Saturday, December 11, 2010

Homestudy ✓ Next up: USCIS

How exciting - we are officially past the first step in the adoption process! We received the finalized homestudy today. We went to the post office to pick it up, put one of the notarized copies in the envelope to USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) and got right back in line to mail off the I600A (application for advance processing of orphan petition). It will be received in Texas by 3PM on Monday. The government website says processing takes 2.5 months, but I've heard it can be faster.

Our homestudy was delayed a few extra days because we found out that Wide Horizons has a rule that requests for siblings must cover a 4-year range. We had originally put 12-36 months on our application, and we had to change it to 0-48 months. When our homestudy agency told us (it seemed to be news to them, too), Tabb agreed pretty quickly, but I took a couple of extra days just to sleep on it and make sure I was OK with it. Then on Tuesday I realized (on a beautiful walk home from work) that my uncertainty about changing the numbers on our homestudy had nothing to do with the ages of the children we want or feel able to parent, and everything to do with wanting to feel like I can control something in this process. Which is silly, because if there's one thing I know about international adoption it's that I can't control anything. And this realization was a very nice feeling, because I really love those rare moments when I feel that things are completely out of my control. It's so freeing.

Our final homestudy says one child 12-36 months or siblings 0-48 months.


  1. Yay!!
    Congratulations on completing that first big step!
    And I hope hope hope for you that your USCIS experience is quick and easy.
    As for me, still waiting on USCIS, I would be very happy with 2.5 months at this point :)

  2. Congrats on your home study. The age thing can be a big decision. We just changed our 0-4 sibling request to 0-4.5. We agonized over the .5, which now just seems silly. In the end, you're right, there's very little you can control. Maybe that's why I made such a big deal about adding half of a year! Hopefully USCIS will move quickly. We did that about a year ago, but ours only took about three weeks before we got our fingerprint appointment.

  3. Congrats on getting that step completed.

  4. CIS should be running smoother after the mess last summer when they were switching over, and some were still stuck with submitting to the local office.

    I actually did drive my social worker batty trying to decide 0-5 or 0-6. Every day I changed back and forth. In the end it didn't matter. Since the doc there said one is 4-5, I would have had the boys even if I had gone 0-5 instead of 0-6.

  5. Congratulations! Hope the USCIS hurries thing up! We could use some speed in that department too : )
    I am excited for you : )

  6. Very exciting - it's a big milestone! Hope USCIS is fast for you!

  7. COngrats! That's an important milestone and I am very glad you are comfortable with your requested age range. Like Kristin W we are considering extending our range...we'll see about that. For now it's staying 0-4. Yes, so much is out of our control and the sooner you realize it the better off you'll be. You learned your lesson WAY earlier than I did...I'm still working on it actually =)

  8. Congratulations on the big step! We are still getting over jet lag since coming home from Ethiopia last week. As much as it's hard to wait and to not be in forget about all of those things when you finally get to hold your child.

  9. Hi Kyra, I also posted this on your last post, but thought I'd add it here just in case you missed it! :)

    We're in Maine--and we've been waiting since May (6 1/2 months, not that ANYONE around here is counting) :)

    No blog--but I do have you? My profile has my email too if you want to email.

    Oh and congrats on finishing your home study! USCIS took about 1.5 months total for us from first mailing to getting our I-171H back. I hope it's that way for you too!

  10. It sounds like USCIS may take less than it says on the website... but I don't want to get my hopes up!