Farhan, Ayoub and I were in a car in Virginia when we got the news that Ayoub’s US adoption was finalized, signed, stamped and sealed by a judge here in our little town in VA. Alhamdulillah! The finalization also means that Ayoub is now a US citizen. It was a unique independence day of sorts for our little family. I was hoping that it would happen around July 4th and it did!
We had actually forgotten about the fact that we were waiting to hear something from the lawyer. This process is a far cry from the Moroccan one where we were literally holding our breath until the adoption was complete. Ayoub and I went to the lawyer’s office to pick up the paperwork and of course I started crying when it was handed to me! There was a typo on the final order but it can be easily corrected (some info was incorrect). No big deal–the judge signed the paper and that was the most important thing!
This has been a long time coming and it feels fantastic to be able to check this off our steps list. WOW! Wow! Wow!
People have said in the past that these legal hurdles are no big deal and that once you lay eyes on your baby, he is yours in your heart. I absolutely agree. At this point it doesn’t even feel like Ayoub was adopted. He IS ours and one of the best things that has happened to me and us. However, this is part of the process and we are making progress and it feels great. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of raising a child but it’s also important to stop and remember how precious this child is and how hard we worked to have him in our family. This is a quiet reminder.
As I was rocking him to sleep I just gazed at his lovely face and thanked God for the opportunity to be his Mama. Alhamdulillah.
Well, hello again! It’s been about a month since my last post and so much has happend! We’ve managed to get Ayoub’s Moroccan passport, US visa, left Morocco (finally!) and have been in Doha for about 3 weeks now. I haven’t had time to post those experiences yet, but they are on the way.
What I’m REALLY excited about is the fact that we’re heading to the US tomorrow! Yep, FINALLY heading home and look forward to seeing all of our wonderful friends and family who will be waiting to meet us at the airport. We are as excited as they are and we know how incredibly lucky we are to have them in our lives.
First things first: we’ll start Ayoub’s US adoption process on Monday with appointments with the adoption attorney and social worker.
But one thing before that: maklooba and a 10 hour nap! My dear friend who is now bestowed with the title “Mama Nada” asked how she could help me while I was in Tangier. I told her the first thing I want after I arrive is her maklooba and to sleep for 10 hours straight. And that’s what I’ll do on Saturday! All of my girl friends are getting together, we’ll have dinner, I’ll then hand them the baby and go off to my long anticipated date in la-la land. (Seriously, I bet we’ll talk the whole night and have fun playing with Ayoubi!)
Until then, I must get back to packing!
PS: to those who have asked for advice and guidance about the process, I apologize for the delay. I’ll have some free time during my trip and will get answers to you soon. Hang tight!
I called USCIS Athens to check on our case and they informed me that our home study is not complete. We did not include a child abuse registry check and our home study needs a sentence indicating that the social worker has checked the child abuse registry and no record was found for us.
SO, I’ve downloaded the applications for the check and made an appointment at the US Embassy here in Doha to have our signatures notarized ($50 for both…I should become a notary!) Hope to mail those out tomorrow.
I’ve also emailed our social worker asking that she prepare an amendment to send to USCIS Athens once we send her the results.
This is a little tricky to coordinate because:
- We’re in Qatar
- Our social worker is now living in Hong Kong
- the child abuse registry check is in Virginia, USA
- and our application is in Athens, Greece!
We are going to spend so much money on shipping documents this month…donations accepted! (just kidding)
Also asked about the fingerprint results, rep says that the report is not in yet (it’s been 2 months!) and says that the delay could be that they haven’t received the fingerprints. Huh?! She said they’ll check on the status once they have my file complete.
Luckily we haven’t yet been placed with a child from La Creche. It would be agonizing if we couldn’t bring home our little one because of a visa issue. We have a fix and the ball is rolling, Alhamdulillah. I look forward to this part being over.
ShoutOut: The ladies at USCIS Athens are very helpful and patient with all of my questions…thank you!