Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Process, The Chaos, The Paperwork (had to throw chaos in there, it sounded more interesting)

Ok, again this will be a blog that’s hard to make riveting (cue the dramatic music). The question has been thrown at us repeatedly by our inquisitive friends, “What is our timeline like?” “When will you bring the twins home?” However, we probably should shrug our shoulders in total ignorance…..

We really do have no clue when the twins will come home…really. Our last two adoptions took on lives of their own (or I should say, a life of God’s).

Max we called our “miracle baby” in an adoption that was supposed to take twelve months from the signing of the contract, took six. Bekah’s adoption was much of the same. Her adoption was supposed to take eighteen months, took nine. We have these crazy time lines that are put in place and God has other ideas. We know it could easily take much longer(though we pray not), but then God knows much better than us when our little ones will end up in our arms. I LOVE the saying, “We plan, God laughs”.

Do we hope it’s quick? The funds? The wait? Court? Travel? Do we hope that it’s like water, pouring into our lives in a steady flow? YES! God knows so much better than we do though.

After all that, I will share with you the basic timeline we’ve been given. Since we know you all have been waiting in intense anticipation (try saying that five times fast…intense anticipation, intense anticipation, intense anticipation, intense anticipation, intense anticipation)….here it is!

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WE ARE NOW AT STEP NINE!!!

Step One:DONE! Application to Placing agency (Adoption Avenues). (Mailed May 6th)

Step Two:DONE! Contract signed for Home Study Agency (Hope International-May 6th) and Adoption Avenues (May 17th).

Step Three:DONE! Paperwork chase and online classes for Home Study and actual Home Study (June 5th at 2:00)

Step Four:DONE! Paper Chase for the Dossier-Dossier gathered-These are the documents that we register in Ethiopia for the adoption. We will hopefully be done with these two weeks from home study.

Step Five: DONE! Fingerprints and Pre-approval from Immigration (U.S.). Will hopefully send off this week and will receive invite for fingerprints and approval within 4-6 weeks…maybe. It was mailed June 24th and the receipt for payment came in the mail on June 30(though showed a processed date of June 25th on the receipt). We just had our fingerprint appointment on July 30th. Our approval just arrived exactly 15 days later on August 13th.

Step Six:DONE! Sending Dossier and Immigration paperwork to Secretary of State to get all documents certified from the State they came from. This includes Texas and California for us. We sent off one set of papers on June 11th, but need to wait for immigration approval (step five) to send all of the rest of the documents. We will walk those in ourselves (Woo hoo! Fun trip!).****We just took care of the Apostille (State Certification) by driving down to our State Capital on August 16th and 17th. We are just gathering the funds to be able to send in OUR COMPLETE dossier now! Woo Hoo! Exactly two weeks from the date we came home (August 31st) we sent our Dossier to our agency who takes care of the rest!!!!

Step Seven:DONE! Our Dossier goes to Washington DC to be authenticated. Usually this is very quick.

Step Eight:DONE! Our Dossier gets sent to Ethiopia to be translated and registered. We hear it takes about 2-3 weeks from the authentication (step 7) to registering our documents. Our documents arrived in Ethiopia on Sept. 14th, 2009!

Step Nine:DONE! THE WAIT BEGINS! Our wait began officially on October 6th, 2009! We now wait for a referral of our twins! This can be a very short wait if no one is ahead of us with the same request. Though this is hard, it also involves an enormous loss for another one of God’s children….our children’s biological family (which becomes our extended family). We know that Our Heavenly Father has brought miracles in our lives! We can't wait to see what He has in store :)!

Step Ten- DONE!!! Referral-We received the REFERRAL!!!! We saw our babies and accepted the referral of our infant twins Gabriel and Rachel on Feb. 8th, 2010.

Step Eleven- DONE!!! Ethiopian Court- This usually happens about 3 months after referral. OUR COURT DATE WAS ON APRIL 30th, 2010 and we passed the very first time!!! (We recieved our date by email on April 12th!)

Step Twelve- DONE!!!! U.S Embassy appointment and Travel-Usually about six-eight weeks after court! WOO HOO! Our embassy date is on June 28th, 2010! We were notified of it as a tentative date on June 4th and finally confirmed on June 16th!

Step Thirteen-HOME!!!!! FAMILY!!! ALL THE GOOD STUFF!!!! We arrived home on July 2nd, 2010!!!!
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Again, the question “When?” is all a great guessing game. God is bigger than any timeline man can muster. Our twins will come home at the PERFECT time, there’s no doubt about it!

Yep, no exploding ice cream cones...this time.

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Please Pray…
For these little ones God has chosen to place in our family…for their physical and emotional health in a difficult place.
For their biological family…that God has His hand on them and brings them peace in whatever they must face.
That God has His hand on this adoption, guiding us, bringing peace, and financially providing.
Currently we are in the paperwork stage in which many issues can occur. Please pray that God has His hand on our paperwork and that it gets done and processed quickly and correctly.
Last, though it may seem a bit premature, please specifically pray that once we are referred our little ones, that they come home quickly and pass court the first time (many are starting to have multiple court dates and a LONG wait until travel). The Ethiopian government is being very cautious and caring with their wonderful children though and for that we are so thankful.

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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