This post is a series of entries to document the 1-800 process.
However, since we were required to redo our adoption process in December 2014, it would be most helpful to check out this page: Steps and forms required after the referral.
May 9, 2014
Approved!!! We were at the dealership finalizing details for the purchase of a van large enough to fit our growing family. My iphone rang with the caller ID saying our adoption agency name. (Ohhh the knots that always causes inside of my stomach!!!) Our agency director told me he had just called USCIS to confirm that the RFE was received in time. The woman at the USCIS told him Mohale is APPROVED!!!
What’s next?? We await the official certificate of approval from the USCIS. Then we send a copy (via smart phone scan) to our agency. They will send that to Lesotho. Lesotho will begin the adoption process. Our agency guesses we will have travel approval for June or early July.
May 2, 2014. Friday.
Kristina prayed Monday for expediency. Emmie prayed this week that docs would be here by Friday. Not only did docs come in from Lesotho this morning, but our agency also express mailed them to USCIS this morning!!! Done!! Now we wait and pray that USCIS decides it is sufficient and approves Mohale to be adopted!!
April 24, 2014
I emailed our agency for a weekly update. I KNOW the agency is working hard and I know all those involved in the Central Authority of Lesotho are also to get the evidence requested by the USCIS fulfilled. Yet, The anxiety is still there as the six week deadline given to us by the USCIS is approaching next week. The agency reassured us that Lesotho realizes the deadline and will email all the docs to the agency as soon as they have them. The agency will then email them to the USCIS. The deadline on the paperwork is May 9. That’s two weeks from tomorrow.
April 4, 2014
I called our agency for an update. He said the long list that intimidated me can be simply fulfilled in Lesotho through the provision of a birth certificate and a letter from the Central Authority of Lesotho stating why Mohale is adoptable. Praying this is done SOON!! For all future referrals of children in Lesotho to American adopting families, these two requirements will be provided before they submit their i800 form- saving weeks of extra time and anxiety. Precious Mohale will be one year old this month. Aching to get him home. Yet, we are filled with His peace and trust His timing. (Most of the time.)
March 31, 2014
I called our agency first thing this morning. They were already working on the “proof of eligibility” list from the email I sent them earlier before they opened. All we can do now is pray, trust, wait and praise God for all He has done.
March 28, 2014
USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE.) This is a request for PROOF that a child is legally adoptable- ESSENTIAL in the world we live in. The list is three pages long of bullet points in tiny font. INTIMIDATING. There is a 45 day deadline to get this done. Ugh. I’ll be calling our agency on Monday. Our agency suspected this would happen since we are the first Americans to adopt since Lesotho became Hague. Good news is that this process protects children and families from unethical adoptions. Also, families adopting from Lesotho after us will likely not have to deal with this as the agency and Lesotho will have provided this before I-800 is submitted. Mohale is so far away. Aching for and praying for u tonight precious and beloved Mohale. You are so loved. Just as God loved us and planned our adoption- long before we knew Him. We are so loved.
March 22, 2014
USCIS notice of action received. Our application is being forwarded to The Hague Adoptions unit. The letter states it takes two weeks to get there. Then we await i800 approval.
March 20, 2014
We have not yet received notice from the USCIS that our i800 is being processed. I found this number for Uscis adoption related inquiries. They answered the phone and were helpful. Here’s the number for others who may need it: USCIS Adoption contact number: 877-424-8374
March 18, 2014
Invoice and surprise!!
We received an invoice today for the Lesotho country fee. The amount is for $12,000 due after we have I800 acceptance. Yet, the total was $9,900! Someone anonymously gave $2100 towards our adoption!! Beyond grateful!! And again, the amount was exactly miraculous. Words cannot express…
March 10, 2014. Forms.
Mailed I-800 today!!!! We’ve been told maybe 6-8 weeks until approval. Travel about 3-4 weeks after that.
Here’s an update on the ( i-800
link) forms. At the end of the form it requests that you fill out the i-864 or i-864w. FYI, the form the accompany the i800 for international adoption is the (i-864W
link). It’s only one page and very easy. Simply fill it out on behalf of the child you are adopting.
March 7, 2014
The latest on bringing home Mohale..
