Our adoption agency has now received all of our necessary letters of reference and we have also completed the interview at our agency...therefore we can say that we are now formally "approved"! We are doing the happy dance...however we thought we would spare you from that visual. So you may ask where do you go from here? When are you buying your airline tickets?
So here is how the process works:
1) First step is the home study. After gathering various documents (employment letters, medical reports, financial documents, our bios, criminal background checks) a social worker will come to our house to interview us. The social worker will write up an 8-10 page report, which is called the "homestudy", and consists of who we are and how we have prepared ourselves for the adoption. Average time to complete: 2-3 months
2) After the homestudy is finalized we send that and an application to CIS/INS to request approval to bring an orphan home from another country. Once we get our "CIS approval/I-171H" form we will then gather the documents listed above, including the homestudy, and several more to create our "dossier". Average time to complete: 1-3 months
3) Our Dossier will be sent to the Ethiopian Embassy and then on to Ethiopia for review. This is when our "official wait" begins to receive a referral. Average time to complete: 4-6 months
4) After we receive our referral then we wait about four months before we travel to Ethiopia. During this time our paperwork goes to court in Ethiopia. We will then be in Ethiopia for about two weeks before returning home with our beautiful child.
As you can see there are several steps along this journey. A couple days ago I discovered a quote that has now become one of my favorite quotes: "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." -Harriet Tubman
I found this wonderful article and felt compelled to share this...for us it was a "choice and a blessing".....
"Adoption is a choice....
It is a choice in a lot of different ways. Adoption is a choice for parents who are unable to care for their children. It is a way for them to provide for their children. For some parents adoption is a choice instead of abortion. For some parents adoption is a choice instead of extreme poverty and suffering. There are many other reasons a parent could choose adoption for her child. It is certainly never an easy choice for birth families, but it is a choice.
Adoption is a choice for parents who want to expand their families. For some people, adoption is a choice instead of infertility treatments. For some people, adoption is the only choice to become a parent. For some people, adoption is a just another way to bring a child into a family.
Transracial adoption is a choice. It is choosing not only to love, parent and make your own a child that is not related biologically to you, but also to love, parent and make your own a child that does not look like you. It is choosing to take on issues like racism, prejudice and white privilege. It is to care about a culture other than your own. It is taking on the criticism of those who see color of skin as a way to segregate people. It is complicated." "Adoption is also a business, expensive, hope, life changing, love, complicated, a roller coaster, risky, making connections, necessary, something to be thankful for, hard, beautiful, and family. When you put all of those pieces together, that is what adoption is to me. For many reasons, adoption is one of the things I am most passionate about. Because adoption is hope, is love, is something to be thankful for, is necessary, is life changing, is beautiful and is family, I believe that it is a very good thing and I believe that it is worth advocating for. On the flip side, because adoption is also a business, is expensive, is complicated, is a roller coaster, is risky and is hard, I also think that it is important that adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents and adoption professionals work at educating others and always strive to keep ethics a top priority.
And because adoption is only necessary and only exists because of social, personal and economic hardships that exist in this world, I think that we also need to work at trying to make a difference in the world and trying to make things better, so that less children have to suffer the trauma of being separated from their first parents. Fighting against hunger, poverty, social stigmas and preventable and treatable illnesses will lead to less orphans being created.
In a perfect world, adoption would not be necessary, as every child that was born would be born unto parents who were ready, willing, desirous and able to parent him. Since we do not live in a perfect world, adoption is a wonderful second chance for many children. I hope that we all can be aware of the millions of children across the world who do not have families to belong to. I hope that we can be aware of the tragedies that are causing these children to be orphaned in the first place. I hope that we can find ways to promote ethical adoption. I hope that for as long as there are children in this world that end up orphaned and alone, that adoption will be an available option to unite those children with new families."
We can't wait to become a "forever family"! We just received notice that all of the letters of reference have finally arrived ( : In order to complete the agency approval process we will attend a two hour panel interview in a couple of days...and at that time we we hope to hear those magic words "you are approved"!
The Olympics Creed: "The most important thing is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well."
Pierre De Coubertin
The only Ethiopian Olympic Athlete in the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games:
Mens Cross Country Skiing, Robel Teklemariam
We have been together since 1994 and have a wonderful life together! We enjoy activities in nature, being with family and traveling. We have a beautiful daughter who we adore and marvel at the sight of her everyday!