Endless Paperwork

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Taking our First Steps….Fingerprints for Background Checks

I have had more than my fair share of paperwork over the years. I went to a Catholic College prep high school for my Freshmen and Sophomore years. After two terrible years of mean girls and rich kids and skirt measuring in the hallway, I decided to finish high school through independent study. It was one of the best decisions I have made in life so far. Yes I missed out on more high school dances, and football games, but I was able to work with a small group of like-minded kids who also did not fit in with the status quo. It gave me the freedom to start classes at the local community college and through one english class my fate was changed forever.

One of my best friends and I took a lot of classes together. She was two years older than me but most of her friends had gone away to college. I had a reputation of speaking my mind which made me not so popular with most girls (hence me leaving my high school) and so after a viewing of Pride and Prejudice we became fast friends. We were taking an english class at Saddleback Community College when we heard about their study abroad program in England. Now my friend had already done a semester studying in Spain and was totally up for another one. I, an avid reader and lover of literature, had always dreamt of visiting the places where my favorite authors had lived and wrote their novels. One little problem…my friend was actually in college and I was a 17 year old still in high school with a curfew.

Well my clever friend did all the research it took to make sure I would be able to go and then asked my parents for me one evening when she was over having dinner with my family. And for some crazy reason…THEY SAID YES!

Now while the adventures that followed are worth a novel in themselves…I find myself at the original point to which I am writing. Paperwork. That started the first ever visa filing that I would undergo. So much paperwork for a three month study abroad program. Little did I know that I would later on complete the paperwork for 5 visas in total.

Now I don’t know about you, but if you have ever filled out a visa application, you know how much work is involved. You have to get the right pictures (no smiling) and you have to get forms notarized, and make sure there are no errors. Background checks and proof of residency and bank statements. We had to overnight an affidavit signed by my dad in California for one visa. I missed spending our first Christmas married with my family in California because of visa delays. I also had to go to the American Embassy for my hubby’s visa to get my tax returns filed….that was a trip!

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Giddy over getting our fingerprints taken

The hardest visa I applied for was my fiance visa to move to England and get married. I had to provide statements of my relationship with Will with a timeline and photographs as evidence of our love and commitment. Everything had to line up perfectly…Will got a job which meant he could sign for our rental agreement which gave us a place to live (and was required for my visa to be granted). But with all the freak outs and last minute scares and forms being filed left right and center…everything always came together. I got my visas and Will got his greencard to move here. We trusted God and did everything by the book…and its by his grace and strength that we are here today.

So while I am sitting here feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and forms and background checks we have to file, I can remember that we have done this before….. And through this whole adoption adventure, I can hold onto this truth:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6

We are going to do everything by the book when it comes to filling our paperwork and we are going to trust God that he will open the doors that need opening and close the ones that need to be shut.

{Stepping out in active faith and trusting God no matter the outcome}

How did you get through all the crazy paperwork? Are you, like me, already feeling overwhelmed? I would love to hear your thoughts, struggles, and encouragements as you went through (or are also going through) this stage in the adoption process.

Ashley xoxo