Ok, the phones have been ringing and emails have been coming, and so has mail the last two days or so!! It's a bag of "mixed news", that is for certain and sure!!!
* We received finger printing appointment letters from the USCIS for Januaary 21st. However, it was only for Paul and myself--nothing has shown up for Todd. And that is a big problem! So far I haven't been able to get a live person to talk with, in spite of leaving a message asking for a return call. That will be at the top of my list on Monday--calling AGAIN.
* Our very nice Mr. Aaron at our bank called us yesterday to let us know that he had the paperwork from the legal department--did we want to come pick it up or have him mail it? Thank God we decided to go quickly and pick it up. While they had done a valiant effort, there was no way under the sun it was going to fly with Katya's birth country. For starters, there was entirely WAAAAYYYY too much info--literally every piece of info they had on us and our mortgage almost!!! And one paragraph in particular would have set off horrible alarm bells. "Please be advised that your account does not contain enough in escrow currently to cover the cost of insurance." Ummm, yes--of course not--because we always pay our insturance directly! But can't you just see the dismay and consternation on the faces in a certain country if they read that?! Besides, that, along with our interest rate, original amount of loan, how many months are left on the loan, PMI rate and on and on are NOT what a certain country cares about!!! Please, let's just stick with the facts that they asked for!!! By the time we were done with the letter, it was obvious that only a complete re-do was going to work . . . a total overhaul! It didn't state that we owned the property, it didn't contain the original signatures (just an electronic copy) and . . . as the final insult . . . had the word DRAFT in HUGE letters sidewas across the whole thing. "That's just the way all letters come that are sent electronically." Umm . . . sorry . . that isn't going to work. at. all.
Very nice Mr. Aaron (thank God for him! He's our point of sanity in all of this!) was very sympathetic, took notes, marked what had to go . . . and said he'd get right on it yet that afternoon.
Today was another call from him. . . NOW they say that the legal department can't handle it since we want all those changes made--it must go to the "Research Department" and they will see what they can do. That is in another town . . . we have to sign a letter explaining what we require specifically and then they will see what they can do. Did we want to stop in and sign a letter? Paul said he didn't want to be responsible for having to approve the letter since he's not the detail man. As he put it, "I am the muscle man! She's the detail woman!"
Good thing I went. While the letter was generally great (and it was VERY kind of him to go to the bother of typing it up for us, I think!!!!) there were a few things that needed tweaked just a bit. He was able to quickly change those on the computer and print out a fresh copy for us to sign. He was going to fax it to his contact in the Resarch Dept. who he says he feels good about, and we'll see what happens.
I'm losing count of exactly how many trips that makes by now to the bank just trying to get that ONE piece of paper, , but it's going on definitely at least 7. How do you like that?? 7 trips and we still don't have that paper we need! The good news is that Mr. Aaron is always so kind and encouraging and goes above and beyond the call of duty, and his Christian spirit and heart for orphans shines clearly through each and every time. I'm grateful that God directed Paul's feet to him . . . because out of everyone who works at all the branches in town, I can't imagine we'd have found any one else who would have been so fitted by God for our need!!
* We went to the county auditor's office to try to get another piece of paper we are required to produce. The lady there wasn't able to help us she said. And that's all I say for that . . . we have to call and try to set up an appointment with the actual auditor she says--and she's out until Monday. Please pray that God paves the way for that contact. It feels very hopeless at this point in time, but I know God is able!!!!
* Fresh info from the Reece's Rainbow team today was that we need to get our homestudy off ASAP!! We hope to get it apostilled on TUESDAY AM and then shipped off . . . that is a change in how documents have been being handled--shipping the homestudy ahead of the other dossier documents, but I think it's a wise change. That enables the in-country team to get the long home study translated and prepared for submission and then the small packet of docs can be done quickly once they arrive. However . . . it does mean that we have an additional Fed Ex fee. Bummer! (Anyone want to buy some of our craft items to help with that additional fee?! Please feel free! We'd appreciate it so much!)
* We were contacted by someone locally who got one of our cards about this blog, and they are wanting to do what they can to help bring Katya home! I'm so grateful for the encouragement that message was. I'm not sure yet what all will develop from that, but hopefully something positive.
* Current news is that dossier packets are being accepted again after the winter break starting on Feb. 10th. We are praying SO HARD that we will be able to get our dossier all completed and Fed Ex'd to Katya's country before then. It will take a miracle of God . . . but I know He is able if the timing is right for Him. Please help us pray to be able to do what we need to do and for a spirit of cooperation from others during this process. Also please continue to help pray about the funds . . . if we can submit by the 10th, we will need a lot of $$$$ very shortly thereafter once we get a travel date!! It's getting close it feels like!