Yesterday we had our biometrics appointment for the FBI at the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) office in Louisville. Thankfully, it wasn't a very long appointment and, after answering a few questions and having our digital prints completed, we were finished! We had been told that in can sometimes take hours, so we were very relieved! Other than me forgetting that I had a Flip video camera in my purse (I use it a lot at school) that had to be confiscated by the security officers and picked up upon exiting the building, it was a very smooth experience (apparently they do not want anyone videotaping inside the building.....I always have such a random, eclectic collection of things in my purse). The process of taking the prints was actually very interesting - it was neat to see them so enlarged and in digital format. The immigration officer handling our prints was originally from Hardin County and graduated from West Hardin - so we had much to talk about! They will be sent, via computer, to the FBI and then the USCIS should issue our "approval" for the I-800 form (granting us permission as suitable parents to adopt a child from a foreign country). We are hoping to receive that notice within the next two weeks, although we know it can sometimes take much longer. Then, we will be ready to authenticate our documents in Frankfort and then send them, via a courier, to Washington, D.C. for final authentication. We are still hoping to have our dossier finished by the end of the month, but we realize it may pushed into May. Either way, we're getting much closer to crossing the paperwork finish line!
We also started working on decluttering our spare bedroom this weekend. Since we are on spring break this upcoming week from school, we wanted to get some furniture and items moved into storage. We have used our "extra room" to store many things that we don't know where else to put....so we always placed them in the spare room! It will be Annabelle's room, so we wanted to go ahead and begin work on it. We will need to clear out the packed walk-in closet inside the room, paint it and find new homes for many precious heirlooms sitting all over the room. We know we have plenty of time, but it really seems to be helping Alexis understand the reality of becoming a big sister by helping us "prepare" the room. It's fun for us, too. Unlike a pregnancy, we have no growing "signs" that we are moving forward other than our hurdles we cross or items we check off our list. Working in the room helps us to feel like the adoption is real, and not just a paper trail we have completed.