One down, one to go

November 15, 2006 at 11:22 pm | Posted in Adoption Updates | 2 Comments

We got excellent news in the mail yesterday.  We received our approved 171H.  What praytel is a 171H?  Well, I’ll be happy to share with you.  When adopting internationally, the visa application and approval process is completed via several groupings of paperwork. 

You start with the I600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) which is basically asking immigration (USCIS) to determine if you are able to provide a stable home environment for an orphan.   It is currently taking USCIS about 3 months from the time they receive this application to send you a letter saying hey, ok…go get fingerprinted so we can be sure you aren’t some henious criminal.  Once your fingerprints are taken it takes about 2 months to read over your criminal record status and send you another letter that says ok, you’re ok and your application looks ok so we approve the request to place an orphan in your home.  This initial approval is the 171H and is what we received in the mail yesterday.

Upon accepting a referral of a child, you complete form I600 (Petition to Classify and Orphan as an Immediate Relative) which is taking USCIS about 3 months to process.  Once this form is approved I believe we will receive a second 171 form but I think it is a 171D and that will have information on it indicating that Henry’s visa has been approved and cabled to Korea.  It is just a matter of time until we receive the call that he is ready to travel. 

We submitted our I600 in mid-October so three months from then puts us mid-January.  So….we’re hoping for travel the end of Januaryl…but not sure as we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays to consider.  Unfortunately our government gives their workers ample time off and we have no idea what that could mean in terms of our process.  Plus the feeling that there may be a bit of a shortage of escorts which seems to be resulting in a one month delay in travel.  Two friends who opted for the escort option seem to have waited a month from the time the visa was cabled to Korea until their sons traveled home. 

We haven’t completely ruled out traveling to Korea…yet.  Of course with a three year old it is more convenient for us but we’d be missing out on the opportunity to see where Henry has spent the first 6 months of his life.  It would also mean missing out on meeting the family that has graciously taken him in, cared for him, loved him until he could be with us.  It’s a tough decision and thankfully we have a bit more time to decide what is the best overall option for us.

In the meantime, it is encouraging to know the system is plugging away and slowly but surely we’re moving through this process.  Every day is one day closer to meeting Henry for the first time.



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  1. That is so great! How exciting. Adopting is like finding out in your 8th month that you will have a baby! Gestating…adopting…they are both a long road to hobble down. I am so excited for you. How wonderful!

  2. Very cool…

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