Monday, March 14, 2011


Most people do not think about the little grooves on the tips of each finger and thumb. It has been an important topic of mine since November. In November I got my first appointment for the USCIS fingerprinting and had problems getting the appointment changed so Mike and I could get ours done. We finally got an appointment in Seattle for January 10, 2011. Then in December we got our DSHS fingerprinting scheduled for January 7, 2011. We both went in January 7th to Olympia; Mike's were scanned by the machine okay and mine were rejected by the machine. The following Monday (January 10) we went up to Seattle to the USCIS office. The machine said it rejected my prints.

January 19 Mike got his DSHS letter saying his prints were processed and he had not findings in the background check. Shortly afterwards, I got a letter saying my prints were rejected so my background check could not be processed for DSHS. I was able to get back in for a second scan on January 28. Again, the machine did not initially like my prints, but the final screen said all the prints were accepted. Then I waited.

Mid-February, we received our letter from USCIS saying our FBI background check did not reveal any findings. Then we received a letter from USCIS that we were approved by the US government to adopt an orphan from Jamaica.

I continued to wait for word about my DSHS fingerprints. Finally February 28 I called the Background Check Central Unit about the status of my prints. I spoke with a gentleman who told me my prints were received by Washington State Patrol on February 10 and they were just getting processed February 28. He said a letter should be sent later in the week. I received nothing in the mail so I called again March 11. After talking to two people at the Central Unit, they verified the original notice was faxed to DSHS on March 1, but they went ahead and faxed the notice again March 11. Then I spoke with two people at DSHS. I found out that my background check was processed in the computer, showing no findings, but the paperwork was missing. I lost my emotional control at that point; I was then told that some people's prints take five months to process. It was frustrating to have my prints approved for USCIS, but having the DSHS prints take so long and still not know the full outcome after two months.

Today, I finally got word this evening that the paperwork was found.

Little ridges and grooves. Who would have thought they can cause so much anxiety and tears? There were days that my fingerprints were all that I could think about; watching the mail for any letter telling my the status of my prints.

Now that this stage of the process is completed, we get to progress through the next stage whatever that may look like. I am expecting to begin scheduling appointments with the caseworker and progressing through our homestudy. This could take several months based on the caseworker's load. We have two for the entire county and several hundred children in fostercare.

Our journey continues......

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