We received notification today in the mail today for our appointment for fingerprinting! Immigration orders us to appear at a certain time, and our answer must be, “Why yes, we’d love to!” Fortunately, we don’t have any schedule conflicts!
What does this mean? From our understanding, our process goes something like this:
Our fingerprints, which we will have taken on September 22nd, are required before our file is complete to receive pre-approval from the US government to adopt internationally. Once we receive this approval, we’ll be able to send off our paperwork to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After our paperwork is received by the Congo, our case goes to court, which takes 1-3 months. Then there is a 30 appeal period. Once the appeal period is up, the case should be approved by the Congo.
Then we go back to get final approval from the United States, which takes 3-8 weeks.
After that, we apply for visas for emmigration, which take 1-2 weeks.
Then we travel for our Embassy appointment, and to get our kids and bring them home!
We were told a last month that the our expected timeline was that we would travel by the end of this year, or the beginning of next, but given where we are and all that has to happen, I don’t see how it will be possible for us to travel by the end of the year. While disappointing, since I hoped to combine my Christmas break with travels, and get an extra year of tax benefits, the process is still going remarkably fast by international adoption standards. Most importantly, every minute that a child — our children– spend in an orphange is a minute too long.
But we celebrate every small step, and each day that passes, because we’re one day closer to bringing our family together!