Archives for April 2010

Longing for Approval


Through a series of events, our application landed on the desk of a very dear lady at the NBC who has been a tremendous blessing to us. We are very, very grateful to her! She will also be reviewing our I-800 and we are very thankful for that too. She is a HUGE blessing!

I have started and stopped this update several times this week. I kept waiting for good news and when some would come, bad news would follow close on its heals. It has been a roller coaster!

Since our last update, we have been frantically working to get our home study updated to meet Hague Convention standards. We found out after we filed the I-800a that our home study did not meet the necessary standards for a Hague adoption. Thankfully, our home study provider worked very hard, gathering all of the additional information for the home study. They turned around information in a day that should have taken several. It was amazing! Things like additional background clearances, psychological information, updated family information, and updated financial data all had to be added to the updated study.

The home study process is really an amazing process in itself. Everyone should go through something like it at least once just to the get a copy of the resulting mini-novel. When this is all said and done, the home study would make a great outline for the autobiography of our lives! Not sure it would make the New York top ten list, but it would be fun to work on.

So, where do thing stand? Here is a quick check list with some time lines that we are praying for. All of these dates are estimated, we hope things move faster than this.

I-800a -  Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country Application that must approved by the National Benefits Center giving us permission to adopt Done – Praise the Lord!
I-800 – Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative Application that has to be approved in order for Cameron to be adopted in the US. We are waiting for one more piece from the translator, but should have it soon. We hope to send this off on Monday.  May 14th at the latest
Travel Documents
  • Employment Letter
  • Medical Letter
  • FBI Clearance

All these documents have to be apostilled by the Georgia Secretary of State.

May 14th at the latest
Article 5 Letter Issued by the US Embassy in Colombia once they receive our I-800 approval notification. May 21st at the latest
Travel Visas We can apply for these at the Colombian Consulate once we have the article 5 letter. Before May 28th
Bon Voyage Leave for Colombia to pick up our little boy! May 28th or before

Please continue to pray for us. The next several weeks will be interesting to say the least. Thanks for you continued prayers and support.

Awaiting His Coming,
Patrick & Mary Ann Mulvehill

Could you God-Size That For Me?

Well okay. Now our adoption is officially a God-Sized task! I guess in some ways it has been from day one, but now it officially feels that way. For some reason I am more at peace with it being that way than just something I think we can do.

On Friday we were told that the home study we sent with our I-800a does not meet the standards required for a Hague Convention adoption. This is different from the information we got last Tuesday from our home study provider, but I guess we didn’t talk to the right person. Anyway, the home study provider is being very helpful in getting the home study rewritten to meet Hague standards. We are praying that this doesn’t hold us up too much.

We also discovered that in order to be eligible to adopt from a Hague Convention country we have to have 10 hours worth of training from an accredited Hague training source. Fortunately, this training is available online, so a few clicks and $100 dollars later, Mary Ann are cramming like we are in college. Were hoping to be finished with all of the training by the end of the weekend so that our home study agency can sign us off on the training for the I-800 filing.

So here is the big news. Talking with the adoption agency that is handling our post-adoption reporting, they have had clients that filed their I-800a and I-800 at the same time. They have also had clients that needed to do this and couldn’t. So the new God-Sized task is that we will be able to talk to someone at the National Benefits Center, which handles the processing of the I-800a and the I-800 applications, who will allow us to go ahead and file our I-800 with our updated home study. This could potentially be the time saving element that we need to ensure that we don’t lose the referral. We could potentially be approved by the end of April if we can find someone at the NBC who is willing to help us.

So here is the new prayer list:

  • Pray that we get in touch with someone at the National Benefits Center who is willing to help us expedite our applications, allowing us to file them together.
  • Pray that we get our home study updated quickly during this next week.
  • Continue to pray that the ICBF won’t give up on us.
  • Pray that we can continue to just trust God in this process and that the day will come when we will give Him the glory for the great things He has done!

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Awaiting His Coming,
Patrick & Mary Ann Mulvehill

Does God Still Do Miracles?

We sure hope so. This week has been a very sad and difficult week. On Tuesday we learned that our paperwork was filed incorrectly. We had been told to file the USCIS paperwork under the Pre-Hague guidelines since we had started our adoption before the Hague convention went into effect. However, after several weeks of waiting on approval we were informed that we needed to file the I-800a instead. So we won’t be leaving today as we had hoped.

There was also a tragic accident at the school this week. A student passed away in a terrible car accident. It has been one of those weeks when you have to ask God the hard questions. “Why God?” Please say a prayer this week for the Dauphinee family.

So, we find ourselves in another holding pattern. The steps from this point will be the filing of the I-800a (done, minus another $900 dollars), the filing of the I-800, waiting for approval from the ICBF to travel, getting our visas, heading to Colombia. The miracle will be if it can all happen in the next 4 to 6 weeks. We really need it too.

Right now we are waiting for our I-800a approval to come back. We were able to send everything they need to approve us (home study, fingerprinting, etc), so hopefully we will hear back from them quickly. Once we get that approval we have to file an I-800 which is not supposed to take more than 30 days. We are praying that all of these approvals come back quickly. We don’t want the ICBF (the Colombian Agency who is responsible for Cameron) to give up on us.

Please pray for the following things:

  • Pray that our I-800a will come quickly.
  • Pray that we don’t have any problems or delays filing the I-800 once our I-800a approval comes back.
  • Pray that the ICBF wouldn’t give up on us in the meantime. We waited six years for our referral, pray that they will give us the time we need to get our approvals and travel to them.
  • Pray that God will meet every need financially for our travel.
  • Pray for our sanity while we wait. It is very hard not to worry that things aren’t going to work out, even though we see God’s hand at every turn. Pray that we will have the faith to trust in a God who knows what is best for us and for Cameron.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Awaiting His Coming,
Patrick & Mary Ann Mulvehill