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 . . .

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