- Researched and decided on an agency that works with Peru and is a Hague Convention Agency.
- Chose the agency that will take care of the homestudy since it had to be in NY (state of residence)
- Filled out both agencies’ initial application.
- Began homestudy process (visits, interviews, etc)
- Started doing the online classes required for the homestudy packet
- Requested reference letters from 3 close friends and relatives
- Compiled background checks from all the places we had lived in 25 years.
- We were fingerprinted for national background check.
- Waiting for homestudy to be notarized, apostilled and completed
- Began formal application from the placement agency (working with Peru)
- Waiting for the formal application to be approved so we can start putting together the dossier.
- Application approved through agency, official directions for completing dossier arrived.
- Completed more online classes on attachment, delays, loss etc
- Needed to notarized all the papers and documents I was signing.
- Completed the Form I-800a from for approval to adopt from a Hague Convention country from US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (Homeland Security)
- More papers to be filled, signed, notarized and apostilled.
- Received the form I-797c notice to appear from USCIS. We had an appointment to get fingerprinted for the 3rd time this year.
- Began looking for a psychologist and psychiatrist to fulfill the required evaluation. (seldom covered by insurance)
- Fingerprints done
- Found a psychologist and gave her the required evaluation for her review and preparedness.
- Photographed the house to include every room and the front façade.
- USCIS needs me to redo fingerprints because they were not classifiable. (were rejected by computer)
- Psychologist evaluation 3 visits of about 2 hours each. Son received a 1/2 hour session.
- Put together a photo book of our house, our family, our hobbies and activities, us with a few close friends and family members. (Peru likes to see many pictures)
- USCIS informed me that my fingerprints are no good so I need to acquire a police clearance from every place we have lived in 5 years. The good news is that my husband’s prints are A-ok.
- We are still waiting for the psychological report so I can contact the psychiatrist that will write a letter on its findings.
- Make an appointment for physicals (These expire in 3 months so its the last thing I’ll do)
- RECEIVED THE APPROVAL LETTER FROM USCIS!!
- Received the psychological evaluation
- Certified all the legal documents (ie: birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.)
- Psychiatrist found
- Certified all notarized documents
- Received the psychiatric evaluation
- Apostile of all documents in NYC
- Made the appointments for physical exams with chest x-rays and blood work.
- Arrange for a notary to witness doctor signature on medical evaluation
- Mailed all other documents to agency for dossier to be started
- Mail certified and apostiled medical evaluations
- Dossier was presented for approval the last week of January.
- Wait for approval of dossier
- Received request from the Peruvian government for clarifications on our home study and psych evaluation.
- Observations completed notarized, certified, apostilled and sent back to Peru.
- On August 21st we received approval to adopt from Peruvian government.
- Redo I-800a and Home study
- Received a match (it did not work out)
- Received a required clarification for I-800a (due date April 10th).
- Our representative in Peru presented our changes to the DGA for ages and number of children.
- Our family was officially approved by the DGA and is now considered waiting to be matched.
- Peru halted foreign adoptions after hearing of a family in the US that was just charged with child abuse of children they adopted from Peru. Upon investigations they discovered that many agencies (including the one who oversaw the family being charged with abuse) had failed to turn in post adoption reports mandated by the Peruvian government and the Hague Convention agreement. (our agency was the culprit)
- We lost communication with our agency and they are becoming less and less forthcoming. We are now communicating with our rep in Peru but no information is given as far as status of our case or adoptions in general.
- We received an email from Villa Hope on December 31st, informing us that they will be closing their doors effective the end of the year. We were devastated and need to find a new agency ASAP.
- We researched our options and found an agency out of Denver Colorado, AngelDance International. They are willing to take our case but they need us to transfer our dossier from Villa Hope.
- We signed the contract with our new agency. We had a few extra payments for switching and a new document to sign and apostilled so our new Peru representative can present it to the DGA.
- Had to update paperwork for our I-800a and redo fingerprints.
- Needed to update home study to reflect a few changes (new dog, new home, Chris’ father passed away, etc.)
- Social worker visit to make changes (Chris was away TDY so had to be skyped in).
- Home study completed and I-800a updated.
- booked our tickets for Peru visit (unrelated to adoption but scheduling a meeting with DGA and meet our Peru rep.)
- Peru visit is amazing!! Met with DGA assistant and Peru rep. for AngelDance (loved her). We found out Villa Hope had not made the changes we requested, paid for and updated I-800a to. Found out we might never have been matched the way we appeared in request.
- Peru rep showed me a sibling group that might fit our family and us them.
- FELL IN LOVE!!
- August 8th: Filed a request to study the files of the sibling group of 3.
- August 31st: DGA approved our family to study the children’s file (the approval normally takes 10 days, by Peru law, but it has been taking between 3-4 weeks).
- We have now been given 10 (working) days to respond with a letter of intent if we decide to pursue the adoption of the children. We are!!
- We arranged a phone interview with social worker to change the home study to reflect us being able and capable to adopt children up to 11 years of age. Once we receive the updated home study we must also update the I-800a to reflect that change.
- September 8th: We sent in a letter of intent to adopt the children yesterday and it was presented today. We now wait for an approval!
- September 17th: In the meantime we are still working on the process of updating our home study with the ages expanded 2-12 for the children.
