Thank you sweet friends for still praying for us and asking us how it's going. As of right now, we are still in the waiting process. We had our biometrics appointment on Friday, 10/28. On average, it takes 2-4 weeks to get the approval from USCIS after that, and then once we receive that, we get put on the wait list with our agency for our referral!! We've been told the wait time is about 6 months to get our referral once we're on the wait list. As you can imagine, we are very excited to get to that point! To see the picture of our future son, and to know his background.
However, right now where we are is hard. We have, a month later, still not received our approval. We've been watching blogs of others adopting from Ug*nda, as well as friends adopting from other countries and it has been quick for them. Some received their approval in 5 days! Some did their biometrics after us and received their approval weeks ago, but still we wait. I did not want to be the person that calls when nothing is wrong, but I had this fear that I got the letter, and somehow threw it away on accident. So last Friday (11/25) I called our officer assigned to our case at USCIS. I had left a message Tuesday, but never heard back. I didn't really expect to get anyone, especially not our officer, but she answered the phone! I waited patiently while she looked through our file and then was told "your case has not been approved yet, I will contact you if I need additional materials, etc." Immediately I thought there was a reason it hadn't been approved. So I asked, "is there something wrong that you can see? Are we missing some of the paperwork or something?" I was met with, "no, not at all, I've just been busy, I haven't gotten to your case yet."
It's weird, I actually felt relief after she said that, and I give God all the glory for that one! In my previous life, I would have given her some words that would not have helped our case, and would have been angry or hurt! But, at least I know where we stand, and I'm praying that my phone call was the prompting to get ours looked at :). I'm also very happy I didn't toss out the paperwork we need!
So now we wait. We've been praying and reading and learning and waiting, and it's been refining. It's a nice, distracting time of year, so it keeps our minds busy. We heard from our agency today on some changes at the embassy in Ug*nda and so we're also praying about those. No one is quite sure what they mean for families in the process. It might mean longer in country. It might mean 2 trips instead of one. So will you please pray for us? So that our path continues to be made clear to us?
As far as fundraising goes, I thought I'd give totals from now on. It's just too hard to keep up with the side totals I had (but I put them on our timeline page so I wouldn't forget how God and you all blew us away!). So, estimated need per our agency is $24,666.50. We're just going to go with that number, even though they had $0 in there for medical expenses. In regards to our physicals, we've already had over $800 we've paid for doctor's visits (2 each) and lab work. Love that insurance ;) (on a side note, I'm totally kidding, as much as I dislike ours (how much it is, what little it covers), we know we are BLESSED to even have medical coverage and the opportunity for every type of doctor we could possibly need at our fingertips!).
We've had some more donations, some more bead sales, some sales of items on craigslist, and 50% of my Juice in the City money, so our total raised to date is......drum roll............ $12,584.60!!! That's just over 50% my friends, and the majority of that was collected in 2-3 months right after we started the process! Every expense has been paid, we have money sitting in savings waiting on the next expenses. We will probably, after the new year, start with a new push for fundraising. We still need (lots of!) money to travel. And though we don't know when (or even try to guess as we wait on God's perfect timing for our family) that will be, it usually comes up quick. They call and give you a weeks notice or so until your court date, so we'll need to have the funds ready and waiting.
Just wanted to thank you all for the support. I love questions, they don't bother me, so please comment or shoot me an email if you have any.