Time for an update!
On August 11th, I mailed our i800a application to USCIS. We received the text/email on August 18th saying it was received and on the 22nd, we received the receipt letter in the mail showing we had paid the fee and that they had received our application. From following the timelines of other recent families, we most likely will receive our fingerprint letter by Sept 1st and our approval by Sept 18th. We plan on going in early to get our prints done. That is the last thing that is needed to complete our dossier!!
On August 11th, I also mailed our completed dossier (minus the i800a clearance) directly to our NGO in EE. That arrived there on August 18th as well. They have begun translating it so that once our final document arrives, it will be ready to be submitted quickly. It's likely that we could be submitted by October 5th, awaiting our verbal and then written referral and travel dates! Typically you travel 4-6 weeks after submission putting travel in November still possible, as long as there are no delays, and the IAC meets regularly.
We just received the invoice for the rest of our placing agency fees ($5k), due when our dossier is complete, which may be as soon as 3 weeks from now...trying not to panic.
We also have our next set of program fees ($4k) due shortly after. We *think* we have a little more time to pay those, possibly until we receive our referral, which is usually only 1-2 weeks after submitting.
We thought we would have more time, which is why our next two big fundraisers were scheduled further out. We can not move those up because we are still collecting books for the book auction and the church gym is already booked every weekend between now and Sept 27th, when our event is scheduled.
* We are moving forward in faith that the funds will be there when needed. We have completed 12 grant applications this past week, and have a handful more we can't do until after trip 1.
* A sweet friend is holding a yard sale over Labor Day weekend to help with our adoption as well as another family's. Pray they have many generous shoppers!
* Our first round of the Super Hero cape & mask sets ends August 25th. Still time to get your order in! We plan on doing another round in Sept and November. We have 35 sets pre-ordered so far and our goal for this round was 50. These would make great gifts!
* I'm hoping to have some of our craft projects completed next week to share for our next fundraiser. I haven't had time to sit down and work on them, as they are time consuming, with everything else that is going on right now.
* We are thick in the planning of our Spaghetti *Lunch* & Silent Auction. It is scheduled to start at noon on September 27th at Tabernacle Baptist Church in King George, VA. We have an event page on FB where we will be posting updates as we get closer, and I will share them here as well. Some of the items are coming in already for the silent auction part. I'm excited about what we have so far and hope we will be able to gather enough to fill the rest of the baskets we have planned. We plan on visiting many local businesses this week to see if they would like to donate an item or sponsor a table. Please pray that this will be a success!
We are hoping to get our home school started with some of our children this week and the rest the following week. Esther and Ben are both staying home this semester and I will be teaching them together, along with their younger brothers. My goal is to help Esther master all the basic preschool concepts and for Ben to master the basic preschool and kindergarten concepts as he still has gaps. I will be working on very hard on comprehension and Wh questions with Ben in hopes that it will help with his speech challenges. Esther's speech and comprehension is progressing much quicker than his has so I think she will just soak up everything I will be doing in school with her this year.
Here are a couple pictures of Esther this week...she wakes up with her hair in her face like this every day (we are working on training it to stay back), and the back usually has a rats nest from her rocking and rolling in bed :) Fortunately she likes us to do her hair and asks for a pony right away. I have noticed her hair is getting softer since she came home.
She's looking older!
We are working on putting some weight on our little lady. She lost a tiny bit last month now that she's so active and it's a big effort to get her to eat sometimes so we are increasing healthy fats and calories to pack more into what she does eat. Esther and Ben are complete opposites when it comes to eating. Every meal I have to remind her to eat after each bite and Ben has to be told to slow down every bite.