Did you know that I could be the perfect criminal? All these years earning money like an honest person, and I could have just been a thief! 😉 You see, unbeknownst to me, I have almost no fingerprints. Yeah, I guess no one really pays attention to their fingerprints (or lack thereof) until they try to adopt. Who would have thought that this biggest hurdle in our adoption process would be my fingertips??????
For our adoption we have to have FBI clearance (which requires fingerprinting) and US immigration approval (which requires a separate fingerprinting process). Easy peasy, if you have fingerprints. We had our fingerprints taken with ink in Kyiv, at the Embassy, and then they were mailed to the US for processing. My FBI prints were rejected first, for poor quality, so I had to fly to the US to have them redone. Remember that? Well, then my US immigration prints were rejected, soooooo Havalah and I flew to England last week to have them redone at the US Embassy in London. At that embassy, they have an electronic process with which you can do your prints over and over until you get high enough quality prints to be accepted. I found out last Tuesday that the London Embassy would do my prints on Thursday, so Hava and I flew out last Wednesday.
At first I was frustrated to have to fly to another country AGAIN, on behalf of my fingers, but we’ll do whatever we gotta do to get our baby home, so we decided to make a bit of a holiday out of it and enjoy ourselves in the process.
We arrived in London on Wednesday afternoon and our appointment wasn’t until Thursday at 1:00, so we spent Wednesday evening and Thursday morning exploring London and drinking in ALL THE ENGLISH being spoken everywhere. It was awesome. Going somewhere where you can understand everything is like a vacation for my brain. It is a relief, and just a joy. We had the best time.
We headed to the US Embassy with time to spare on Thursday and nervously awaited the staff member who would take me in for my infamous prints.
It took some effort, that’s for sure. The computer kept rejecting, rejecting, rejecting, and ultimately wouldn’t pass some of my fingers, but in the end, the staff member assured me the prints he had captured were “good enough”. SWEET RELIEF!!!!!! I was nervous since I don’t understand the system and he hadn’t gotten a “pass” for all of my fingers, but in the end, after 20 reassurances, I decided to trust him. Haha.
We celebrated by going to the theater to watch a movie in English! Such fun.
One funny thing about this trip was seeing everything through Havalah’s eyes. Although we’ve only been gone from the US for 18 months, that’s a long time for a little one. Hava was only 4 when we left. We were standing in line for our passport check when we arrived at the airport in London and when she heard people talking she said “Mom! They know how to speak English here!” The not-so-funny thing was the constant reminders to my rather outspoken daughter that yes, people speak English here, so yes, they can understand everything you say. Oy.
Her fascination with squirrels, commonplace in Oregon, but not common in Ukraine cracked me up. She saw a Burger King sign and said “Hey! I think I know that place!” Her awe over all the green grass and amazingly in-repair sidewalks made me smile. She made friends with strangers on every form of public transportation, living it up with her mad English skills. What a sweetie.
We did some more exploring on Friday morning, and then took an afternoon train north to Hull, to spend the weekend with some friends.
Just the week before Hava and I were in England we had a team from Hull here in Ukraine, so we were happy to see them again and visit Hull Vineyard, their awesome church that supports Wide Awake. It was a sweet time enjoying friends and making new friends. We felt so loved and cared for. My heart was encouraged and Hava got her love tank filled to overflowing. Thank you Hull friends for loving us so well. We love you!!!
(boohoo I didn’t take nearly enough pics in Hull))
We’re back in Ukraine now and just waiting on our US immigration approval, and then all of our documents can be submitted to the adoption authorities here, and our in-country process can begin!
Would you pray with us for speedy approval by immigration, and that the adoption authorities will have no issues with our paperwork? Our situation is unique, so we aren’t sure if they will require extra documentation from us. We pray not, because we are desperate to get our son home. We are so close!
I’m so thankful for the special England gift that God gave to Hava and me. It seemed like an inconvenience at the time, but it was just a pure blessing. God knows just what we need, and He goes before us to prepare the way. I mean, the week before I found out I would be going to England He brought us English friends who would bless our socks off and shower us with love. This trip wasn’t just about fingerprints, it was about me learning to trust Him and His goodness, even more.
One step closer to getting our baby home. What a wild ride! 🙂