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......

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It has been one month since I last wrote and I am STILL waiting for my background clearance for DSHS. I called Monday and they got my fingerprints February 10; they were taken January 28! They did not process them until February 28 so I am suppose to get my letter later this week. Mike got his letter two weeks after his fingerprints were taken. Frustrating!

Once I get my letter I can submit it to DSHS and we can begin our interviews with the caseworker. Worker with his/her schedule will be more difficult as there are only two for the entire county. I can take time off work for meetings if needed.

Now that we are settling into our new home, I have been able to begin the nesting phase of adoption. The child's room is set up with two twin beds, a dresser, a bookshelf and a closet full of toys, games, books, movies and music for any child between ages 5 and 9. We are working on the bathroom dedicated to our future child - fixed the toilet, need to install the vanity, hung the shower curtain and got the fan working.

I am finding myself wanting to be home instead of at work just so I have time to nest. By the time I get home in the evenings, I am too tired and stressed to continue unpacking boxes and hanging up photos and pictures. It does not help I currently do not enjoy going to work and my stress at work is affecting my health negatively. I try not to bring work home emotionally, but even when I do not think about work, I dream awful dreams about work. I need to learn to balance work and life because it will just get more complicated when we add a child to our family. I pray I find joy in coming home once we have a child. Now, I enjoy coming home to my husband, sharing dinner with him and spending the evening talking or watching television together. I need to remember that a clean house is not required for a happy family. Chores may have to wait until the child is in bed so we can spend time as a family when I get home from work. I am decreasing my volunteer work at church, but we will begin a garden plot at the community garden so we can grow our own fresh vegetables. The garden will require at least semi-weekly attention.

Our adventure continues......