Here's the short version of what we're shooting for:
We should have our first $8,000 (aka, our agency fee) turned in by the end of 2011. This ensures that our application doesn't expire and we won't have to re-pay our application fee. Unfortunately, we can't apply for any kind of assistance with this first chunk of cash. We have to come up with all of it.
After this we will have to wait about 3 months for the U.S. paperwork to clear, our home study to conclude, a few other things to happen, and then we'll be all set to go from the U.S. side of things.
Once this is done, we've got another 6+ months of waiting for the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia to take care of the Ethiopian side. Apparently there's no real way of knowing how long this will take, but we've been told to expect 6-9 months.
After the MOWA has decided to let us have one of their precious babies, we'll be matched with a baby living in Hannah's Hope, an orphanage located in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. We'll finally get to see pictures of our baby, we'll receive their medical information, and we will take over their orphanage expenses.
Six months later, we'll board the plane to Ethiopia! We won't get to bring our baby home at this point - this will just be a 10-day-long trip to begin the bonding process, make final decisions, and take care of a few legal things.
Six weeks after that, we'll return to Ethiopia, finalize the adoption, receive our baby's U.S. Citizenship, and return home to begin our new, wonderful life.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
I'm so thankful that God has been so blatantly obvious about this whole thing. Sometimes I need to be slapped with the obvious (figuratively) in order to really understand His will, and He's been, well, faithful.
When I filled out the pre-approval there was a space where we had to list our top three "country choices." I tried to put "Ethiopia" in all three blanks, but it wouldn't let me. I finally clicked Taiwan and China as our 2nd and 3rd and turned that bad boy in. When our coordinator, Erin, called the next day she said, "I think Ethiopia is your best bet. For the other countries you have to be at least 30, so those won't work." My heart fluttered a little when she said that. "I knew those other countries wouldn't work," I thought, "our baby is in Ethiopia!"
After receiving our pre-approval, we filled out the actual application and sent that in immediately. We received a call not even 3 days later and were told that we had successfully made it through that phase of the process also.
Next came our first phone interview! We received a HUGE packet of information and were told that we needed to be very familiar with all of the information before the phone interview. We spent hours going over every detail - agency contract, adoption process, timeline, fee schedule (…oooohh, that fee schedule) - and, finally, we were ready. On September 7th, we had our first interview and it went perfectly.
We were pumped up and ready to go. The next step? Write a check. A big check.
Erin had given us a list of fundraising ideas (and they were great ideas), but still…yikes. I started doing a little research to find out what kinds of things other families had done to fund their international adoptions. There are lots of awesome blogs out there - it's like a little community of families who are all in the business of helping each other bring home their babies. I'm excited to join in on it and get this ball a-rollin'!