Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Adoption Roadmap

Many times the adoption process is referred to as an adoption "journey". When I think of a journey, I think of a long experience, with high and lows, easy parts and hard parts...sometimes the path is clear and sometimes it's a little confusing. But always at the end of a journey, when you arrive at your look back on everything and compare it with what you have reached, where you have come...and you know that it was all worth it. Every mountain you had to climb, every valley you had to walk never stopped you from getting you to where you are. It will not stop me from getting to my son. I think the word "journey" is perfect for describing the adoption process. Here is our little roadmap for the journey that we will be on for the next 18-24 months...

Social Worker assigned - welcome call   DONE

Turn in agency contracts and first agency payment   DONE

Orientation   DONE

Home Study: (approximately 3 - 4 months to complete) DONE
  -  Colombia specialist orientation  DONE
  -  Joint interview and home tour DONE
  -  Individual interviews with social worker DONE
  -  Joint interview DONE
  -  Education DONE
  -  Acquire a lengthy list of documents for the home study DONE

Immigration - 800A (approximately 90 days to complete); This is the process for applying for immigration  after the homestudy is finalized; once submitted:
    -  assigned adjudicator: 
2 weeks DONE
    -  4 - 6 weeks: receive letter with         fingerprint appointment and 
location DONE
    -  6 - 8 weeks: fingerprint 
appointment DONE
    -  8 - 12 weeks: receive approval

Dossier (approximately 3 months to complete); this includes the homestudy, immigration approval, a  lengthy list of documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, etc,, and our psychological evaluation DONE
    - Submit dossier to Colombia representative for review and translation (approximately 2 - 4 weeks) 
    - Submit dossier to Colombia central authority for review and approval to adopt (approximately 3 - 4 months)...this is where we will be approved by Colombia to adopt a child, once we receive this       approval, we are will start the "waiting" time

Receive Referral: (approximately 6 - 9 month wait time, but we're on God's timeline)
   - Be referred/matched with a child through a private orphanage, Colombia's central authority, or a waiting child through our agency.

Immigration Approval - 800 (approximately 1 - 2 months after receiving match with a child); this is immigration's approval for us to adopt a specific child
   - Apply for 800 = wait for provisional approval (average 30 days)
   - After approval from USCIS, wait for the US Embassy in Colombia to issue full approval for travel to Colombia (will travel approximately 1 - 2 weeks after receiving approval)

Travel to Colombia (approximately 4 - 7 weeks spent in country)
   - Spend 10 day bonding period with child
   - Appear in court for adoption finalization
   - Wait for US Embassy to issue our child his visa to return to the United States
   - He will be a US citizen the very second the plane touches the ground

   So, there you have it.  Our road map, to do list, checklist, whatever you want to's everything we have to do in order to bring our son home.  These next 6 - 9 months will be filled with paper work and more paper work, getting the right documents to the right people. So if you see me a little frazzled and my fingers are covered with band-aids from multiple paper probably means I could use a hug :)  After finally completing the necessary paperwork...we wait.  The average time right now is 6 - 9 months, but it could be could be longer.  And so during the "wait time", if you see me looking a little teary eyed or maybe a little like a piece of my heart is's because it is and I could definitely use a hug :)

A Stroll Down Memory Lane With AB

We celebrated Anna Beth's 5th birthday this weekend.  It's really hard to believe that she is already 5.  I love the little girl she is growing into and I pray for the young woman she will one day become.  She is such a loving little girl and this great big ole servant's heart.  I pray she uses that love and heart of service for Jesus with everything in her.  I love you, AB, and - as always - I love being your mommy.

May 25.....







Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Day...Last Day

The girls grew so much from their first days of pre-K and Mother's Day Out in August to their last days this week in May.

Dear Time,

I need you to stop...I am not in support of how quickly you pass.

A mommy of growing girls

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Small Bump in the Road

Some very good friends of ours recently told us that they had started the journey to adopt a daughter from China..."ecstatic for them" would be an understatement! Anyway, I was just texting with her and I shared a verse with her that has helped me a lot so far, "I know whom I have believed and I'm persuaded that He is able to keep that which I entrust to Him for that day." 2 Timothy 1:12.  I told her to trust God with this whole process, the ups and the inevitable downs.  As soon as I pushed "send" hit me.  There's a piece of this journey that I've not fully trusted God with.

On Wednesday of this week, we found out that the director of ICBF (the Colombian government office over  adoptions) had resigned.  I told my husband that I wasn't freaking out and that I wouldn't freak out...but he knows me a little bit better than that.  His exact words were, "Misti, God didn't have to get on Facebook this morning to know this was gonna happen.  Remember He's the one who brought us to this...He's got it."  I seriously love that man.

So, what's this little resignation mean for us? I have no idea! Most likely, it won't mean anything but some general delays as they transition to a new director.  Our social worker was very upfront with us (and I'm actually waiting on an email from her going into further detail), but she said it could also depend on who the new director is that they bring in.  One awesome, God-thing, though, is that Raul (the adoption attorney/coordinator for our agency who lives in Colombia) will actually be in Bogota (the capital) for meetings next week and will be able to sit down and get some first hand information.  

Some very good things could also come from a faster and more efficient process from Colombia's end of things!  My biggest prayer is that whatever changes are made, that they would be in the absolute best interest for the hundreds of thousands of orphans in Colombia.  We're also praying that the solution to this would come quickly, but also with wisdom and that the right person would be put in the Director's position.

Would you join us in this prayer?  And join us in trusting God with whatever is in your life?

Have a fabulous day!