Monday, January 16, 2012

"So, how's the adoption process going?"

We've been getting that question a lot recently and for a detail-oriented person like me it's really hard to give a short answer.  If I can tell it's someone just being polite, I just say, "Really well!" or maybe add "We're finishing up the paperwork part of the process and soon we'll be a waiting family."  If the questioner continues to ask questions, that's when I take the cue to go into more detail. 

I thought I'd go into that detail here for those of you who are interested.

We have finally completed all of our documents for our dossier.  The requirements for the documents are super picky as far as content and presentation of the documents.  Each document must be in pristine condition and be notarized and state certified (the notary verifies that the person who signed the document is who they say they are and state certification verifies that the notary is a authentic notary in a particular state).  Each document was so much work to complete - doctors letters, references, original birth certificates, financial declarations, employment verifications - and each is now precious to me because of the amount of effort put into each one.  I would cry if something happened to even one thing and I sweat every time I have to bring our paperwork out of our house!

On December 9th, we got our fingerprints taken as a part of a criminal history background check for USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).  We had to wait until we got that approval back before we could get all of our dossier documents state certified.  The approval came in the mail last Friday, January 13th.  (Not a bad turn around for having the holidays in there as well as a little hiccup when they called and said page 5 of our home study was mysteriously missing.  Not to worry, our awesome HS agency fixed that problem the same afternoon!)

So here's what's next:
1. Drive to Topeka and get all of our dossier documents state certified. (We plan to do this on Thursday)
2. Get our passport photos taken.
3. Submit all documents to CHI for processing/checking for accuracy.

Once our dossier is completed and turned in to our agency, they will send it on to Ethiopia and put us on the waiting list.  At that time they will tell us how many families are waiting ahead of us.  However, just because we are number 81 (for example) on the waiting list, doesn't necessarily mean that we will wait for 81 referrals to be handed out to other families before we are matched with our child.  There are two lists - one of children who are ready to be matched with a family and another of families waiting for a referral.  Each list would indicate the gender, age and health conditions of the child and the specific requests of the family (age, gender, heath conditions, siblings, etc). The lists might look like this: (sorry if the lists are all wonky...I was having frustrating formatting issues)

Children waiting                               Families waiting
1. Two year old girl                          1. girl 0-12 months
2. 7 month old boy                           2. siblings 0-7 years
3. 3 year old boy                              3. boy or girl 0-3 years
4. 4 month old girl                           4. boy or girl 0-12 months

So, our agency would look at the child in the number one slot - a two year old girl in my example - and then start going down the list of families to see if she matches a family's requests.  So in this case, families in the 1 and 2 slots don't match with the first child available, but family number three does - so they would skip ahead and get their referral next.  Basically, the more specific you are, the more likely you will be waiting longer.  In theory.  Of course, it's all dependent on the children who are available for referral.  

Remember this story, about the family whose daughter turned out to be a son?  The were several slots down on the list, but all the families in front of them had requested boys, so because they had requested boy OR girl and their son (whose paperwork mistakenly said he was a girl) was the first child available, they got bumped to the top of the list.  If his paperwork had been correct, he would have been matched with one of the families at the top of the list. It's a crazy, unpredictable, beautiful process.  But, you just have to trust that God is in it.  

We are requesting a boy or girl 0-12 months.  We have recently seen families wait 10.5 months for a referral that fits our request, but we're telling ourselves to expect a year at least so we don't get our hopes up too high.  In that time, we will be fundraising for our referral fee (note our new thermometer on the right!), loving on Lila, and praying for our son or daughter and his or her family in Ethiopia.  It is bittersweet when we think about our baby joining our family because we know for that to happen, a terrible tragedy will have to first happen in his or her life.  Kids just don't become orphans without a tragedy. 

In light of that reality, I've been thinking about Baby Jesus (I know Christmas is over and everything, but stick with me) and the fact that as he snuck into this world, the tide began to turn and from that moment all the wrong things began their journey to become right.

During the weeks surrounding Christmas, Lila and I read and re-read the nativity story in Lila's Jesus Storybook Bible: 

"But it's too wonderful!" Mary said.  "How can it be true?"

"Is anything too wonderful for God?" Gabriel said.

So Mary trusted God more than what her eyes could see. And she believed.

As I've been praying for our baby and his or her family, I have been reminding myself that nothing is too wonderful for him.  I have been praying for the least tragic option for our son or daughter...whatever that might be.  I am trusting Him to bring good from even the most horrible tragedies because nothing is too wonderful for him.  He's here and wrong things are becoming "righter" by the second because of Him.


LA said...

praying for your babe too. And I love the jesus story book bible.

Holly said...

Love this! Love you guys! Love Lila girl and love future Kautzi baby!

Mrs. Tidyman said...

I love the Jesus Storybook Bible too! We read it together and we don't even have kids yet. I'm looking forward to reading more about your growing family!

Katy said...

Praying for your babe too! God will know when the time is right!