The 171h arrived in the mail yesterday. I opened the letter with the USCIS return address like little Charlie opening the Wonka Bar he purchased with his last dollar. Inside was our Golden Ticket. The big prize!
Most PAPs (prospective adoptive parents) understand the importance of this document. It's a biggie! If you don't remember, I'll fill you in. This document is actually just a letter telling you that you have been approved for the terms you requested in your home study. In our case, up to three kids ages 8-16. The embassy in the country for which you are adopting gets a cable informing them that you are approved for adoption there. This letter is the culmination of all your hard work stateside; the home study, the social worker visits, the fingerprinting, the background checks, the child rearing classes, the peering into your life with a magnifying glass by outsiders. A USCIS officer looks at all your information and letters of recommendation before rendering his or her verdict. For the second time, we received a favorable review and have been granted our 171h.
It is this 171h that allows you to get an immigration visa in your adoptive children's passport and, in turn, allows them to become US citizens the moment they land on US soil. It's your Golden Ticket that gets your children to Wonkaland!
~ Felix ~
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