Leaving Vietnam before arriving

Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to present an actual new post on our adoption blog! <audience_gasps> And a two-parter at that! <gasps_then_faints>

I’m going to attempt to encapsulate the madness of what’s happening in our adoption journey, what lead us to where we are now, and the state of the international adoption world. I’m not sure that is entirely possible, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try to take you on a semi-linear time line of events. Warning, this is a chunky post!

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Fingerprinting Fun

Today was the big day. We went to get fingerprinted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, better known as USCIS.

We arrived early, which was good because we got through pretty quickly. As directed in our official appointment letters, we arrived with our letters and picture ID in hand, with no cell phones or recording devices, yes, this was the only thing they insisted we not bring. The building is kind of sketchy looking, as Joel said, “if the lights were out I’d think it was abandoned.”

USCIS Building

A very nice security guard checked our credentials, handed us yet another short form to fill out, and sent us into the main lobby; a faded, pale blue room decorated with 20 year-old, government issue photos of purple mountains majesty, and other various all-American imagery, florescent lights, and rows and rows of hard, gray, plastic chairs. Everyone there looked very somber. We filled out our form and gave it all back to the nice security guard, who made a few extra marks and sent us into a line at the back of the pale blue room. When we got to the front of the line, another nice, cordial gentleman stamped our forms and gave us a number, and sent us into another, smaller, pale blue room, similarly adorned, to wait for our number to be called. Our numbers were called very quickly and we were again helped by very nice gentlemen. My prints took longer than Joel’s, they kept finding blank spots where the prints didn’t pick up on the computer. When we finished up with that, we were sent on our way. Simple as that.

Overall it was a quick and painless process. The first so far! So, now we wait again, hopefully for no more than a month, for our final document to come home to us. This will mean that our dossier is complete and we are in line for our little one. Whew!

Pardon me, may I see your biometrics?

Sheesh! Took ’em long enough but we finally received our fingerprinting appointment at USCIS. Or as they put it “USCIS must capture your biometrics”. I hope they warm up the equipment first *wakka wakka*. The strange thing is that two other families with our agency sent their I-600a application in within two or three days of us (one sent in after ours) and they both received their fingerprinting appointments weeks ago. The US government running in an unorganized fashion? I’m shocked … SHOCKED!

Fingerprinting Appointment Letter

The appointment is Jan. 2nd. What better way to shake off the New Year hangover and start the year on a good foot by being fingerprinted by Homeland Security? But when it’s for a good cause, USCIS can capture my biometrics any time 🙂

Another Step Closer

Joel talked to our Social Worker yesterday and she has finished our home study and put our I-600a in the mail! From here we will be getting a letter asking us to come in and get fingerprinted (again!) and then we wait for the I-171H to arrive. This process could take up to three months, but will hopefully be shorter. The I-171H is the last piece in the dossier puzzle, once we have it we can send the dossier to Vietnam! We’re creeping ever closer:)