Karen had suggested that we do a conference call with our international agency, Lutheran Adoption Network. So Rob and I talked with LuAnn from LAN and Karen from LSS. The big issue was of course, the minor. She suggested that we to a set of test fingerprints from the FBI. If they come back fine, we will use those for the adoption. If they come back showing Rob's minor consumption, we'll have to get it pardoned by the governor. Any young adult who is reading this, listen up. What you do in your youth can and will come back to haunt you! So we had to get another set of fingerprints, write a letter stating that we are doing an international adoption and need these fingerprints back within ten days. With the holidays, I listed January 9. So hopefully the FBI complies with my direct wishes and sends them back ASAP. I just realized that I was supposed to track the envelope and I totally forgot. Shoot. Now I'm going to fret. If they come back showing the minor, the board of pardons and paroles meets on January 22-25, 2007. I talked to our local representative, Paul Dennert, and he called the governor, the board of pardons and paroles and really tried to help. I think the fact that they know who we are and know why we are requesting the pardon will help. So I sent an email out that same day to the very few people who know requesting letters of recommendation for Rob to receive the pardon. My plan is that I want to be ready with the application and letters if we need to use it. This is already setting us back a whole month and I don't want to waste more time by not being on the ball. LuAnn said that she would send Karen the orphange applications and Karen would forward them on to us. We are supposed to write our letter of intent to adopt and take pictures of ourselves. In a suit and dress. Anyone who has seen me lately knows I've gained 15 pounds so if I really have to wear a dress, I won't be able to zip it. I can pretend it fits as long as we don't have to take pictures from the back. We have to have a full length photo of the two of us and each individually. A waist up picture of the two of us and each individually. And also a head shot of the two of us and each individually. I wish I could use old pictures because I was skinny then. Now I have a big old butt. So I'm already fretting about these pictures. Rob has his "Dining Out" for his guard unit on Saturday, January 6. He has to wear his Class A uniform but he doesn't want his picture taken in that. And since I can't zip up my skirts, I will have to change clothes, too. So we'll complete the application and take our pictures (of our home as well) and have them ready to send in when we find out the results of the fingerprints. Once we send our application to LAN, they'll send it to the orphange with the shortest wait. We have three to consider: Los Pisingos, Ayudame, and Cran. She is still estimating 4-8 months before we get our referral. Once we receive the referral, we will take the medical information to a pediatrician in Aberdeen and see if he/she has any concerns. We will leave about two weeks after we get our referral. We will leave on Monday, receive our baby on Tuesday, and spend four to eight weeks in Colombia finalizing the adoption. She said the average time has been four weeks lately. We'll either go to the orphanage or the director's home to receive the baby. They'll talk to us about his/her medical background. LuAnn suggested that we video it rather than take notes. We'll take an outfit that we want him/her to wear and the nurses will change him/her into that outfit before they bring him/her to us. There is a very LARGE orphange donation. I'm not talking toys and clothes either. Right now it is a four digit number but she think it will go up soon. It isn't as if we haven't spent that sort of money at the doctor's office! Besides completing the orphanage applications, we also have to start collecting documents for our dossier: birth certificates, marriage licenses...apply for our passports, and submit our I600-A which is an advance processing application to adopt an orphan. We could travel to Bloomington to have our fingerprints done (yes another set) and it would take about a month. But it's wrestling season and Bloomington isn't like going to Aberdeen. So we'll request that we get it done in Aberdeen. Hmmm...what do you know. I just checked the USCIS website and it says that I have to go to Rapid or SF to get it done. I'll have to check on that because Karen told us we could go to Watertown or Aberdeen. Back to the passports, I already have one from the 1990's. One, it's expired, and two, I have no idea where it's at. So I have to fill in one extra form than Rob. Lucky for him he has a wife who is obsessed with this stuff. I've filled in his application (as well as every other form we've needed). All he has to do is take it to Aberdeen on Wednesday along with yet another check and hand it over. I'll do mine in Watertown on Wednesday when I'm over there working.
So we are getting closer. It's only been five months since we started this process. It has gone by really fast. I've been reading lots of good blogs of people who have adopted from Colombia, Russia, the Ukraine...basically any adoption is interesting to me. I just want to know absolutely everything there is to know about adopting from Colombia though. I'd pack my bags right now if I knew what to pack. I could actually do this since I plan to pack my skinny clothes. It isn't as if I can fit into them right now, so that would give me more room in my closet. Once again, I'm starting my diet on January 2. I've done that quite a few times over the past year but I only last about a day. I don't have much will power. I need someone like Ang or Maria to go walking/running. Hopefully now that I'm not driving to Watertown every day, I can stick with it. I just really like McDonald's and Taco Belle and Arby's. And coffee and doughnuts from Casey's. Now, do you know why my clothes don't fit!? :)