We have been reading and talking about adoption for months now in our family, but I just wanted to give a basic rundown of the process for those of you that are less familiar. I will give it in steps (as I understand it best!) I am still learning the ropes, as well!
1.) Send in our Pre-Application to our agency, All God’s Children International. We did this in October, and it was approved. It was at this time that they recommended we wait to actually start the paperwork process until Selah is 10 months old so our new daughter would come into our home in “birth order”.
2.) Fill out our Application and send to AGCI (All God’s Children).
3.) Wait for AGCI to receive our application. After they receive it, we will have our orientation call.
4.) We will then have our Dossier call. A dossier (dos-ee-ey) is a fancy word for a bunch of paperwork. Gathering all of this information, from what I can understand, can take a lot of time and be very stressful! We will also have to get fingerprinted and have thorough background checks.
5.) While we are completing our dossier, we will also be undergoing our Home Study.
6.) Once the Home Study and Dossier are complete, they will be sent to AGCI for approval.
7.) Once all of our paperwork is approved, we will be put on the waitlist. AGCI recently announced a decrease in wait time for referral from Ethiopia. It is now between 9-12 months (between the time your paperwork is approved and referral). Once we are #1 on the waitlist, we will get a referral, or matched with a baby. We will get an exciting call from AGCI to let us know. From what I have seen on other blogs, this has been dubbed “The Call”!
8.) After we receive our referral, we will wait for a court date in Ethiopia. Once we have one, we will travel to Ethiopia to meet our baby girl and have our court date. At that time, she will “legally” be ours, but we will have to leave her in Ethiopia and come back several weeks later to bring her home for good. The Ethiopian government has their reasons for this. It was changed in 2010, and it could change back to 1 trip at some point. Maybe, by the time we go, we will only have to go once.
9.) Travel back to Ethiopia to bring our daughter home!!!!
I have probably left out some very important and necessary steps. Adoption families, help me out! I just wanted to give those who have no idea how it all works some idea of what is about to happen. These are the basic steps. Believe me, I will document each step! We are mailing our application tomorrow, and I’m just going to go ahead and tell the people that work at the Post Office to get familiar with working my camera because they will be my photographers each time we mail something off! HA!