Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Today I got a text from the US Customs and Immigration Services confirming they have received and logged in our I800A application. This brief little text represents months of prep work including a full Home Study process with a social worker two different sets of fingerprints, state and FBI background clearances, US State Dept apostilling of the FBI documents, and many many Fed-Ex shipping fees. We now sit and wait to be called in for yet another fingerprinting session and then finally the approval to send our dossier to Bulgaria. I have heard the USCIS can take up to 12 weeks to complete the approval of our application. That is way outside my comfort zone and patience capacity. At the suggestion of our case worker I included a cover letter with picture of Penka and a brief request for expedited handling due to her age. I hope and pray that does the job so we can keep this process moving. We feel the pressure of each day ticking by, acutely aware that Penka has spent another day in an orphanage possibly losing hope of ever having a family. To reassure her of our commitment and help her get to know us better I made her a scrapbook of our family, our home, and Oregon. It was finally delivered to the Bulgarian agency a week ago after sitting in customs way to long and hopefully it is on its way to her now. We have already begun to think of her as our daughter and growing to love her and anxious to meet her. I hope that comes through in the scrapbook and that she is as excited about being a part of our family as we are. We have a lot going on in our lives, my grad school, our general work lives, Jamie's taekwondo, summer swimming at the club pool every night, Cub Scouts but none of that distracts us from thinking about Penka all day every day. We miss her and we haven't even met her. We feel her void and she has never set foot in our home. Our hearts and lives are so open and ready to receive her that every day we ache with a longing for her we never could have expected. When we were busy on our "paper chase" preparing to submit the I800A and creating the care package for her there was a bustle of activity and purpose that helped us feel like we were actively engaged in bringing her home. Now all we can do is sit and wait and it is so much harder than I imagined even though it is a notoriously common feeling and talked about in adoption circles ad nauseam. It will only get worse once the dossier is sent over to Bulgaria and we are then waiting for an official written referral and travel date. As hard as it is for us to wait I worry more about how Penka is doing with the wait time. I pray she believes our intentions to be sincere and she is hopeful and excited. I also pray that after all these years in an orphanage that her heart is still open to loving and being loved. There is an amazing future in store for our family and she is an integral part of that. Until then I am using my power of positive intentions to try and influence the cosmic powers to push along our application and I am going to go give a giant hug and kiss to the child I am blessed to already have under my roof.