This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We're all in agreement

We are still elated thinking about the judge's decision to grant our petition and allow us to adopt our children from Brazil. Our minds are racing wondering what we need to do to get ready, and our hearts are "oh so happy," as James put it today.

We're not sure when we'll actually be leaving for Brazil to meet our children, because there's still a small mountain of paperwork to accomplish. Back in our post entitled Hope, we started to explain some of the tangle of red tape that needed to be straightened out before everything can be legal, final, and just as we desire it to be. Well, three weeks after that posting, we understand the process better, and I'm going to spell it out here so that the record of our journey is as accurate as we can make it for our children, so that everyone who reads this can pray that God will carry us through these next few steps, and so that anyone who follows behind us on this path will have a better idea of what to expect. I'm working this out as I go, so things may not turn out the way we expect them to (they almost never do), but here's what I've deduced so far:
  • Judge decided to grant our petition!!!
  • We start working on our USCIS I-800 application, and all the documentation that goes with it. Lino has to get copies of the kids' birth certificates, so we asked him to get more photos and info about clothes/shoe sizes while is at their home.
  • CEJA creates a document called an acordo, which is an agreement between the Judge, CEJA, and the US Department of State
  • Until very recently (a couple weeks ago) no one knew who, from the US Department of State would sign the acordo, since the Hague Treaty changed all the rules. Seems like it's almost all sorted out (thanks to another AWAA family getting their acordo before us) now and we should be able to be one of the first families to creep through the new channel.
  • When the acordo is all signed, a Letter of Invitation (LOI) is generated
  • A copy of that letter comes to us so we can get visas, a quick 2-day process
  • The letter itself goes to the US consulate in Rio because they will be the ones to issue visas to our children. (Visas that make them automatically US citizens when we arrive home.)
  • USCIS approves our I-800 application which ensures visas for each of the children
  • Meanwhile, Lino makes our court appointments and we make our travel arrangements
So, it's still a pretty complicated process, but until the judge gave us her YES, it was all paused. We've pressed play, and we'll make it to the bottom of the paperwork list and to Brazil as soon as we can.


Julia said...

Wow, what a process! Good luck with each of these next steps.

Trixie said...

Keep us all up to date while you can because soon comes the day all this bloggin' will come to a squeakin' halt with all those younguns runnin' around! Heh heh!