One month ago today we were sitting on the side of the road in Oregon, learning for the first time that we had a daughter. That was a really great day!
Now here we are a month later and what a busy month it has been!!! I feel like I've done more in the past month than I did in the last six months combined. The time has gone by really quickly, which is nice, but we're not a whole lot farther along in the process than we were a month ago. We still don't have Clarissa's legals, so we can't file the I600 yet. The I600 is a fairly big hurdle because it some cases it takes a really long time to get it approved. They say to expect 4-6 weeks. I've seen it happen earlier than that and I've seen it take as long as 10 weeks, which would really be sad!
The I600 form is the form asking the US government permission for us to adopt a foreign child. Until they approve that we can't do anything else. Early in the adoption process we filed the I600a form, which was basically a pre-approval based on the info they had at the time, and that was approved but we have to file the big I600 form now that we've identified who the child is and all of that. That's what we have to go get refingerprinted for next week. We have to be background checked by the federal government, which they use to help them decide if we're worthy, I guess!
Everyone sends their I600 forms to the USCIS office in their own state. Some state offices move faster than others, but when we got our I600a approval last year it came faster than we thought it would, so maybe that's a good sign. The USCIS office in Idaho probably isn't as busy as offices in other states with a lot more people, so maybe there's hope that our I600 will be approved quickly. You just really never know though. At this point it doesn't matter because our darn legals aren't here yet so we can't submit the I600 form anyway!
I'm doing OK with the wait though. Everyone told me that the wait would be worse once we got our referral but that hasn't been true for me. I have a lot more peace in my heart now. When the waiting gets hard I can look at my daughters photo and that's comforting to me. That's something I didn't have before. Now that I know who she is, where she is and who is taking care of her, I'm OK waiting for the next few months because I know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel now. It's still hard because I wish she were home right now, but the not knowing was definitely harder.
It also helps that summer is always busy around here and it always flies by quickly. In less than a month my kids will be back in school already! Thank goodness I'm not doing the post referral wait in the winter when every month seems like a hundred years.
So we've got another three and a half weeks or so of summer vacation for the boys, during which time I'll be running around getting school supplies, buying them school clothes and all of that, and then the first month of school is always busy as well, getting them settled and on a new routine.
But the time the dust has settled on that, we're going to be pretty close to traveling to Korea! I still can't believe we're actually going to Seoul. I'm so ridiculously excited about that trip! I'm scared out of my mind, but I'm really excited. I'm scared to fly, I'm scared about figuring out how to navigate such a gigantic city and I'm scared to come home with a baby who doesn't know who we are, but I'm looking at it as a big adventure in our lives that we will never ever forget. It's the same feeling I had when I was pregnant with my kids and I was absolutely terrified of giving birth, taking care of a newborn and all of that, but also SO excited at the same time. The first time they place your baby in your arms is probably one of the greatest experiences a person can have in their life. This time it will be taking place in an adoption agency in Seoul instead of a hospital room in Idaho, but it's all the same to me. I can't wait. :)