Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Overview of What's Ahead

We'd like to take a minute to give everyone an overview of where we're at in the process and what's ahead.

As of today, our application has been approved by our adoption agency, All God's Children International (AGCI)! Our preference is for a baby boy under the age of 1. AGCI estimates that from now, we'll have a 11 to 17 month wait before we bring our son home. We will not get a referral for many months, so we look forward to the day when we'll see a picture of him for the first time.

Here's a list of what's next:

-We'll receive an orientation packet in the mail sometime this week, and then we will have a phone orientation on Monday evening.
-Next we'll have a home study done and complete the dossier process along with education courses. The dossier is basically mountains of legal paperwork pertaining to the adoption. During this time we'll also have to apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
-AGCI will submit our dossier to the Ethiopian government for their review and approval.
-Once the government approves the paperwork, AGCI will refer a child to us.
-Once we accept the referral, Ethiopia will formally approve the adoption.
-We'll finally travel to Ethiopia to get him, complete his Immigrant Visa and bring him home!! We'll probably stay in-country about a week before returning, which will give us a chance to see the orphanage and a learn a little about our son's heritage.

Of course, with two governments involved, half the world apart, and all the paperwork, you can figure out why it takes so long! The process will be very thorough, as it should be.

Given the anticipated timeline, it's likely that our future son is being carried by his birth mother as we write this. Please join us in praying for them. While we are anticipating this child with joy, we are also filled with sadness because we know that for us to have the opportunity to care for him means that his birth family is not able to.

-Brian and Heather

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