the citizenship stuff... you're right, i need to start that now! praying for you as you wait, friend... seasons of waiting are never easy, but hidden blessings abound for you, i hope :).

julie said...

I'm sure the wait must be very hard. I'll be praying you get your court date soon.

Nikki said...

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the congrats note on our referral. We are so very excited and are having a ball planning for new kids.

Hoping your wait comes to and end very quickly!