Biometrics (n): 1. The statistical study of biological phenomena. 2. The measurement of physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, DNA, or retinal patterns, for use in verifying the identity of individuals. 3. A process that takes you to a USCIS (formerly INS) office and makes you wait in line.
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and that’s mainly because all I’ve been doing has been gathering, notarizing and Apostilling papers. Trust me when I tell you that it would not make for very compelling reading. That being said, the fact that we’re nearly done gathering all of the papers only 3 months after going to our first orientation meeting means that we’ve made very good time.
Last week we received our “invitation” to come downtown to be fingerprinted at the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) office. It’s a good thing that we live in a major metropolitan area. I could only imagine how miserable it must be to have to drive hours to interact with state and federal government offices for all of the papers needed for this process. We managed to make it in, get digitally fingerprinted, and get out in under an hour. It’s a little creepy knowing that our fingerprints are now likely part of some giant government database.
We also managed to get over to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Secretary of State office to drop off another stack of notarized documents for Apostille certification. I think that the Commonwealth managed to get nearly $300 out of us in the process. FedEx is another beneficiary of the adoption process. Tomorrow I’ll send out this stack of papers and then we wait. We’re waiting for two things, mainly: first for USCIS to process our I-600A form (”Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition”). Hopefully this won’t take too long, but it can take as long as 3 months. The USCIS should send us an I-171H form (”Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petitions”). With this in hand, we’re approved to bring up to two orphan children into the US. While we’re waiting for this, our agency will be having all of our paperwork translated into Russian (I assume).
Once we receive the I-171H, we have that notarized and Apostilled (of course), and then that will complete our dossier. Once the translation is done, the whole thing is sent to Kazakhstan and then we wait some more.
There probably won’t be much to write about here until things move along a little, but I figured now would be just as good a time as any to update our progress.