Saturday, May 31, 2008

Got it!

We got our I-171H in the mail today! This is the last document we needed to send our dossier to Vietnam. Monday, I need to take it to an attorney to make a true and accurate copy that they will notarize as such. Then I have to go back to the secretary of state to have the notarization certified. We are almost done with the paper chase!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Better and Better!!!

This evening I got a call from my contact at the USCIS office. She said that she had processed our I-171H already and put it into the mail to us the same day I dropped it off! Amazing and awesome! This is the last big thing we needed to send with our dossier over to Vietnam to beat the July 1st deadline. Once again I just can't believe how people are helping us so much who don't even know us! If I could do a cartwheel, I'd do about 10 right now! I'm sooooo excited.

Half-Way There....

This morning I ran down to Florence to pick up the homestudy certification papers from the Pinal County Attorney and then went to the homestudy agency to pick up the homestudy. I then took the certification papers and homestudy to USCIS (immigation). I was told my contact had moved to a different office and that I should go there. So, I went over to another building a few blocks away and they said I had to have an appointment because they didn't take documents at this location, but at the other location from where I had just come. Here's the government for you...Take the papers to one building and they will take it to the other building for you. They said they needed to x-ray it and follow protocol. To make a long story short and I convinced them to take the papers and give them to the officer that had said she would help me. Hopefully she still will and won't get in trouble. I overnighted the homestudy to Maryland so the liason can get them authenticated at the Vietnam Embassy. She is also going to fax the homestudy and other documents to Vietnam so they can begin translating them without the authentication and the I-171H we need from immigration...we will send those later. Vietnam gave a verbal agreement to the liason, that they would begin processing the papers without having the complete file. Hopefully they will cooperate and work with us to bring Hai home. We are half-way there and once they have all the paperwork translated, filed, and accepted we'll be all the way there!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Our homestudy was certified today! If I could, I would give the judge a big kiss and a hug! The homestudy was just filed yesterday. It has been sooooo awesome how people have worked to help this dream become a reality. I am going to pick up the certification and homestudy and take it to immigration tomorrow, as long as they get it to me before USCIS closes. One more time crunch, then it's USCIS turn to pull through.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Glimmer of Hope.....

We reached a compromise with the adoption agency. They are allowing us complete the additional training while in process and after we bring him home if neccessary. We have to sign a document attesting to this. The good news is that today our homestudy was submitted to the the AZ courts for their approval. I am going to call the judge's assistant tomorrow to make sure they understand the gravity of the situation, so we don't lose Hai. The courts are going to allow me to hand carry the certification to immigration (in Phoenix). I am going to try to reach my contact to see if she can give me the final form (on the spot) that we need to send everything over to Vietnam. I am hoping and aiming for next week. It will be close, but we just have to believe it will all work out! This is just an unbelievably sitting on the edge of your seat situation and waiting to be able to breath a sigh of relief!

Monday, May 26, 2008

So much uncertainty......

It's been awhile since I have put in a new post, but not because there is nothing to tell! Last week our hoemstudy was completed and sent to the adoption agency. The socialworker that did our homestudy said she reccomended we be approved to adopt but listed a number of concerns; mostly to do with his age. So last week on Thursday I got a call that the adoption agency was adding a bunch of more requirements before they would give the final approval. One is to complete a 10-week training that deals with adopting an older child and the impact it can have on your family. We curently have 30 days to get our homestudy translated and authenticated in Vietnam to meet the July 1st deadline to receive applications in Vietnam. So you can see the problem with this! They also want us to locate someone to act as a translator for him here locally, find a counselor for him, list people who can help with the kids so we can focus on him when needed and get a statement from the school regarding services they will provide for him. It has really turned into a nightmare and made for a very tough time to finish the day out when all I wanted to do was go home, get in bed and cry. They have put us in such an awful position and put in a request that cannot be completed before the deadline. I was so angry but after talking to other adoptive families I did calm down, until I got home and received another blow from the adoption agency. They said that even if we get the dossier over to Vietnam in time, they may not approve it because of the concerns listed by the homestudy agency. I am hoping they can re-word the homestudy by removing the word concerns and instead say, "we will complete the following things to better prepare us and the adoptee. I just hope the damage hasn't already been done and that we won't run out of time. We have worked so hard to get everything done so quickly since Vietnam announced the July 1st deadline and then the agencies throw this at us. I hope they can get the homestudy done early this week and will allow me to drive it to the courts so I can beg them to do it in a few days instead of weeks. Luckily, I have a contact in immigration who can quickly process the form needed so we can send our application to Vietnam once we receive AZ courts approval. Stay tuned......for hopefully less drama and more happiness and relief! Kenny has started building the beds for the boys and we feel like he is already ours so it will be like losing a child if we lose him; and like him losing parents all over again because he knows we want to adopt him.

