Battle Cry: Part 2
“A battle cry is a yell or chant taken up in battle, usually by members of the same combatant group.”
Thank you for crying out to the Father with us last month! We are thankful to have you in our “combatant group.” Several of our battles were won! Our adoption process moved at hyper-speed during the first part of the month, we hit a standstill the last half of the month, and we ended the month with a big dose of adoption drama. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the ups and downs of this emotional roller coaster! Even so, I am amazed at all God allowed us to accomplish in just a few weeks. Let’s celebrate what He did:
Overview: God is good, He answered our prayers, and He continues to move this process along in HIS perfect timing! Read more about it below:
-Last month, we asked y’all to pray for those very important documents called “Originals” to arrive from India because our case was stuck without them. Praise Jesus, I’m happy to report that we received them on January 13th (Just 1 week after we asked you to pray!) Our agency was literally SHOCKED, as they didn’t expect to see them until mid-February! Thank you for praying for that request specifically. We were able to notarize (thanks Lori!) and state certify them quickly. They are being sent to India THIS WEEK with the giant stack of adoption paperwork we completed back in October. This is what will help us receive approval (NOC-read about it below) from India. Pray they make it safely and that everyone is pleased with reading our entire life story on 1 million pieces of paper.
We were also able to do our Psychological Evaluations (that brand new India adoption requirement) on January 15th. They went well and our reports are FINALLY finalized CORRECTLY as of yesterday afternoon. Woohoo! Our social worker finished our Home Study update too, which needed to include a new section about these new reports. Thankfully, this was a relatively cheap [but not as easy as it should have been] update. (This was Home Study number 6 AND 7 for us - it's a long story, friends #bffswithoursocialworker). Home Study number 6 arrived yesterday morning, and number 7 (which is *hopefully* the correct one) should arrive via FedEx in just a few hours.
Both our Psych. Evals and our Home Study were actually drafted by January 19, but we had to sit and wait for 2 WEEKS until someone had time to approve them. Granted, that person was out of the country for those 2 weeks, so I will cut her some slack and repent of my attitude over those 2 weeks. We celebrated as we finally got both documents in our hands yesterday, only to find out that one of them was wrong...which actually meant that BOTH of them were wrong since the dates had to match exactly. You would think that after almost 5 years in the adoption process that I would have grown in the areas of patience and rational responses to unforeseen circumstances....but it is apparent sometimes that I still have some room to grow and that our gracious God is still trying to teach me these things. Prayerfully, everything will be in Marcus's hands today, and he will be able to get them state certified and back to our agency by tomorrow. As soon as they arrive at our agency, they will join that giant stack of paperwork and head off into the Indian sunset together.
Here are some specific ways to pray with us this month:
Overview: Pray for I800, Article 5, NOC, and our son’s development. Read more about these below.
1. Because those Originals arrived, we were able to apply for our next US Immigration approval, the I800, on January 16. This grants approval for us to classify our adoptee as an immediate relative- aka as our SON. There has already been some drama surrounding this form as well. At one point, no one could tell us where it was located. FedEx said it arrived, Immigration said it still hadn’t been logged into the system after 2 weeks...but (after I panicked for a bit) it was finally found and is now in process. We also got part of our application sent back to us to redo because somehow I filled out an old edition of the exact same form. (Seriously, the only difference is a tiny revision date in the bottom corner.) I literally can’t find that old edition anywhere online so I have NO IDEA how that happened. Someone [Abby] said it was just the “Dependent Fairy,” keeping us dependent on God. (I don’t know whether to love or hate that fairy sometimes, but he or she has visited us a lot this week, it seems.) It is also a mystery to my agency and to the United States Immigration officers I spoke with how the rest of our application moved forward and continued processing while that other part got sent back to us. No one can really explain it to us, but we are praising God for forward movement in the midst of this backward movement. Anyway, that part I messed up has now been corrected, and our I800 approval should arrive in the mail sometime in the next 2 weeks...barring any more drama, of course.
2. As soon as we get that I800, we can file a form called the DS-260. This is our son’s US Visa application. (This is getting REAL, you guys!) Once we receive that electronic confirmation, we can apply for Article 5. This letter is given by the US Embassy in New Delhi. It basically states that we’ve been found suitable to adopt and that our son can enter and live permanently in the US. After alllllll those approvals, the ball moves to India’s court. (Metaphorically and literally - lol)
3. So, then we will need India to grant us a No-Objection Certificate (NOC). This is a VERY big deal. It means that India’s adoption officials have no objections to our adoption and we can move toward finalizing it in court. The time frame on NOC is allllll over the place. Some people get it a few days after Article 5, while some people get it 4 months later. Because of our son’s region, we may be in for a longer wait. (More miraculous speed, please!) Go ahead and start praying that Marcus’s occupation and the age of our kids would not interfere with NOC as well.
4. Continue to pray for our son. Pray that he would remain healthy and continue to grow & develop. As much as we HATE to miss out on his milestones, we want him to continue meeting them without us. We may not see the first time he crawls or his first steps or hear his first words, but I am confident that God has many more “firsts” that we will be able to be a part of in the future. Our little guy is now 10 months old, and we keep hearing that he is “a very happy baby.” Keep going, little one. We're fighting for you.
Here is a photo of our checklist. One more thing crossed off that list (and several more in the works), one step closer to bringing him home! Praise God for how He is working in our lives and on our son’s behalf.