Roadtrip to USCIS

Our Spring Break adventure was a trip to USCIS and back. Not too exciting, but I am glad we got it done. We got up at 4:00AM and were on the road by a little after 5:00. Sweet Pea and Mimi came with us since they also had to be fingerprinted. Boo and Dimples came along in order to make the day a little easier for the boys left in charge at home.

We arrived at 9:30 and the parking lot was nearly empty. I was a little nervous that they were closed, but as it happened, they just weren’t busy. We learned our lesson last time and we left everything in the car but our ID, our paperwork, and our checkbook. We only waited five minutes before being called to the desk to submit our I600A, which is the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. She asked us a few questions, looked through our documents, and requested a check for $990.00, ($670 for the application fee and $80.00 each for biometrics (fingerprints)). Fortunately we are getting used to writing large checks, so it didn’t come as a big surprise.

While we were finishing up, Sweet Pea and Mimi began the fingerprinting process. We were called back shortly after and got our fingerprints done. Our only concern is that they seemed to have some difficulty getting good prints for me and the supervisor said there is a 50/50 chance the FBI won’t accept them. If they don’t, I’ll receive a notice that I need to be fingerprinted again. We are praying that the FBI will LOVE my fingerprints and they won’t ask for a new set. Please pray with us for that.

We hope to receive our I171H, the “Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition” within six weeks, although we were told they are processing them more quickly right now. This essential form says that we are approved to adopt an orphan from Ethiopia.

In family news, S. had his 15th birthday party today. He invited four friends to go rock climbing with him, his Dad and brothers on an indoor climbing tower. After climbing for the afternoon, they came home and grilled burgers. It was a fun way to celebrate.

I know I keep saying this, but I will post pictures one day soon. The picture at the top of this post was not taken at USCIS since they don’t allow cameras, it was taken when Mimi was fingerprinted for the homestudy at Health and Welfare. Yes, we all had to be fingerprinted twice!

Happy Palm Sunday.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Sherry
    March 18, 2008

    Yay! Glad that the wait was non-existant and everything got done quick. We will be praying that your fingerprinting goes through with flying colors…I wonder what happened? Maybe you weren’t hydrated enough? So weird since obviously they have been fine several times before! Anyway, we will pray!

    Happy Birthday to S! I cannot believe he is already 15. Time just goes so fast for me these days!


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