A few weeks ago we filled out our i600a forms to mail off. Those were sent to Dallas, TX and somehow made it to the Department of Homeland Security. Is that in TX? Probably, because they have all the guns, right? No jokes, got it. It never occurred to me to make copies of all those documents, but that would have been a very smart thing. Lesson learned in case we adopt again. Well, after that was mailed off we were matched with Gia (yay!) and then promptly sent a mess load of more documents to fill out. Let me see if I can remember them all...
- tax documents (all, not just the top copy) from the past 3 years
- travel form
- affidavit for EP
- statement of adoption
- travel release
- placement agreement
- transmittal form
- marriage license
- birth certificates
- my favorite BBQ recipe from my mother
- burned cd of my last itunes purchase
- essay on why Gilmore Girls is the best written show ever
Ok, those last three may be made up, but WOW it felt like we were sending anything and everything about our lives.
It took us about a week to gather everything, notarize a lot of the papers, and get Kevin back in town to sign them. And then I read it. I scanned through the instructions on the Holt email again and I saw where it said the primary parent was the one who had to fill out the 864 forms. Who is that exactly? Well, the primary parent is the same one who filled out the aforementioned i600a. You know, the one we sealed up weeks ago never to be looked at again. That very one! So a new set of anxieties set it.
If I fill it out incorrectly, will it delay our travel?
If so, how long will we have to wait?
Can't I just call and ask the people who the primary parent is?
If they can't/won't tell us, should we just sent two copies filled out by each of us?
These, and many other, questions swam around my brain for about three days. I finally sat on my bed and asked God to please give me a peace about who's name we put on the i600a so that I could get this other paperwork sent off. And He did. Hallelujah. I took my peaceful God-given confidence and filled the 864 out as me being the primary parent. As it turns out, that was exactly right, so we at least know those papers were correct.
Side note: I did call the TX people several times but they kept telling me I'd have to wait for a confirmation in the mail before they could tell me.
After a stressful week of paperwork, we overnighted the papers ($79 by the way) Monday. Korea will *prayerfully* be getting our papers next week, and we will officially be on the waiting list for an EP (emigration permit). Only a certain amount of EPs are released each year. The quota will reset in January, so we are praying that we will be in one of the first groups. Once Gia's EP is approved we will travel to get her!
Again, we are praying for April travel. We have had many kind and educated people explain to us how unlikely this is. We are fine with that. I've said it several times in the past two weeks and I'll say it again: We serve a big God. He can make it happen if it's in His will. We are soberly aware that this is a long shot, but we simply don't care. :) God is going to do mighty things through our prayers, even if it's only to change our hearts and teach us patience.
I want to take just a minute to brag on God. We were matched with Gia on a Thursday. Friday is when we received all the acceptance paperwork. Part of that paperwork was an invoice for $18,500. I immediately emailed Holt back and asked when the money was due. Their response: upon acceptance. What?! We ended up agreeing on a monthly payment plan, but they were clear that they needed money asap in order to process the paperwork. Saturday morning I woke up to a $500 check in the mail from some very sweet college friends of ours. They had no idea how God-ordained their timing was. And then, we went to visit some other friends who gave us a precious card with a $1000 gift. Seriously! Another God timing thing. I don't think any of these people desire recognition, but they know who they are. THANK YOU!! Y'all have shown us how wonderful God is through His people. We only hope to be able to do the same for others in the future. Those couples are not the only generous people that have helped us, but they are the most recent. We are completely grateful to every single one of you that have donated or bought shirts. We love you and can't wait for Gia to meet you!