Tuesday, June 29, 2010

USCIS Biometric Appointment!

"Once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints will last forever."
We have our last set of fingerprints to take. This time it is for our 1600A (Application for Advance Processing or Orphan Petition) through US Citizenship and Immigration. Our appointment is on July 22nd! It seems a little far away, I thought it would be sooner but I'm so thankful we will be in town. We have several trips already planned that I'm glad it's in between these summer vacations and visits. We don't have to drive to far- just up the freeway to Santa Ana.

After we receive our CIS 1600A approval, we send our dossier (which is pretty much completed just waiting until after the fingerprinting to do our final medical forms) off to be authenticated at the federal level in DC and then it goes to the Rwanda Embassy (in DC). Everything has already been authenticated at the state levels. After that it's off to Rwanda!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Poem To My New Son

The other day I was reflecting on the parallel relationship between God's pursuit of me and all He did for me before I even knew or cared who He was and the relationship between me and my child to be in Rwanda. God did all these things for me, His child, before I knew Him or understood what it meant to know Him. Now I am doing these things for my child. So I wrote a poem to my child about it. I cry when I read it thinking about how God has been so good to me and what is yet to come. These pictures are from previous trips to Kenya and not directly related to our Rwandan adoption (although it's all been part of the journey).

Before You Knew Me
by Tristen McGhee

Before you knew me I was searching for you.
Before you knew me I was praying for you.
Before you knew me I already loved you.
Before you knew me, I knew you.
No ocean is too wide to separate us.
No obstacle is too large to stand between us.
No wait is to long to suspend us.
Before you loved me, I loved you.
I will calm you fears with my gentle love.
I will understand your sadness with my intentional love.
I will soothe your anger with my steadfast love.
Before you believed in me, I believed in you.
God adopted me before I adopted you.
God made me His child before I made you mine.
God came to me before I came to you.
Before you trusted me, I trusted God.
Because God did these things for me, I can do them for you.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Homestudy Completed!!

This is a happy, happy moment! The long road to completing our home study is finished. We should get the hard copy soon. It's already been edited and reviewed by our international adoption agency, Gladney. It has been more than I expected. How so?... I didn't realize how much of the paperwork process would be out of your control. There is a lot of hurry up and wait- but going into it I didn't know that the hurry up would lead to the wait. I kept thinking the hurry up was leading to being done... and now it is!! Yippee!

So what is next? Once we get our hard copy we will send it in along with our I-600A form to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS for short. I think the purpose is that they will determine if we qualify to adopt a child. It seems like the home study approves us as prospective adoptive parents in our state, the I-600A approves us for US adoption and the dossier for Rwanda is like the application asking the Rwanda government if we can adopt from their country. I'm sure it's more complex than that but that's my interpretation of it all (at this point). CIS will notify us once they get our paperwork and then we are required to do more fingerprinting as part of the application. Once we get our CIS approval we will then complete our dossier and mail it off to Rwanda. Then Rwanda will (hopefully) send us our approval letter to adopt from their country. They will then start the process of matching us with a child, a boy between 9 months and 4 years old. After a 3-9 month wait we will be notified of a referral- which is basically a match!

The other weekend as we were waiting for the final review of our home study I made a new baby quilt for our son-to-be in Rwanda. I made it hoping it will be a special blanket he will carry everywhere- kind of like Linus's security blanket. I plan to bring it to Rwanda when we go. My son, Gaven, never attached to a blanket or stuffed animal so who knows if our other son will or not. Nevertheless I wanted to have a special quilt ready for him. My husband says our son Gaven never had the need for a security blanket because he had me around all the time... guess I was the security blanket :) I'm honored to be able to be that again for another precious little boy.