Friday, December 29, 2006

Things are happening . . .

My paperwork has returned from San Fransisco and the wonderful folks at PLAN will put together my dossier and send it to Vietnam to be translated where it will wait for the I-171H. Speaking of, I have a fingerprinting appointment for the 3rd-then I will just have to wait for it to come in the mail (no clue how long that takes) and when it does I get to make another trip to Salem for certification (I think) and it will have to go to the Consulate in San Fran too before it can be sent to Vietnam.

Whether I'll make the cut for the old referral process is still up in the air. We'll see . . .

I've been trying to work on getting the nursery ready (not buying anything yet). But I need to clear it out, paint the trim, clean up the baseboards, etc. I bought a small desk for my bedroom today so I can move the computer in there. I've taken 4 carloads of stuff to ARC. The purging is good. Have to get rid of most of my crafting supplies-but I've got plenty of crafty family members to donate that stuff to. With a small 2 bedroom condo-I'm going to have to learn to live a bit more simply.

Friday, December 22, 2006


What a week! I picked up my homestudy at PLAN this morning, got everything certified in Salem, and sent off my documents to be authenticated to the Consulate of Vietnam in San Fransisco. This really looks like it's going to happen! I know what I'm doing with my Christmas vacation-getting the nursery ready. Yay!

What a relief! I need a drink . . .where's the rum?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stress level: HIGH!

Wow-so a lot's happened in the last week or so. Seems that Vietnam is going to be changing the way they do the referrals. Right now-babies and families are matched up by the orphanages that the agency is licensed to work with. But they are going to centralized the referral process (matching up babies and families) by having the files on the babies and the dossiers of the families go to one place and all referrals will be made by this one office.

So-what does that mean for me? Well-no one really knows if it will hold up the process or have no effect. But, common sense tells us that any change in a government policy is likely to result in delays-at least at first.

Until January 15th-any dossiers coming in will be handled the way they are going right now. After that-the new procedure. I was a little bummed hearing this-but, what can I do? I thought there was no way that I could have my dossier (with the I-171H from immigration) done by then. However, on Monday I discover that they want us who are close to go ahead and finish everything else in the dossier, get it certified and authenticated and send it to Vietnam. They will then start translating and wait for the I-171H.

And then there's my dear friend Shula-who calls me over the weekend to apparently COMPLETLTY FREAK ME OUT BECAUSE OMG! THERE WILL BE HUGE DELAYS! I'LL BE CHILDLESS FOREVER! THE SKY IS FALLING! (okay, I'm exaggerating. But-honestly, I was pretty calm about the whole thing until she decided to light a fire under me! And I'm really glad she did-but, man, I sure don't want to have my blood pressure taken right now!) Seriously Shu-you know I love you!!! ;)

Holy cow-let the paperchase begin! I've gotten 13 documents notarized so far this week, with at least 2 more to go. Here's a list of what I had to gather and fill out:

2 Homestudies (no longer than 4 pages)

4 Vietnam applications for adoption (yes-4 orignals of exactly the same thing!)

4 Commitments (same deal-a commitment is basically a contract with Vietnam stating I will provide yearly updates with phots of the child until she (he) is 18.

2 letters of employment

2 local police clearences

2 medical certificates

2 !-171H (preapproval from immigration)

2 color copies of passport

2 passport size photos

2 pictures (one of me, one of front of home)

All the documents have to be notarized, certified by the state, and then sent to the Vietnam consulate in San Fransisco to be authenticated. I will have to pay extra to have them expedited.

I have everything but the medical form (have an appointment today), the homestudy (the agency is going to have it ready for me to pick up Friday morning, and the I-171H.

So-Friday-I'll pick up the homestudy and take everything to Salem to be certified, then head back to the PLAN (McMinnville) and they will send out everything to be authenticated on the 26th. The homestudy will also be sent to immigration. When it is received by INS-they will call me to set up an appointment to be fingerprinted. Luckily that's here in downtown Portland. Then-supposedly it takes a few weeks to get the I-171H-which will then have to be certified and authenticated too.

The local police clearance was a bear to get. I went to the police station first and they wouldn't even help me. Tried to make me order a background check through the state which isn't what I needed. I left there pretty ticked. Had better luck yesterday at the sheriff's office-although it took awhile and a lot of talking to get them to understand what I needed.

Now I'm hoping that all my notarizations are in order. There's a whole list of instructions to give the notaries and everything has to be "just so". Otherwise, I won't be able to certify them. I just faxed 2 of my forms to PLAN so they can look at the notarizations and see if they'll pass muster. Fingers crossed!

So-if you actually got through all that-you're probably tired now. I know I need another cup of coffee . . .

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The homestudy . . .

was yesterday. I think it went pretty well-though some of the questions were difficult to answer because they were so broad.

Q. How would you handle a needy child?

My answer? "Aren't all babies needy?"

There were also a bunch of questions dealing with situations that wouldn't occur until the child was school-age or older . . .It's hard to know how you'll deal with something until it actually happens. I mean, really, you do what you have to do. It's not like I'm going to return the child as defective or something . . . .

The report will be done within a couple of weeks. And then the Dept of Homeland Security will (hopefully) contact me to set up an appointment to be fingerprinted.

Stupidest Thing I've Had To Do So Far . . . .

So on the I600-A form for INS there is a section on marital status:

I checked the box saying that I am not married AND I checked the box that said I have never BEEN married.

Apparently that's not good enough . . .

I get a letter from Homeland Security (so weird to see Dept of Homeland Security in the return address!) that said I needed to send back a letter that states that I have never been married.

So-I actually had to type this up (verbatim-well, except for the name part-not sure I really want my full name floating out there on internet-land):


To Whom It May Concern:

It has been requested that I submit a statement regarding my unmarried status to complete the filing of my I600A. Enclosed is a copy of the request.

I, Jules, have never been married.

(signature here)


I don't know how people can work for the government, you know, making sure people cross their T's and dot their i's even when it is overkill . . . . . The idea of it makes me want to stab a fork in my eye.

Edited to add: You know, now that I think of it-I wish I'd jazzed up the letter a bit. How's this?

Dear whoever:

I have never been married. I have, however, been engaged and was lucky enough to get cheated on, stolen from, and heartbroken so that I didn't marry the jerk and end up supporting his sorry a#$ while he sat around watching movies and playing playstation.

Probably good I didn't send something like this: If the person reading didn't have a sense of humor, I might have been labeled a whackjob and been put on the DO NOT FLY list . . . .