I am growing up so fast!

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Amanda's age

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For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On our way to get Amanda's sister in a week

Sweet Amanda doesn't know it yet, but her big sister Eva will meet mommy and daddy in a week and a few days. Luckily for us, one of our RR moms may be allowed to see Amanda while she is visiting her Andrea. We may even get a video and new pictures!! PTL, we are the luckiest parents ever! Thanks Christina, I hope the orphanage allows you to see our sweetie.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Can you say DUH?

I can't believe it, I must be more distracted than I thought, I left the credit card charge slip out of my FBI paperwork for the fingerprints, so I had to send that today. This will delay them a bit. How could I have done such a thing?!

Thankfully Gabe (Congresswoman Giffords' constituent liaison) is once again helping us expedite the prints, so it should not cause too much of a delay. Last time the FBI got the prints back to us in 8 days!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fingerprints on the way to the FBI

Amanda in August

Arizona has not made it easy for adoptive parents in quite a few ways; but the main one affecting us; AZ does not provide international adopters with a state police clearance letters. So for the 4Th time in less than a year we are got our fingerprints done for a police clearance. We already KNOW we have no record, we were cleared 3 times, but none of the previous clearances can be used for our dossier for Estonia.

So these are on their way to FBI and prayerfully they will be returned quickly. It is the last document we need for Estonia, we do still need the pictures they requested, I took some of the house, but we need one done of the family, and it is usually me who takes all of the pictures and did I mention I hate having my picture taken? In 8,000 pictures in my computer, there are maybe 20 of me.........

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We are so grateful

Estonia has agreed to waive our pre-visit, so we will not be making two trips, thus saving us a considerable amount of money for the actual adoption. Since we have a daughter with Down syndrome , we feel we know what to expect from her diagnosis, and happily they agreed with us. We are PTL for this gift.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I-171H just came in the mail

It's here, and now for the police clearance letter. Pretty sure it will be an FBI clearance again, the local police are saying they can't help. :o(

Friday, October 5, 2007

I-171H is completed

The I-171H was in my inbox when I got home, the CIS here emailed us a copy while we wait for the original to get here. Praising the lord right now, everything has seemed to fall into place to bring Amanda home quickly, she has waited for a family long enough. We sent it in September 20 and we have it here October 5. A little over 2 weeks! We are so grateful, especially to Lawana at CIS for her caring help, she has been such a sweetheart.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Dancing Here in Tucson

Meghan 2001
I talked to CIS today, Lawana said she had my letter and the paperwork in front of her and was processing the I-171H as we spoke. She was uncertain whether we could adopt from two countries at once, as her superior had told her we could not, but that was using the I-824 to change countries. I assured her I know of 3 other families who were doing the same. This may cause a glitch, I hope not.
Still Lawana indicated she was mailing the I-171H to us today and we should have it Friday or Saturday. WOW, that was so fast! We just need the police letters and we are done with the paper gathering for the dossier for Estonia.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Some progress made

I checked our bank account and CIS has cashed our check for the I-600A, that did not happen for a few weeks the first time. We also got our appointments for fingerprinting, but we don't need that done again, so we contacted CIS and they said it was a mistake and to disregard it.

The I-171H should be wired to Estonia very soon!
We are trying to get our pre-visit waived, please add your prayers to ours that Estonia will allow it. I know that with God's help, we will have our Amanda home by early summer next year!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I-600A is on it's way

Wow, I can't believe we are doing another one, I remember the first one was a huge deal when we sent it. We just want them to hurry this time, as Amanda is waiting too, and she has waited long enough!!
Dossier 80% complete!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Update on our progress

We are 70% done with our Estonian dossier, we have three more documents to complete this. We do need to have an I-171H from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS for short) that says Estonia, our current I-171H says we are approved to adopt two girls from Ukraine. So that needs to be changed if we want the dossier completed for Amanda's adoption.

It seems it is not so easy to change paperwork for the CIS. We thought we could file a simple form; I-824, and change the I-171H to allow us to adopt from both countries but a message last night from CIS informed us that we could not do this. We have to wait until our adoption in Ukraine is complete before we can request the I-171H be changed to Estonia and then this change wired to the consulate in Estonia. We risk losing the paper approval for Ukraine if we try to change the I-171H now, and we will not risk Eva's adoption.

Our agency for Estonia is very motivated to get us approved as soon as possible and wants the I-171H changed quickly, so our only recourse is to file another I-600A for Estonia and one child. We do not want to lose Amanda due to any delays, we have already lost one beloved little girl.

What is an I-600? I-600A?? I-171H? I-824? Click Here to read about it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

No new news to report

We have everything together and sent it to Estonia for our application. Hoping to hear from our agency once they have it.
I talked to our home study agency yesterday and Anne will be bringing over our new corrected home study copies tomorrow or Tuesday. I will call USCIS to get them to wire Estonia our copy of the I-171H with Estonia on it instead of Ukraine. We already have Ukraine's.
Having never adopted before, we are not at all sure what it will be like to adopt from two countries virtually at the same time, but we get to see 2 countries we have never seen before and are excited about that. I think it might be easier to adopt one little girl at a time with a few months apart than two at the same time.
We will definitely need to do some fund raising, maybe take out an adoption loan, whatever we have to do to get the funds for our Estonian adoption. We will be ready when it is time to travel!
If you know anyone looking for a tax deduction this year they can contribute to our grant fund at: http://www.reecesrainbow.com/sponsorlevario.htm They will be helping a sweet little girl come home to her forever family!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A quote I liked

Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before,
but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God---
Ram Dass

With hope we move forward

Please meet Amanda Kristel (Krist elle), we are beginning the process to adopt her from Estonia and are so excited.

We "met" little Amanda in April when we were considering adopting her after Ukraine had shut down the SDA and then parliament had instituted the 45 year age limit law (which has been vetoed thank goodness) Right after we decided to stay with Ukraine and our beloved Joy, Amanda found a new forever family. Tom was a little sad about it as he had thought we could go to Estonia after we had adopted Joy and adopt Amanda. We were happy for her though, as we thought she would be coming home with her forever family when we brought Joy home.

That was not to be for her or for us; she lost her forever family about the same time we lost Joy. Providence? We think so, God knew Tom loved little Amanda, and she never really left our thoughts, where I was 100% committed to adopting Joy, so was he to Amanda.

So while it may seem like a shock that we have committed to adopt her so soon after we lost Joy, in reality she had been in our hearts and in our adoption plans for quite some time.

While we wait for our dossier to be submitted to Ukraine's SDA, we are compiling one for Estonia.

Please "stay tuned" for updates of our progress with her adoption. You can read about our little Eva at http://ukieadoptmom.blogspot.com/, with God's help we will be bringing Eva home before the end of the year. Amanda will follow in the spring.

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once