Two months ago I circled and starred yesterday’s date on my calendar and noted: Deadline to Received Paperwork from USCIS.
The processing of our immigration paperwork is the only thing that we still lack for our dossier. Eight weeks from yesterday I mailed in the final required item to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service so that they can approve our family to adopt a child from Ethiopia. Once they had received all the necessary documents, it was supposed to take a maximum of eight weeks for us to receive the approval. I was counting down the days! As soon as we get that invaluable document in the mail, we can send off our dossier and officially begin the wait to receive our referral. I feel more than a little impatient!
I had heard from the beginning of our adoption process that unexpected delays are the norm when you adopt internationally. Regulations and requirements, both in the U.S. and in the country one is adopting from, are always changing. This means that as soon as you complete your paperwork, you may find out that some rule has changed and you have to start over. Well, it’s true.
About two weeks after I had sent off the paperwork to USCIS, we received a letter in the mail saying that they had just changed a requirement and they need additional documentation stating that we aren’t on the registry of child abusers for our state . That documentation has taken about a month to receive, and now our social worker has to complete an addendum to our home study. Through some strange situation that I don’t fully understand, our adoption agency’s license has expired and the license won’t be active again until the end of June. So we won’t be able to send anything in to USCIS until then. And then starts another eight week wait. Can you imagine my frustration?!
I thought that we would be sending our dossier to Ethiopia by now (Oh happy day!), but instead it may be late August!
Patience. God is teaching me to have more of it. I have to remember that everything about this adoption is out of my control and in his hands. It is so comforting when I can let go and rest in that truth. I know that a year from now my perspective will be totally different. Once I have my baby in my arms I will realize that if it hadn’t been for this delay or that circumstance, then we wouldn't have ended up with the same child. And I trust that God has specially and carefully matched us with just the right little boy, even as he is now in his mother’s womb.
So this is just a part of his perfect timing. But still, the wait is hard….