Let me begin this post by apologizing for not having written any updates since the petition worked it's magic last Tuesday. You might be surprised to know it, but running a petition took a huge amount of time. Dave and I were fielding a lot of questions through email, talking with the big-leaguers who could really help move our petition forward, and posting, posting, posting on various sites, groups, etc., to try to get notice and keep the ball rolling. And so, we had a lot of catching-up to do with our personal and professional lives. That's where we disappeared to. So please forgive us for our absence.
Secondly I would like to talk about something I saw out in web-land soon after the petition reached it's goal: depression. Is there such a thing as PPD (post-petition-depression?)? I think so. I saw quite a few people who were expressing a hopelessness over their Chinese adoptions, and basically feeling like, "so what the I600A is fixed? I'm still waiting, and this is hopeless."
I had the experience, while working on this petition, to run across another I600 plea, this one for speed of processing and from Vietnam-adopting parents. The petition was posted in January of 2008, is still active, and when I saw it had less than 2000 signatures. Our petition has over 17,000. How did we get those 17,000 signatures? Certainly not because parents thought, "Oh, this is hopeless." We got them directly because all of you, out there, waiting to adopt, worked your booties off and pushed and advocated for your adoptions and your children. That is a wonderful thing, and I hope you all feel like super-heroes, because you all are! All of you have made a huge difference in the life of a child.
Anatole France said that, "To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act." With an adoption from China and the current time-frames, many times our only choice is to dream of the reality we desire as we wait. And then, periodically, we must act, updating forms, preparing our lives for a child, and all of you were able to switch into high gear very quickly when your adoption needed you. You all acted quickly and with great strength to resolve the issue of the I600A. And so I wish for each of you that you can take away some feeling of power and success because of this. You all have done so much to make this a success. You were all wonderful!
On the victory, a point of clarification on what we all accomplished. Before our success the process was Apply to you country of choice (ours was China) sometime before April 2008, using the I600A. If your adoption is not completed in 18 months, apply for your free renewal using the I600A again. If your adoption is not completed in the following 18 months, switch to the I800A process.
Now the process works in this way:
Apply pre-April 2008 using the I600A. Pay for the I600A and fingerprinting. After 18 months renew for free using the I600A again, and get free fingerprinting. After 18 more months, apply again using the I600A, but pay the fee and for fingerprinting. If your adoption is still not completed 18 months later, apply again using the I600A for a free renewal of the I600A and fingerprints. So, 1600A pay, free renewal. I600A pay, free renewal. All together that should give each parent 6 years to get logged in with their country of choice and bring their child home.
I really do expect that will be enough time for all of us. Dave and I are LID March of 06 for China, and for the past 5 months, each time the new referral dates come out, our referral date is predicted to be May of 2009 by these people: http://www.chinaadoptionforecast.com/. And, each month it moves up a bit, so last May, it said to expect referral May 26, 09. This month it said to expect referral May 6, 09. If that site's predictions are accurate, that will be three years one month for us. That is a drop of our wait time by one month. I'm thinking that what that is showing me is that the wait for China is stabilizing and maybe even changing direction a bit.
If that is the case, then the four I600As should be more than enough for everyone to finish and return home. And if not, we'll mobilize all of you wonderful people again!
I would like to ask for one last favor. Our petition had a lot of impact on this process, but it did not accomplish it without some help from people of influence. I would like to ask that you take a moment and thank them, because, first of all, they like to know that they helped and that we appreciate it, and also because we may need their help again in the future.
So please say a quick thank you to:
- Tom DiFilipo and staff at JCICS: Joint Council on International Children's Services117 South Saint Asaph Street; Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 703-535-8045 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your Congress-people
- Kathleen Strottman at CCAI http://www.ccainstitute.org/about_bios.php 311 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002 P: 202-544-8500 mailto:email@example.com
- And please also thank Michael Valverde at USCIS, who really did try to find a workable solution to our problem that would also allow him to keep USCIS inside the Hague law as they understand it. Considering he didn't have to help us, we really should thank him. Michael Valverde, Chief, Children's Issues, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Suite 3300, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 272-9176.
What drives one person to help another, a stranger, I don't know, but it is one of the more miraculous qualities of life. So, please thank those folks listed above for sprinkling some "miracle" on our adoptions, and thanks again to all of you who signed and helped promote the petition.
We're always open; if you have questions or comments please feel free to write us:
If you have an adoption that will be affected by this ruling, we would love to update this blog from time to time with pictures of families that were completed due to this ruling. That would make a lovely visual "thank you" for all those involved, so please consider sending us your photos and a little story. We can turn this blog into the I600A story project!
Bye for now!
Love to all~
Dave and Di