I received a phone call from our case manager this afternoon and all of our paperwork is in and our dossier is now complete. Everything has been signed, dated and notarized. All of our I's have been dotted and our T's, crossed. Our dossier has been approved and is waiting on translation in preparation to be sent to Ethiopia for our court date. We are now officially on the waiting list for either a boy or girl, age 0-18 months. So the countdown begins today.....
We have been told that it can take up to 18 months for a referral. The length of time that an adoption takes is dependant upon quite a few variables. Some of which include (but are not limited to) : gender, age and/or health specifications that we may have and unknowns within the country of Ethiopia. So what are we going to do to pass the time?
1. Well, we will continue to raise money for all of our travel expenses. Check back shortly for some new fundraisers we will be unveiling this fall! To date, we have raised a total of $17,000, however, we are still in need of around $13,000 more.
2. I'm looking forward to being able to turn my focus onto my four biological kiddos, as we begin to prepare them for this journey that we, as a family, are about to embark on. I'm trying to think creatively about how I can best prepare them for what it means to be a multi-racial family. What will the issues be that we will be dealing with? What can we learn and absorb from the Ethiopian culture that will help both us, and our adopted child, adapt?
3. I'm also reading any books I can get my hands on about adoption. I'm reading up on things like attachment issues, medical care and of utmost importance - hair care. :) Anything to further our knowledge and understanding of the issues we will undoubtedly face.
I pray that this will be a year of growth for us (not just in going from a 6 person family to a 7!!??!), but also that we would grow in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. That we would use this period of waiting to grow our family spiritually, emotionally and (some of us) physically! I was just commenting to Charles the other day, that this is the longest I've ever gone without being pregnant. Usually, by this time, I would be about 6 months along. It seems kind-of strange. Yet, in a way, I am kind-of expecting again.....just in a different sort-of way. And, this time, without the big belly. ;)
Thanks for celebrating our good news along with us!