- October 4th: We had our appointment with the psychologist and hopefully she works as fast as the session was.
- October 16th: We finally got the psychological addendum. We got a notary to meet us at the doctor’s office to notarized it and now I must make the trip to authenticate it and apostille it before I send it to my agency.
- October 31st: The completed home study is en route to USCIS so hopefully we will receive an appointment to get my son’s fingerprints done soon and an approval to follow.
- November 8th: Finger prints for my son at USCIS are done.
- December 9th: WE GOT IT!! We are approved and ready to go. The approval is on its way to Peru.
- January 1st: We found out that the match might not work out. (issues with medical assessment of a child). Waiting for recent info, pics and videos of children.
- January 11th: Received a new sibling group for us to consider if it doesn’t work out with the one we are pursuing.
- February 12th: We decided to review the file of another sibling group of 2.
- March 15th: We requested to study the files of two sibling group of girls.
- April 10th: The DGA was delayed in accepting our request. We studied their files and we are ready to pursue this adoption.
- April 21st: We officially request to adopt them.
- April 28th: We are told there is another child in this sibling group that wasn’t included originally and they are adding him now. We have a few days to think about this.
- May 9th: We decided not to pursue this adoption due to the short time we had to think about it and the very little information given on the third child.
- May 23rd: We are giving yet another set of siblings to consider.
- May 26th: We officially request to study their file.
- June 11th: We finally get their official files for review.
- June 13th: We request to adopt them.
- June 20th: We are told due to an oversight there are papers missing that would deem these kids orphans so bio father has to be contacted.
- June 26th: We are told bio dad won’t sign so it has to go to a judge.
- August 10th: Paper finally signed by bio dad and judge rules in our favor.
- August 12th: We find out that our I-800a paperwork is expiring so we need to get this redone before we are approved to be formally matched.
- September 14th: Social worker visits for homestudy update.
- September 18th: Fingerprint appointments are issued.
- October 5th: USCIS approval received
- October 25th: Consejo matches us with our children.
- October 30th: Translation papers are ordered to fill out the official I-800 with the children’s info.
- November 2nd: I-800 completed and sent.
- November 21st: We received our papers back for wrong payment (as in we paid and didn’t have to WTH?) Instead of sending us the check back they sent everything back. Error on their part.
- December 19th: Finally received but no approval yet.
- December 22nd: Government goes into partial shutdown.
- January 14th: Customs and Immigration processed and approved our documents.
- January 29th: Article 5 letter is given and we have permission to travel.
- February 9th: We flew to Lima. Saturday or Sunday morning arrival is best because the process can begin Monday and it gives you a chance to meet with your representative/lawyer right before the Monday meeting.
- February 11th: We met with the DGA staff(Director of General Adoptions). You meet with the psychologist that will be doing her visits and do your case for resolution. Total of 10 days with 2-3 visits or more if needed.
- February 11th: That night we flew to Trujillo to meet the kiddos and begin the process at the orphanage.
- February 12th: We meet our kids! We got to take them out on an outing for the day.
- February 13th: We were cleared to have them with us for the night and we prepared them to leave the orphanage. We threw a party for their friends and staff as a way to say goodbye.
- February 14th: We went to the orphanage to sign the official papers that give us custody and guardianship while the adoption process is happening.
- February 14th: We flew back to Lima with them to begin the official process.
- February 15th: We went to the DGA office to set up a visiting timeframe from the psychologist.
- February 21st: Our first visit with the psychologist. She spoke to us about how we feel, how they are adjusting and gave us tools to help them. Also told us she will need pictures on paper with things like, the family cooking, eating, playing, etc. Also told us to get them to draw their new family. This is all to be included in her report for final resolution.
- February 26th: Second visit with the psychologist. She spoke to the kids this time. Informed us that she will only do one more visit before filing her report
- March 1st: Last visit from psychologist. She gave us final thoughts on how to help them got all the pictures and drawings and some personal info from all.
- March 4th: We heard that a resolution was done and was awaiting the DGA’s signature. This normally happens that day or next but because the DGA was let go, they were behind signing.
- March 6th: DGA signed the resolution. We had to go immediately and sign it so it can be sent to the children’s place of birth and the ‘silent period’ (5days)can begin. There was a delay on the too so it started 2 days later instead of the following day.
- March 8th: Silent day begins.
- March 15th: Silent period ended yesterday so today the birth certificates can be changed reflecting us as their parents back in their birthplace. This process can be done with the entire family traveling there, or, constitutionally acceptable, your representatives/lawyer gets a power of attorney for this particular process so only they travel to complete this. We opted for this so we can continue to get our kids in a routine and not disrupt this by taking them back. According to Peru they now recognize them as our children with all rights and privileges.
- March 18th: We went to the RENIEC office to change their DNIs. This takes 3 days to come in. It took 2 for the girls and 5 for the boy.
- March 26th: We got the last DNI and ran to get Peruvian passports which are done same day. We also ran to pick up the medical documents for the visa interview. Their check ups had already been done 2 weeks ago because our rep knows someone there, otherwise the wait for that is ten days for blood work to come in. We also called to get a visa interview appointment which they gave us for the next day at 8am.
- March 27th: We went to the U.S. Embassy for our visa interview. Paid 325$ per child and the visas were granted that afternoon.
- March 28th: We picked up the visa documents that morning and traveled home that night!