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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adoption Timeline To-Date

Time is funny.  It can both creep along like a snail and fly by like a rocket.  I have never felt this more intensely than during this adoption process.  In fact often I loose complete perspective on time, it is a blur and I need reference points to reorient myself.  Especially since returning from trip 1.  Each day has been difficult, painful even at times and some seemed to last forever.  But now when I look back at the calendar I realize we have survived a full month away from our daughter and are now one month closer to be reunited.  It doesn't remove the pain of missing her but it gives me hope that we will get through this and one day look back at this time as a mere blip in our long lives together as a family.

To help remind myself that time is indeed moving along, pretty swiftly for an international adoption too, I started a timeline months ago.  Below is our current timeline.  We are now waiting for the Article 5 to be signed by both the US Embassy and the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria.  Once that happens it will trigger  the court date when we will legally and FINALLY become our daughters parents.  Best estimates are that signature should happen within the month and then the court date a week or two afterwards and travel up to a month after that.  My not so secret hopes, dreams, and prayers are that we are traveling sometime in March.  Stay tuned!


Adoption Timeline
April 24, 2012 – Rainbowkids.com contact referral form submitted to all Bulgarian agencies
April 25, 2012 –About a Child sends info regarding Penka to us
May 12, 2012 – First blog post
May 17, 2012 – Sent Signed Service Agreement and sent $$ to AAC to get matched with Penka
May 21, 2012 – Hired “Hearts Afire” to conduct our Home Study
May 31, 2012 – Preliminary match approved for Penka by Bulgarian NGO
June 7-8th, 12 - Eric and Beth have Doctor’s exams
June 18, 201 – Home Study
July 1, 2012 – Penka’s Birthday
July 9, 2012 – FBI Prints authenticated
July 16, 2012 – Care package shipped to Penka
August 7, 2012 – I800A application logged in by USCIS
August 22, 2012 - $$ sent to AAC for adoption fees
August 27th – USCIS Biometrics
August 30, 2012 – USCIS Pink Slip issue resolved!
September 14 – USCIS Approval
September 21 – Apostille’s done and Dossier sent to Bulgaria
September 26th – Dossier in process for translation and authentication
October 5, 2012 – First video of Penka and updated pictures received from FNA!
October 22, 2012 – Facebook post announcing adoption & asking for donations for orphanage
October 23, 2012 – Final payment made to AAC for remaining adoption fees
December 3, 2012 Official referral received, travel dates given for trip 1
December 14, 2012 Travel day for trip 1
December 17, 2012 First visit with Penka
December 21, 2012 Last day with Penka trip 1, official documents notarized and new legal name chosen
December 26, I800 mailed to USCIS

December 31, 2012 USCIS confirms receipt of I800
January 4, 2013 Updated medicals apostilled and sent to AAC
January 10, 2013 I800 approval date
January 14, 2013 received notice of 1800 approval
January 22, 2013 FNA successfully completes Visa interview on our behalf


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Memories of Snowy Haskovo...

Photos from Trip 1 to Haskovo, Bulgaria to meet our daughter Penka.  December 17-21, 2012.  Until the adoption is finalized we will not be posting any pics of Penka except for a few below that are from a distance to protect her identity in accordance with Hague Convention adoption regulations.  
Haskovo is famous for having the world's largest statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Tower next to the monument of Mary

Shot of the city of Haskovo

Taken from the steps of the monument








Traditional Bulgarian costume outside a restaurant

Taken from our hotel room at the Diamond Plaza



Church next to the orphanage



Older kids orphanage












Diamond Plaza Hotel