Well, the center for our appointment is in our state's capital (as most are), and today Future Papa had to go there for work. So, I finagled my schedule so I could come along and early this morning we put on our friendly smiles and prepared to beg our way into the office.
Let me just say, I am usually a person who likes to go by the book. If I have an appointment on a certain day, by golly, then I will be at that appointment on that day, 15 minutes early, ready to go. It was really tough for me to do this and I felt so nervous. When the security guard sent us away from the door because I was carrying a purse (no bags allowed!) I was certain they would take one look at our appointment date and send us away.
But they didn't! They didn't even mention our date! And, about 30 minutes later, Future Papa and I walked out, the process complete. WOO HOO! Now we wait for our case worker to get the fingerprints and evaluate our file for the next piece of paperwork. We will either receive a Form I-171H, Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition (which is what we WANT) or a Form I-797, Notice of Action...which means they need something else.
Another quick tip: if you are able to complete your appointment early, like we did, you should call or e-mail USCIS to let them know you did so, so your case worker knows to check for your information earlier.
I know this seems like way TMI (too much information) for non-adoptive parents, but for those in the process, I hope this is helpful as you navigate through this journey!
And for us, it is another step complete, another check on the to-do list. That, my friends, is a good feeling. Because as soon as we get a referral for one of these, we want to be ready to go!
(all pictures below from His Hands' Facebook Page)