Wow, was yesterday an interesting day. After a long bout of hysterical wailing in the car (panic-stricken emotional outbursts included "What are we doing?" "This wait is driving me crazy!" and the realization that "Shit...we don't know what we're doing!") on the drive home from work, I got home to a little piece of news that literally turned my night around...
There was Jeff, standing in the kitchen, smiling and holding the very letter we had been waiting for from USCIS!
Let's back up, for a minute, to this past Monday, September 14. I had sent an e-mail reminder, asking our contact at USCIS what the status was. Isn't it interesting that we received the letter exactly two days later in the mail? (She's in Baltimore, so 2 days makes sense if one were to, say, drop it in the mail to us on Monday, the day of my e-mail!) ANYWAY, I don't even care...I'm just glad I listened to my little voice saying "nag USCIS"--and that my efforts paid off!
So here's the government gobbledy-gook (get ready: It's Acronym/Legalese Central!): We received an I-797C, "Notice of Action," that basically approves us to do the next step: File our I-600 ("Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative"). The details beyond that are too confusing for me to (a) explain to you (you'd probably stop reading my blog at this point) or (b) understand myself. I just do what our caseworker tells me to do.
And now here's the translated version, in good old American English: This letter is the trigger for what happens next, and it means that things can now proceed. Apparently, the next step is for us to photocopy the letter and mail it to our caseworker in Baltimore (done as of a few minutes ago) and then they forward it on to Holt Korea (our international adoption agency, which is the agency that Matthew's current foster parents are affiliated with) in Seoul. I believe (don't quote me on this; I have to ask Margie again) that this letter gives Holt Korea the green light to gather Matthew's travel paperwork and get him ready for his trip to America. Still looking at November for an arrival time, though.
Patience. Deep breaths. This too shall pass.
Oh, and guess what the address listed is?
I just had to laugh out loud! After all that to-do with the USCIS fingerprint guy (read my earlier post for a classic story of bureaucracy at its finest)!
I'm not even going to worry about it. Apparently the universe, and USCIS itself, really, really wants us to live in a land and not on a lane.
I'll take it.