In the past few months, D has been out of the country a lot. So much so that I had to start a new job, and interview for a different job, with him overseas. It meant that a lot of our paperwork has been put on hold for the past month (hence no update since I was all frazzled and lonely). But now that he has been back and settled for a week without dashing off somewhere, we were able to submit our approval application to Custom and Immigration Services for permission to adopt from South Africa.
The I800-A is pretty straight forward – it is basically confirming some basic information: who are you, who is your spouse, have you been arrested, have you adopted before? It asks for the adoption requirements of your home state, and you need to send some supplementary documents with the applications (proof of existence such as a passport copy, proof of marriage, your notarized home study, etc.). We had it mailed over and are waiting for confirmation via email that it was received (yet another supplemental form that you can fill out).
At this point, we have a notary appointment tomorrow to get the rest of the documents finished in a timely manner. I am hoping that we can send everything in our dossier to our international adoption agency excepting the USCIS I800-A approval by the end of August. D is expecting to be out of the country again starting in September for his work (including two weeks in Paris for some training over Thanksgiving – I would be jealous, but I may go to get and meet up with him for part of it). We are also considering getting POA tomorrow in addition to the notarizations so that if he is out of country when our approval comes in, I can sign for him and get it notarized/apostiled, and sent out before he comes home again.
No clue how long it may take us to get the approval, but I’m secretly hoping we can have the dossier in South Africa by early October. We’ll probably have to do the home study again within 6-8 months – there are some delays happening in country with international adoptions – but at least it will only be an update and all these scary, starter stuff will be behind us!