Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The first time we adopted, I was on top of every piece of paperwork. I knew the date I turned it in (probably stamped it, put it in an Excel document and made a copy too) and had everything at my fingertips. This time has been a little different. Life is more hectic with an energetic boy and paperwork seems to disappear from my desk frequently.

So, as we are sitting with friends in small group on Sunday, my friend LL begins talking about their fingerprints and how they will expire soon. With fear and panic I realize that I was fingerpinted before her...which means my fingerprints will expire soon or have already expired. Yikes! We are leaving on Monday...what do I do?

So, I wake up Monday morning to call's a federal holiday so no one answers of course. Okay, now I have 4 days....those of you who have dealt with USCIS know how long it takes just to get an appointment. You have to complete paperwork and send it in...wait 4-6 weeks...get an appointment...go to the local office...suffice to say that it takes a while.

I consulted our social worker who told me just to tell them our situation and follow their instructions. So, I prayed diligently yesterday morning that God would give us favor with USCIS. I only waited 1 minute on hold (first sign of a miracle) and spoke with the nicest lady, Officer White. She told me what paperwork I needed to fax to her. Then, she told me to go to the local USCIS office here in Birmingham and get fingerprinted again. Uh, what? You want me to walk in there with NO paperwork and ask to be reprinted? Have you ever been in there? Have you ever seen Seinfeld's Soup Nazi episode? No way am I going in THERE without paperwork or an appointment!!!

But, we went anyway. We prayed that God would provide a smooth process and that we would be able to do this without any delays or hiccups. Every girl can dream you know. If you've ever been there, you know that they have a SYSTEM that they follow and there are NO exceptions. So, we prayed some more.

We walked to the guard and gave our names and our reasoning. He kept repeating, "You don't have any paperwork? You don't have an appointment?" We kept saying "No sir." He promptly calls someone in a back office and repeats his same mantra. After a few minutes of convincing the management that we, indeed, do NOT have an appointment and do NOT have paperwork, he hangs up the phone. He sends us to the back office.

We continue to pray. The CIS officer takes our IDs and we sit in front of an extraordinarily large desk. She turns her back to us and begins typing on the computer. We whisper as if we're in the principal's office..we have NO clue what to expect. She mumbles several times that people should let her know these things....even gives us a message to take back to upper management (like we even know them). Then, within 5 minutes, she whips out appointment letters for us...what???

So, we return to the guard to complete the necessary paperwork. He sends us over to the fingerprinting section. Meanwhile, Mr. FBI/Homeland Security comes barreling out of his office, walks right past us, and starts yelling at the guard. "They can't get in here without an appointment." He berates the guard saying that he doesn't listen or follow instructions. Then, he stomps out the door to find the CIS manager. She calmly assures Mr. FBI that she gave us an appointment to which he immediately changes his tune. Oh, okay...then you gave them an appointment?

He fingerprints us, and we're off....seriously! Something no less than a miracle happened and we had front row seats. It was even humorous along the way. God works in the lives of people each day to accomplish His purposes. I love Him, and I'm grateful for the way He worked this one out.


Amanda said...

That's incredible! So excited for you guys! We can't wait to see how the adoption continues to be proof of God's grace in your lives.

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

I love this story, even the second time around. So happy for y'all!

Allison Lewis said...

are. you. kidding. me?

as someone who has frequented that exact USCIS fingerprinting office on numerous occasions, i'm in awe of the true miracle that the lord so graciously performed on your family's behalf. WOW! he is certainly preparing the way to your sweet children. HOORAY!!!!

Anonymous said...

God is sooo good! He knows what we need even before we ask and He provides a way. We just have to seek His help trusting that His help will come. The count down is on - anxious to see how the Lord will continue to work miracles in this adoption process. My love, hugs and prayers - Mom/Meemaw

Deidre said...

That is awesome!! I have found in both of our adoptions that the USCIS have been the most helpful to us!! (They even called us to tell us that our prints were about to expire and to look for our next appt slips in the mail!) Cannot wait til I'm reading your posts from UGANDA!!

Danielle said...

Oh my goodness!! tears of joy, a precious long awaited moment! so excited for y'all!