Our adoption agency director called this week and said Lesotho has done all necessary on their end to make precious Mohale adoptable!!! The i800 (USCIS clearance) is all that is standing between us and adoption. Our agency director said that since we are the first family since Hague that it is likely the Uscis will require additional evidence. If so, we will simply provide what they ask for. Then, as others follow, they will know to have families supply such up front. We r praying that no further evidence is requested and that this is crazy fast. We started the i800 this weekend. Ugh. it requests an additional form called the i-864. Not user friendly. I’ll keep notes for this and the other form that accompanies it to make it easier hopefully for others who are not comfortable with government forms. Calling the director Monday to walk me through these forms.
March 7, 2014 prayer request.
Yesterday, God answered the below prayer request before I even sent it out. Our licensing worker contacted me within the minute of writing the prayer request below. Below that is the amazing answer to prayer.
I just had to share.
March 6, 2014
We learned this morning from our Lesotho adoption director, that Mohale is ready to be adopted and come home. We only need to file i800 form and get USCIS approval. Since we are the first american family to adopt from Lesotho since Lesotho became a Hague country, he is not sure of timelines or even exactly what the USCIS will require. He suspects this will take 2-4 months. Yet if we bring baby Mohale home without a waiver from the county we loose baby J——. The max number of kids the county permits a foster family to have is six. J—– is number 6. Mohale will be number 7. I expressed my fear to the director and asked him “if we don’t get the waiver, what is the worse case scenario?” He responded “The worse case scenario would be that you will have to choose which child you are going to pursue.” Tears began to fill my eyes. “We cannot choose. How could we choose?! We believe God is bringing each of these boys to us!” He responded. “If God brought them, He will make it happen.” I asked the director to have his entire staff pray today for a waiver for J—– to stay. He agreed. I prayed and called our County Foster Care licensing worker, C. Now I am writing this email to ask all of you to pray. Our licensing worker is requesting a waiver from the supervisors. In the past, our requests have been denied. Please pray. God has removed every other obstacle up to this point. We’ve been told it’s a fight to get a waiver. We’ve been told the county may remove J—- after learning of Mohale. Praying for a miracle. Please please pray for waiver ASAP and for J—–‘s protection. Praying God gets glory from this. Praying both boys become adopted by our family and raised loving Him.
Thanks for praying.
Fast update!!! March 6, 2014
Not by might not by power but by my Spirit says The Lord. Zech 4:6
This is the way. Walk ye in it. Is 30:21
Again, He moved a mountain. Fast.
This morning after learning it was time to ask for a waiver, I felt Him speak to my heart “walk forward with your head high”. Peace came. But, I was still so frightened.
I emailed our licensing worker, C. She’s the one God used last month to get our license open to bring Joseph home. Our assigned worker had been unavailable so Cindy had “happened” to answer the phone. Within one hour, she assigned herself as our new permanent licensing worker and pushed thru three weeks of hoops. She was the vessel God used for that miracle.
So, today when I called about a waiver, hope grew when they referred me to C! I asked C if she remembered our kids had given their two years of pony fund savings to adopt from Africa “a child that wouldn’t otherwise be adopted.” She remembered. I told her we got a referral for a precious 10 mo old boy and yet I’m frightened because we need a waiver. C responded calmly “hmmm. Let me work on this. I’ll go talk with my supervisors.” I got off the phone wondering when and what we’d hear back from her. I felt nauseous.
Two hours later (felt like 10 hours) C called. “You can go get your baby!” She’d talked with the highest managers and asked them if they remembered seeing our family on the adopt 8 CBS news story in 2012. They did! She told me our story had melted all of their hearts back then. She explained our situation and my concerns to them. They told her to tell me to go get our African baby and bring him home (and to send pictures of the children together.). They will give us the waiver!!!!!
Baby Mohale, here we come!!!
Mohale and J—– are 9 months apart- precious brothers soon:) The kid’s hearts are full.
Praising Him today!!! Again!!!!
Thank you for praying!
Latest picture of baby Mohale!
Now we are praying for expedient i800 approval from our USCIS. And for a larger vehicle:) Wondering what He is going to do next!
Court for J—– is on March 25. Praying he’s moved from foster into foster-adopt. Two more court dates after that (at least) before he can be adopted. That could be sometime next year.