Our adoption process is crawling forward. Everyone has been asking how long it will take until we can bring M. home. The short answer is we don't know. We hope to travel in the late summer or fall for trip 1 and early in 2015 to pick up M. and bring him home. The long answer is below.
When we signed the papers to pursue adopting M., there were 2 documents that needed updating since we were only approved to adopt children up to the age of 6 and M. is 10. We needed to update our homestudy approval and our immigration approval.
We had already scheduled meetings with our social worker for the homestudy, because we were planning on updating it anyway. That helped the process go a little quicker! We received our signed notarized homestudy update May 13, and mailed of our application to update our immigration permission to the Department of Homeland Security (for those of you who understand the legal side of our adoption, form I800A, supplement 3) on May 14. The next step was fingerprinting for immigration, but we had to wait until Homeland security sent us letters in the mail with an appointment. That finally came. We just had our biometric finger prints done by the Dept. of Homeland Security this week. For now, we are just waiting to get our immigration approval back. Hopefully soon, though it may take a few more weeks.
When we get back our immigration approval, we will have it and our homestudy apostilled (fancy seal put on it from the State Secretary's office saying that these documents are real, legit, not forged, etc.) and mailed to Bulgaria. (We already scanned and emailed our homestudy on to Bulgaria so that translation work can be done and ready when the hard copy arrives!) Then those documents will need to be approved by the Minister of Justice in Bulgaria. After we get that approval we can get travel dates for the first trip.
The second trip when we can pick up M. and bring him home will be 4-6 months after the first trip, depending on how long more red tape takes, specifically how long it takes for court in Bulgaria, travel visa for M., article 5 and signatures by important people.