I know I’ve been a little quiet on Joy updates. That’s mostly because they’re kind of “boring.” But some of you might like to know, and I also hope this blog serves as a resource for future families in process, so here’s your boring update!
I *finished* the dossier. Or at least, I thought I had. Remember all of those documents I had mentioned? Well, I got them all done- signed, notarized, apostilled, and off to my agency and from there India. Literally the day it was being mailed to India, I got word that India *may* no longer accept non-relative “undertakings” (guardians). That meant that I immediately started looking through my family tree to find a suitable guardian. Now let me explain a little bit- I consider many of my relatives “suitable guardians” but I needed to find someone who was the appropriate age and gender and/or martial status. My brother was out because he’s a single man; my parents were out because they’re “too old.” My aunts and uncles are also “too old.” All of my cousins on my mom’s side are “too young.” You get the drift… I felt like Goldilocks- “this person’s too old, and this person’s too young.” Well, finally I found some cousins that were “just right!” They’ve already signed and notarized their form and it’s on its way to me to then be apostilled and sent to my agency and from there India. God worked it out pretty cool- I was frantic, but in less than 5 hours, He had it solved!
I also received I-800A approval from the US government. This basically means that the US government has approved me to adopt from India. I then filed an I-800 with the US government, which asks them to approve Joy to be adopted (specifically, it asks the US government to classify or consider Joy to be my immediate relative- I love those words!). That form is still pending– keep your fingers crossed that there are no hiccups there! After that gets approved, I have to file a form DS260, and then we have to get Article 5, and then apply for NOC (no objections certificate)! The ball is rolling!
My secret hope? I *hope* we can get all the way to applying for NOC before Joy’s 4th birthday! Pray with me to that end! There are still several dominos that have to be knocked over before then, but it’s possible!!
Random fun facts:
– Melo (our dog) weighs as much as Joy did (in January 2018- the last height/weight I have for her). That means he could stand to lose a pound or two, and she could stand to gain five or ten!
– The paperwork to adopt Joy weighs *almost* as much as she does! My copy of everything weighs almost 10 pounds…. as I mailed off a copy of almost everything I have…. the paperwork is pushing that 20 pound mark!
Fundraising and saving has also been going so well! I will try to do a puzzle piece update soon! With the exception of one more page to be apostilled and mailed off, all pre-travel fees have been paid. The next time we spend “adoption money” will be for visas (US and India), air travel (international and domestic in India), in-country expenses (hotels, food, taxis). When Joy gets home, we will have a few things to wrap up her adoption- we may have to refinalize her adoption in the US (I need to double check this step) and renounce her Indian citizenship (a requirement of India). When I started this, the financial side of this was mindboggling and intimidating. But dollar by dollar, each fee has been saved for or fundraised or been paid for by a grant. I’m floored!!