Day 73: USCIS Approval Arrives!

By Clarissa Murray

Today, 73 days after we applied, we finally received our I-800A approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) – the next step on our journey to bring Alejandro home for good!

After 73 days our approval letter from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) arrived on Saturday, January 26, 2019. (photo by Alan. M.Murray)

Our next step is to apply to Colombia. The application is submitted in the form of a “dossier,” a collection of documents including:

  • our birth certificates and marriage certificate,
  • medical clearances and psychological reports,
  • letters from personal references and our employers,
  • photos of us, our family and our home,
  • and many more.

Most of these documents have to be notarized and apostilled – a kind of document authentication for international use. And everything has to be professionally translated to Spanish.

Nearly six months ago, still reeling from saying good-bye to Alejandro and overwhelmed by the path ahead, we sat in a small, plain conference room with staff from Madison Adoption Associates, so that they could explain the process and we could ask questions. In my current state of mind, one comment from one of the social workers stands out to me: that Colombia works much faster through these approvals than the U.S. Government. Here’s hoping they’re right.

Our journey isn’t over yet, but we’re excited to have reached a significant milestone and we’re looking forward to being able to tell him what we’ve been working on all these months.