Wow – what a busy season it has been! We are so happy to say that we have made it over several more paperwork hurdles these past few months! After our First Approval came through in March we received our Article 16, “To Whom” Letter, Sunny’s birth certificate and legal documents, all of which are required for us to file the I800 with the US government. Not to be confused with the I800a! Just to recap – the I800a grants us permission to adopt any child within the parameters of our homestudy (age range, gender, special needs, etc.) and the I800 grants us permission to adopt one specific child, in our case our sweet Sunny in Thailand! That is why we had to wait for Thailand to send us Sunny’s legal documents because this USCIS filing requires all of Sunny’s background information and paperwork to proceed. While we were overjoyed to have received these papers from Thailand because it meant we could get one step closer to bringing Sunny home, they also bring up so much grief. We saw his birth mother’s name. We could trace her signature with our fingers. And albeit small, on the second page, she checked the box on the relinquishment paper that says “In the future, should there be any tracing of the child’s root I allow for DCY to contact me.” She said yes. How often does she think of Sunny? Every day? Every minute? The magnitude of her choice and the enormity of the grief, loss, wonder, and trauma that goes along with it is overwhelmingly heartbreaking. I hope one day Sunny does want to trace his roots and learn more about his birth mother. And we pray so hard that she knows somehow that her son will be loved and taken care of.
The I800 filing took a month to process, but just this week we finally received approval! Are we there yet? Not quite. Once the I800 is approved, the National Visa Center is notified and we are to nag, call, email and nag some more until they give us our NVC case number so that we can then file our DS260! Once we receive the DS260 approval, we will finally be slated for travel to Thailand. Seems simple enough, except of course we moved in the midst of these filings from Louisiana to Virginia! So on top of these federal government filings we are concurrently re-doing our homestudy to meet Virginia requirements (home visits with social workers, additional adoption trainings, updated financial documents, tax info, family info, more references, etc. etc. etc.). We are hopeful our homestudy update will be completed by the end of June so we can then file an updated I800a Supplement 3 form since the move is considered a “change in circumstance.” Is your head spinning yet?
Despite the stressful paperwork hustle these past few months, we are so excited to be nearing the end of this long, emotional adoption journey. We are tentatively planning for early September travel to Thailand in the hopes that the remaining filings are completed without too much delay. Anything is possible, so we can use all the prayers and good vibes our way as we push through this last leg of the process. What gives us hope are the few updates we received recently on Sunny – the first updates we have been given since November 2020. His favorite color is green. He wants to be a policeman. He loves mangoes and coloring. And he “feels grateful and welcomes his new parents to come pick him up.” We are coming for you, sweet Sunny, we are coming for you soon enough.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1