Saturday was full of wonderful surprises!
We figured we were in for something good when Robert walked outside and this is what he was greeted with...
Our white Lily finally bloomed! We kind of joked with a smirk, 'That's got to be a good sign, right?' I think we were right!
As we were scrambling to get everything ready for the barbecue, Robert opened the letter that about stopped us both in our tracks. It was our Golden Ticket--our immigration approval from the USCIS!!! Though our Congressman got us a quick fingerprinting appointment, we were still expecting the typical 2 1/2 month wait for the application to actually be processed and approved. FIVE days after we got our fingerprints done, we had the approval in hand!
Robert was practically laughing as he told me over the phone because he was so excited. I had to stop what I was doing and ask him repeatedly if I'd heard him right! It was all I could do to focus on continuing our barbecue preparations!
As the night went on, we had a blast getting together with both old friends and new ones. We had a pretty good turnout and were very pleased and blessed by the turnout.
One experience from the night that still stands out in such a big way was such a fun surprise. I had a young cousin and a young niece with me when I hung one of our first signs for the night. After that, it was all they could focus on to make one more sign. It wasn't too long before they'd made their own sign and was eager to get it out in front of the house.
A longtime friend of ours headed out to the street corner armed with tiny, waving little girls. We had three cars stop and donate! We had $40 and every coin (and even some washers and a promo token) that a teenage young man had in his pockets donated at that stop sign! It was awesome to have people donate blindly to a family they didn't know to rescue a girl they didn't know existed! What an amazing thing to experience!
What's next? A whirlwhind of a week!
We have just about 6 documents left to go in our dossier!!! All of them are in progress and just need to get wrapped up and approved. By the end of the week, we should be able to take them all to get apostilled at the Capitol.
That means by early next week, we could be packaging them all up to send them over to Eastern Europe!! It feels so surreal to be able to say that!
After we send it, we plan on about 2 weeks to get our first set of documents approved in her country. During that time our dossier is being translated and prepared to submit. Then it is usually about 2 weeks after submittal for dossier approval, then it is usually about 3 weeks till travel!
If you are like us, you immediately start doing the math---SEVEN weeks! If everything goes smoothly, we are looking at about 7 weeks until we leave to go get Melissa! Incredible!! In early October, we ought to be boarding flights and crossing countries to unite our family! It seems so near and so far! So soon to have everything ready, so quick to learn a new language, and still not a second soon enough to hold our little girl!!