I know I-171H probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it’s less of a mouthful than “notice of favorable determination concerning application for advance processing of orphan petition.” This is the immigration form we’ve been waiting for so we can send in our dossier, the one I thought might not arrive for two or three more weeks. It’s sort of a pre-approval for a visa to bring a child into the U.S. to adopt.
We have a few things to do to complete our dossier, but we should be able to do it this week. We need to make some notarized “true copies” of this. I need to put the final touches on our letters to the Ethiopian government and orphanage board introducing ourselves and telling what age child we want to adopt and why and get these and a couple other forms notarized. This immigration form we just got and a power of attorney letter must be “authenticated” at the state level—at an office in Salem. Since Aaron has an eye doctor appointment (of course!) on Thursday, we will get that done in Salem on the way up to Portland. Assuming that works out, after his appointment we can go out to the Dove office (about 20 miles west of Portland) and drop off the dossier!
Friday afternoon I posted that we’d received our I-171H in an online forum for Ethiopia adopters I’m in (the small one with mostly people using our agency). Now, I-171H means something to these people—I got a flurry of congratulations. I also called the Dove office to make sure I understood what needed to be authenticated, and they were really excited for us too. It was really nice to share with others who have been where we are. There are some things only adoption people understand.
I will explain the next steps soon, but the hopeful bottom line is this: We could be on the “waiting for referral” list in Ethiopia by New Year’s after all!