Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simply Adorable....

Konto called this morning! (I was ecstatic to hear his voice, despite the fact that it was 3:30am here!) This time I asked him in English, "How are you?" I could hear the other kids in the background instructing him: "Say 'I am fine' to her". So he confidently said "I am fine to you". It was simply adorable!

(Then, of course, he asked Joseph to ask me when I am coming. Again. Joseph told me, "I tell them not to ask when you come again." But hey- at least they haven't given up on us coming back!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More To Do....

I called the USCIS again today. Our files still have not been assigned to an officer. Unfortunately, that's not the only issue. Since our adoption agency provided us with incorrect ages for our kids, we had to get a homestudy update for their ages. (At the time of our homestudy, we were told Serwaa was 7. Our homestudy approved us to adopt up to a 10 year old. She legally turned 11 earlier this month.) So, our AMAZING homestudy lady did the homestudy update very quickly for us. It has been sent in.

In addition, we will have to be re-fingerprinted at the Homeland Security office in Charlotte, NC. (The fingerprints we did last year have expired. I also credit that to our agency, since our dossier sat on their desk, untouched, for 7 months of that year.)

Our new fingerprint appointment is June 9th. I hope to just show up at Homeland Security next week & beg to be fingerprinted. Hopefully that will work.

Furthermore, the person who will be handling our visa appointments will be out of the country from July to September! I may be able to do it myself; I may not. So I have no idea when the kids will get home. Every time someone asks me, the projected homecoming is further away. I think people are starting to suspect that the kids don't even exist! I've been saying "It should only be a few more months" far too long now.

Monday, May 23, 2011


So, I have mentioned recently that my kids have been calling fairly often. Serwaa has asked to speak to Malorie several times. But the main purpose of the calls seem to be one resounding request: "Please come." You would have to hear those quiet, accented voices for yourself to really understand how heartbreaking it is.

Yesterday I was at the flea market when Joseph called. This time he did not say 'Konto wants to speak to you', or 'Serwaa wants to speak to her sister'. He simply asked, "When do you come?"

I tried to explain it would be as soon as possible. I tried to explain I was waiting on our government's approval. I tried to say how I hoped it would be soon.

Once I gave my uncertain answer, he simply said "Ok. Byebye" (in typical Ghanaian fashion) and hung up.

The worst part- I know he did not understand my reason. Even if he had understood all of my english, I'm sure they don't comprehend the whole process. All they know is that I have not come back for them like I said I would. It has been 5 months since I left them. They must be starting to wonder if I am coming back at all.

I wish they knew how hard I am trying. (If only the USCIS were trying so hard...) My case hasn't been assigned to an officer yet. I will call again tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Okay, okay. That doesn't really mean anything. It just sounds important. I got the electronic version of my "Form I-797" Friday night! It's a 'receipt notice' for my I-600. For most people, it's not significant enough to even mention. But given the extremely unlucky, slow way our entire adoption process has gone- I count it as a small victory. My I-600 didn't get lost in the mail! (Way to go UPS!) It's not even lost in the CIS mailroom!

The next leg of the journey for my precious paperwork: It is being forwarded to the National Benefit Center in MO. Why it must be mailed to TX, only to be forwarded to MO.... the world may never know.

Either way, here's to good ol' UPS! And please, continue to pray for my beloved paperwork, that it might find it's way to it's final destination- quickly, safely and completely intact.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I just love Joseph. He is around 13 years old. I have been told that he has always been sort of a 'big brother' to my son, Konto. He helps to look after him. Joseph has taken care of Konto since he arrived at the orphanage around the age of 2.

Joseph is a very handsome, respectful boy. He was the boy who told me that he 'likes my manner. Most people who come here do not want to touch us'. He is quiet and polite. I just can't say enough good things about him!

It is Joseph who has allowed me to speak to my children in Ghana. He has a cell phone. I'm guessing it was a donation to the orphanage. It is very inexpensive to buy minutes for your cell phone in Ghana. So, every once in a while, he must get a few cedis from someone. And instead of buying something for himself, he gets minutes for his phone so Konto can call me. For that I am very thankful.

I think when I go back I will bring Joseph a new phone. (His drops the call about 90% of the time.) Maybe I'll get a camera phone so he can text pictures to Konto. And I'll buy a ton of minutes, so he can call anytime he wants.

I know my son will miss Joseph. I will miss Joseph. There is just something special about him.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finally Filed....

Well, it's off! My I600 was mailed today by UPS! (No, we don't get a discout just 'cause Al works there! I was just too late for the post office!) I sent it along with a pathetic letter BEGGING them to process it quickly! (My homestudy expires in 3 days, my fingerprints in 6! I'm hoping that will all be overlooked. Unsensibly optimistic, I know.)

For those of you who don't endlessly stalk adoption blogs, let me clarify:

The I600 is a petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. It is sent to USCIS (immigration) for approval. They say it should take no more than two months to be processed. Assuming it is approved, the approval is then forwarded (electronically) to the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana.

The Embassy then supposedly sends a letter or email to let you know that your child's visa packet is ready for pickup at the embassy. (I have a friend stuck at this stage, waiting for word from the embassy. So we'll see how that works out. Hopefully quickly.)

Once the visa packet is picked up, I think a visa interview is scheduled. (The interviews are currently being scheduled a month or two out. Hopefully that'll start moving quicker too.)

After the visa interview(s), the visas are printed in about a week. (As long as the children have passports. I need to check on that again.) At that time, you are free to take your children home!

So, that is the process as I understand it. I could be wrong. Or it could change (which happens more often than not). But it seems like we may be nearing the end of this whole process. Thank God. I am exhausted!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unexpected Phone Calls....

Well, this was one of the best Mother's Day weekends yet. (Although I'm sure next year will be better, since all of my kids will be on the same continent!)

Malorie (my daughter) and I went to visit my mom this morning. (Who, by the way, is the best mom ever!) After we got back home, Malorie painted my nails for me! But it gets even better-

Serwaa & Konto both called today!!! I usually only get to talk to Konto, because his 'big brother' is the one with a cell phone. So, about an hour after I had spoken to Konto, Serwaa called! We spoke for a second, then she said "Where is my seesta?" So, Malorie got to talk to her sister on the phone! I'm pretty sure they had no idea it's Mother's Day! It was SUCH an awesome surprise!

And, to top it all off, I FINALLY got the all-important death certificate (yesterday)!!! I'm filing my I600 tomorrow!