Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dossier Update

Can I get a Hallelujah?!  Chris and I were married in Hawaii.  Amazing?  Yes.  Quick to respond when you need five certified copies of your marriage certificate?  Um, no.  I submitted my request online, you know - because that's faster - on July 16th.  I got my certified copies in the mail today.  I'm not going to lie.  I may or may not have danced a jig in the kitchen when I opened the envelope.  Unfortunately, now just have to put them back in an envelope and send them back to Honolulu for apostilling.  I'm going to include a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Maybe that will get them back to me a little faster.  The good news though is that, other than the apostilled copies of the marriage certificates, we are only waiting for our FBI clearance, our USCIS fingerprinting date, and our golden ticket.  We're getting so close!  We will need to submit $3,500 to our agency when our dossier is sent in.  As you can see by our thermometer, we have raised over $4,000.  We have spent some of that already on our home study fee ($1,500) and our psychological evaluation ($775.00).  To date, our expenses have totaled $4,350.96.  We have really only used about $2,000 of the money we raised so far, and the rest has come from our savings.  (So much for the picket fence Chris wanted so badly for the back yard!)  We hope to raise enough through our Run for Katie in October to fully fund our dossier expenses to submit and then some to start saving for our travel expenses.

When we travel on our first trip, we will have to obviously pay for our visas, airline tickets, meals, lodging, and transportation.  That will be a huge expense - I estimate at about $8,000 at least for each trip.  We will also have to our "support and service fees" of $3,750 on each trip.  This fee will cover our orphanage donation, overseas coordination fees, translation and notarization of dossier in country, the taxes to Katie Ruth's country, humanitarian aid, and an assistance fund.  Also, once we return from our first trip to her country, we will have a fee due to our agency for our match and acceptance, which is $1,925.00.  It is really overwhelming when I see those numbers typed out!  

I have two really fun fundraisers to tell you about tomorrow.  They both go hand in hand with Coins for Katie, and I think you'll like them!  One of the events involves a silent auction, and we got a prize in the mail today that was so generously donated for our auction.  It's such a great prize that I thought for a tiny minute about keeping it. . .

It's a Keurig Elite Brewing System with a 12 pack of K-cups!  This is a prize with a value of $119.95, and it was donated by my great friend Dawn, who works for Green Mountain Coffee.  Dawn and I have been friends since sophomore year of college.  She is such a hard worker, hilariously funny, and always thoughtful.  She is smart, pretty, fun, and never ever boring.  I only wish I got to see her more!

If nothing else, this journey to Katie Ruth has reinforced to me what amazing friends Chris and I have.  I can only hope that I am as good a friend to all of the people who have reached out to us through this process as you have been to us.  

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