13.33 years ago - I spent a couple hours at a Romanian orphanage and my desire to adopt started.
13 years ago - I meet my husband, a man whose heart would be open to the idea of adoption.
11.5 years ago - I married my true love.
Initially - We planned on adopting from Russia. I spent a year there and my parents are currently missionaries there, so it seemed to make sense.
The past few years - Adoption from Russia has become more difficult. It began to feel like we needed to consider other countries. During this same time frame, the idea of having 4 kids starting coming up in my mind more and more often.
7.5 months ago (Mother's Day 2010 to be exact) - We finally started the process by putting our adoption agency (WACAP) application in the mail. At this point we started working on our homestudy. Ultimately our homestudy would be written approving us for up to 4 children and children who are up to age 12.
3 months ago - Our homestudy was completed and we were moved from the homestudy department to the Ethiopia program department within our agency. We received a call to discuss the Ethiopia program. During that call we did not feel that they were very supportive of our hopes to adopt 4 siblings at once. In fact I felt torn after that call. As a result I contacted a woman that I had found via the blog world. This woman had adopted 4 at once from Ethiopia and so I looked to her for advice and prayer. She suggested that I look at rainbowkids.com. This lead to us change agencies, to Hopscotch Adoptions. But changing agencies means more paperwork! :)
3 weeks ago - I submitted the last of the needed paperwork needed to change agencies.
Today - I got the email that our application was accepted by Hopscotch. As my mom said: "a mother sized step forward".
Next - Now that our application has been accepted, our homestudy can be amended. Why does it need to be amended? Because it was written for Ethiopia. Every country has slightly different requirements.
Once the homestudy is amended - Then we can submit our i-600 (request to US immigration for permission to immigrate children).
At some point in the near-ish future - We will be contacted with an appointment date and time to get fingerprinted for our i-600.
Once our i-600 is approved - Then we can file our dossier. (Maybe we can do this simultaneously with the i-600. I'm not entirely sure just yet.)
Once we have a referral (names & faces) and approval on the i-600 (which takes approximately 2 months) and our dossier submitted - Then we request a court date.
Once a court date is requested - We wait. I have heard that the timeframe for this varies greatly. I believe that 3 months is an approximation.
Once we have a court date - We fly to Ghana where we will meet our children and go to court. I think at that point we legally become parents to our children.
Approximately 2 weeks after arriving in Ghana - We will leave.... without our children. I'm not sure how we are going to explain this to them. I do dread this part already.
At some point during all of this - We request visas for our children.
Once the US Embassy issues visas for our children (I think approximately 1 month after leaving Ghana) - We return to Ghana.
Approximately 1 week later - We bring our children home!
It's a long journey. Based on my experience so far, I think the adoption process involves 1% of the time spent on paperwork and 99% of the time spent waiting. One step at a time; we keep moving forward towards meeting our children, hugging our children, and bringing our children home.
If you are asking how you can pray for us, let me answer that question. I will admit that I struggle with feeling anxious. It's not so much that I am in a hurry. It is more that I worry about not being in the right place at the right time in order for our children to find their way to us and for us to find our way to them. That might sound silly. It is really difficult to explain. So there are 2 things you can pray for:
- That God will bring our children to us. That He will guide the adoption agency staff to find our children and connect us with them.
- That I might be able to let go and trust Him. The closer we get to being connected with our children, the more I struggle with this.
Thank you for your love and support that you demonstrate by walking beside us in the process.