Monday, September 21, 2009


"The National Benefits Center is unable to complete the processing of your Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country (Form I-800A) at this time."

Today we received a notice in the mail from the National Benefits Center (USCIS) that they cannot complete the processing of our I-800A until we complete and submit several revisions to our homestudy (while our homestudy states the dates and location of our initial homestudy interviews and home inspection in 2007, it only states the date of our study update and does not state that we were interviewed in our home and that a follow-up home inspection was completed (although they were). It also fails to state the country-specific eligibility requirements for Bulgaria). I am not sure how we missed these things in the many reviews and revisions that we went through before we received the final copy of our homestudy (or if we were just lucky enough to be assigned to a very particular NBC officer), but receiving this notice was another scream-into-my-pillow moment for me. Will we ever catch a break!?!

We have 45 days from the notice date to complete and submit the revisions. If we do not submit the additional information within 45 days, our application will be denied and we will have to resubmit our I-800A and all associated fees. Fortunately the revisions are minor and we should be able to complete and submit them with time to spare.

Despite this minor setback, I have been impressed with the efficiency of USCIS in processing our I-800A application thus far. We received our fingerprint appointments less than two weeks after submitting our application, were fingerprinted a week ago and received our "Request for Additional Evidence" this afternoon. I am hopeful that, once we have submitted our revised homestudy, we will recieve our approval just as promptly (I know, I am putting a lot of faith in USCIS, but so far, they have not disappointed).

In the meantime, we are waiting for the Adoption Committee's final ruling in regards to "D" and are still waiting to receive "Sophia's" file as well. I must admit that I am beginning to feel very weary. The process to bring the boy's home was a whirlwind, but there were not near as many ups, downs and in-betweens as we have experienced thus far with this adoption. Some days it takes every ounce of faith and strenghth that I possess to hold on to hope, but I know that our children are in Bulgaria and that the Lord's plan for our family (as well as His timing) is perfect.

As always, we appreciate all of the prayers and support from each and every one of you and look forward to the day when we can finally share some good news with you!


Anonymous said...

Wow Valerie! I don't know how you do it. You never cease to impress me with your continued faith and positiveness. We're thinking about you and praying for you.

Shelley said...

Oh gosh!!!! I'm so sorry.
I still feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop with USCIS. We were fingerprinted on Friday and the pesimist in me is just waiting for that letter saying they need more information. We have been delayed at every turn, so I'm trying to prepare myself for this one! Our home study was very was so LONG because of all the Hague requirements. I, like you, read over it a million times. But, I'm sure they'll find something wrong with it.....they almost always do with Hague.
Just wanted to mention an interesting point about the country guidelines thing: If your social worker gets them off the US website(which she should because that's what USCIS uses) it is NOT accurate with what is actually the law in Bulgaria! Toni pointed that out to me. But, as our HS agency said(they're a Hague agency) "USCIS requires that the guidelines match what the US says the law is". Just another crazy aspect of Hague.
Hang in there!

soontobemomof9 said...

Valerie, I truly understand how exhausted you are with all this. The only thing that has gotten us this far is the fact that I have pics of the girls and their info. and I see a very real picture of how much they need us to see this through! I would have quit and changed directions so many times already, going so far as to inquire on other children both domestically and internationally, w/o that "tangible" thing to hold on to!

I am so happy for every family that gets a step closer in the process!! But it makes my heart sad when we fail to move forward at all with our own adoption process!

I keep telling myself a year from now this will all be over. Surely I can take this for a year!

Richard said...

What an ordeal! We just started the process ourselves less than three weeks ago (we're trying to adopt from the Ukraine), so I can certainly start to feel your pain with red tape and bureaucracy. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the paperwork setback. It must be so frustrating!! Hang in there.

Chris and Celeste said...

We are with you on the screaming into the pillow thing. We have also had a number of disappointments along the way to adopt from Bulgaria. Love following your blog. Blessings