Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Process

People often ask us, "How's the adoption going", so I thought I'd write a little about the process. It all starts with lots (and lots) of paperwork. First we applied to be clients with our agency. Then we had a home study done (interviews, education classes and paperwork that culminates in a 10-12 page report deeming us worthy to become adoptive parents). More paperwork for the agency (including back ground checks, physicals, letters of recommendation, birth and marriage certificates, financial statements and pages of questions regarding our childhood, beliefs, family memories...). Once we were approved to adopt, we got---more paperwork that provided instructions for completing our dossier (a collection of documents that go to Ethiopia). Copy, notarize, certify, and send all this paperwork to our agency-which is then sent to be translated and finally sent to Ethiopia and then wait. That's the short version. It took us about 3 months to complete this process and as of June 11, 2009 we are officially waiting for a referral (a file with our child/children's picture, medical reports and background information). Once we accept the referral, we wait for a court date in Ethiopia to legally adopt the kids and then we travel to pick them up. All the paperwork is done and now we just wait for the kids that match our profile.

We started this wait as one of about 380 families. Each Monday we get an update of how many referrals were made the prior week. A typical month may bring 20-30 referrals, however in the past two weeks there have been a total of 50 referrals made. One of the orphanages that our agency works with has recently extended services to the Southern Region of Ethiopia and they have received an increase in referral activity. When we submitted our dossier, the wait time for a referral was 12-18 months. We're not sure, but it would seem that with the increase in activity, the wait may decrease slightly. At this time, most families are receiving referrals at the 14 month mark. We're hoping to know who are kids are by next summer.

As we've mentioned, we've applied for siblings. With 5 million orphans, you would think that lots of sibling groups would be in need of adoption. And there are many older siblings waiting for families. Younger sibling groups are not as common. Our agency feels strongly about placing kids in birth order (meaning that they would be younger than our youngest child-Colton is 18 months old). Finding a sibling group that is younger than Colton would mean very close siblings or twins. Our agency has repeatedly told us not to get our hopes up for siblings because our other children are fairly young. So, we are trusting God and placing our "hopes" in Him, knowing that he can do all things. If it is His will to send two children home, then that is just what will happen.

So for now, we pray and wait to see what God has planned.

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