News Article About Us in Queen Creek Independent

I finally got a copy of the article featuring our family. Here it is:
QC family faces adoption obstacle
By Angela De Welles
Independent Newspapers
Roughly 8,500 miles separate the Orth family in Queen Creek from the 10-year-old boy they hope to adopt in Vietnam, but factors besides the distance are making the adoption difficult.
In January the U.S. Department of State warned potential adoptive parents against initiating new adoptions from Vietnam because a 2005 memorandum of agreement between the two countries, which is required for adoptions to take place, is set to expire in September. There is no certainty a new agreement will be in place before the current one expires, even though both countries are working toward drafting another agreement.
Kelly Orth said she and her husband Kenny started taking steps to adopt Hai in December 2007.
"We had been looking for about six months to a year for a child that would fit into our family. I just happened to find out about this boy in Vietnam," she said. "In December we actually started making the payments to the adoption agency."
The Orths found out about the warning in March.
"Now we’re in a real time crunch to get everything together," Mrs. Orth said.
They hope to complete the adoption as soon as possible because of the uncertainty surrounding a new agreement between Vietnam and the U.S.
A new agreement is needed, according to the notice from the Department of State, because adoption practices in Vietnam need to be better monitored. The notice states investigations have revealed irregularities ranging from forged paperwork to children put up for adoption without the consent of their birth parents.
The Orths are working through a United States adoption agency and have a letter from Hai’s mother stating she wants to give up her rights. Hai has been living in an orphanage for two years, Mrs. Orth said.
The family has paid about $6,000 toward the adoption and Mrs. Orth estimates they have about $10,000 left to go.
If it were not for the time constraints, the family would be able to make payments, but now Mr. and Mrs. Orth want to get the fees paid as soon as possible so they can bring Hai to their Queen Creek home.
They are reaching out to the community.
Mr. and Mrs. Orth have one adopted 4-year-old daughter from China and two biological children.
They feel another child would make their family complete and are already attached to Hai.
"It’s just when they sent us the picture I cried," Mrs. Orth said. "It just seemed like the right thing. It seemed really right and we wanted to get him over here as soon as possible."
She has the picture in the kitchen and says everyone is involved in pitching in to save money toward the adoption.
"I was just expecting to have more time to do it," Mrs. Orth said. "Basically we have four months. ... I feel very strongly that if we didn’t adopt him he wouldn’t get adopted."
Mr. Orth said the process is a tough one and families looking to adopt do not go into the situation on a whim.
"It’s a lot of hurdles to jump through to adopt," said Mr. Orth, adding background checks, home surveys and physicals are required of everyone in the family. "You have to open your whole life up, but it’s worth every ounce of energy."
The Orths are in the process of setting up an account for anyone interested in contributing to their effort and are seeking a nonprofit organization that might be able to help.
For more information, contact the Orths at 480-987-2420 or e-mail at To follow their adoption attempt, visit
Post your opinions in the Public Forums at News Editor Angela De Welles can be reached at 480-982-7799 or

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I had forgotten to mail in some affadavites to the homestudy agency, so I drove them down to Scottsdale along with $1,100 for the post-placement visits. This should be the final payment to them for a total of $2,400. The remainder of the payments will now go to the adoption agency and Vietnam. Still waiting on that economic stimulus check, the IRS said it will be in our account by Friday, then another $1,000 off to Vietnam. I still don't know how we are going to pull off the last of these payments! We just keeping hoping for the best!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Racing against time

We completed our home study this week with a home visit. Now the local agency must send the home study to our adoption agency in Iowa, they will make corrections and send it back to the local agency, who in return will send it to the courts to be approved, who in turn will send it to USCIS (immigration) for their approval, who will in turn send an I-700H to us granting us permission to adopt a foreign born orphan... you get the idea! THEN, we can FINALLY send it to Vietnam for their approval!

Vietnam opted to have us wait to send everything all at once, because they didn't want us to pay for translation fees if everything could not be completed before the July 1st deadline. It's a little scary the time crunch we are working under! We hope can get the dossier sent to Vietnam in 3 weeks or less.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

One step closer...

Today we had our fingerprint appointment. We went to down town Phoenix to a small unassuming building. Thankfully we waited hardly at all and got through fast! They had a problem with a few of my fingers with broken ridges so they had to re-do them several times. I guess my skin was too dry or something. We ran a couple errands afterwards because this is the first time we have been without the kids for quite awhile!

We picked up the kids and looked at some captain's beds for the boys'. I think Kenny is going to build them, though. The room the boys' will share is small so we need to combine the bed and dressers. We may have to switch the boys and girls rooms to fit both captains beds in there. Kind of a bummer though because the girls room is all pink and the boys' room is green and brown...not really looking forward to repainting!

When we got home our pre-certification letter (assigns a case number to us) from Pinal county was in our mailbox. Arizona is unique to other states because the adoption has to go through the courts once our homestudy is done and will take 2-3 weeks; hopefully only 2 though with our June deadline!

The article featuring our family on the front page, came out this week. Our scanner isn't working, so I need to get it scanned in elsewhere so I can post it here. Hopefully it will inspire some help from our community!