Edited to add: We now have Delay #5. When we do finally receive our approval from USCIS, we will most likely have to have it not only re-notarized, but also re-certified. This means I have to drive AGAIN, 1 1/2 hours each way, to the Secretary of State to have this re-certified. I want to scream! I just have to remember what I tell Jude when he starts to freak out about stuff, "Is this a BIG problem or a SMALL problem?" In the grand scheme of things, this is a small problem. But it is oh so frustrating, nonetheless!
My patience is wearing thin. It was two weeks ago now that I posted this about our exuberance at receiving Immigration approval of our change of country, which we thought meant being basically done with our dossier. We thought that all we had left to do was to bring it to the Secretary of State and have everything certified.
But, no, apparently, it is not yet our time to have our dossier in Ethiopia because we are encountering one delay after another.
1st delay -- Immigration took over 8 weeks to process our change of country approval.
2nd delay -- As we were getting all of our documents ready to be certified by the TX Sec of State, we realized that we had two letters that were notarized elsewhere, thus needed to be certified elsewhere. So off they went to Illinois and Wisconsin. We overnighted them and assumed our dossier would be out that week.
3rd -- On March 23rd, I drove all of our documents to the TX Sec of State to be certified. Done. On March 25th, we received the document certified from the WI Sec of State. YAY -- DONE! So here comes the next delay. It turns out that the IL Sec of State is backlogged. It took them 10 days to get our document back to us. I received word yesterday that we could pick it up from the post office today. Okay, we'd jumped the third hurdle!
4th -- As we were about to celebrate the completion of our dossier, we decided to check with Immigration on whether they had processed our request for two children. [Aside: Originally, we were told that we could send our dossier to Ethiopia and begin our wait for twins without having this approval, that we could send the approval later.] We are planning to adopt twins, so our Social Worker had to send an addendum to USCIS approving us for two children rather than just one. She sent this on March 5th. I hear back from Immigration now -- ONE MONTH LATER, after I emailed yesterday inquiring about the status, that they don't have the documents they need to process the request and we need to send in more paperwork.
Meanwhile, I hear from the director of our agency (Adoption Avenues) that he would prefer that we wait to send in our dossier until we receive Immigration approval for two children, as it may be confusing to the orphanage and it's costly for us to send it later. He said we *could* send it now, but that it would be better to wait. We don't want to make it any more difficult for anyone, so we're going to wait. But let me tell ya, yesterday felt like one big April Fool's joke from an adoption paperwork perspective.
I do ultimately know that this is all meant to be, and that all of these delays will lead us to the children that were meant to be in our family. I believe this whole-heartedly. Yet, I am the type of person that just likes to "get 'er done" and this delay after delay after delay + all of the bureaucracy is driving me freakin' nuts. Sorry, grandma, I know you don't like when I use that word, but it is!!!