We received some rather unexpected, but utterly fantastic, news yesterday from our dear Sara E., of Celebrate Children International, the agency facilitating our adoption. Ready for this?
We are OUT of Parquet.
That big bad black hole. Out. Done. Hasta la vista.
First disbelief set in. Then relief. Then we complete and utter joy. We are one HUGE step closer to bringing these kids home. WHOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Our file right now is in the MOJ (or is it DOJ?), where by the end of next week, the finalized, legalized adoption decree will be signed, making us the legal parents of our two boys. We will then be the parents of five.
From the DOJ, we enter the realm of MOI. Not the greatest place to be, but way better than Parquet. MOI is basically passport preparation, and then our passports are printed.
Now one would think that with a legal decree, and a passport, we could bring these kids home. But not so fast. I will try to explain it all for those of you non-adopting folk, but bear with me, it is very convoluted.
The US government then gets involved. Which should tell you right there that this process gets dragged out even longer.
Last night, I contacted the Wisconsin USCIS office regarding the filing of our I-600. Just last week, the thought of contacting this office or filing the I-600 seemed like a lifetime away. Last night, it seemed so surreal. This morning I received their response. In true government fashion, it was poorly and vaguely worded. Just the slap of reality I needed to take away that hazy, happy fog I was floating about in.
Milwaukee (ideally) approves our paperwork, which is then sent on to the National Visa Center (or something like that) out East. From there it is sent on to the US Consulate office in Port au Prince.
((Laura McBride quite eloquently posted about the rest of the process, so I am going to post what she wrote on her blog, since she has explained it far better than I ever could. Laura posted specifically about their situation, so I'm going to edit it a bit for a generalized look at the rest of our process:))
The US Consulate office then schedules the birth parent interview. In order for that appointment to take place, the children's passports must first be printed and their birth parents needto actually be able to attend the appointment. Once that appointment has taken place, and if that US office deems that she/he/they is/are indeed the birth mom, then we can schedule our appointment with the Consulate and then the children's visa's will be printed and they can come home. We're talking a matter of weeks here people!
What could hold a case up? If passports aren't ready, that appointment can't take place. If the birth parent(s) doesn't show up, the appointment will have to be rescheduled. And, if that office doesn't believe that the birth parent is who they says they are, then they can require DNA testing on her and both the children. This could add up to 6 weeks more wait time AND it could cost us around $900!
Somewhere in here the US Consulate also requires a medical examination of the children, so that is another appointment to through in there as well.
Best case scenario:
- Passports are printed and ready in a reasonable timeframe
- Birth parents attend the appointment as scheduled
- US office signs off on all paperwork and schedules our visa appointment
- The kids can be brought home as quickly and smoothly as possible
Worst case scenario:
- Passports aren't ready and appointment must be rescheduled
- Birth parents miss appointment and it is rescheduled again
- US office requires DNA testing
- We add weeks to months onto the process
-THAT WOULD REALLY STINK!-
(Thanks to Laura for a great explanation!).
So, where does that leave us as to when the boys come home?!? Only the Good Lord knows!!! We could possibly have them home in a couple of months, or we could quite possibly have them home this summer. Either way, we know that the end is coming and they will be brought HOME!