Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lots of Steps Closer…

I wanted to do an adoption update, but I didn’t want the post to be all words, so I am adding some pictures that have nothing to do with the post itself, just so it won’t be so boring!!  Although our latest news in anything but boring!!!

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{Selah is completely obsessed with books these days.  She will let you read to her for as long as you are willing!  Myla even “reads” to her sometimes!}

Okay, so on the adoption home front, it has been a very exciting week!  On Monday, Michael and I traveled to Memphis to have our biometric fingerprints taken at the US Dept. of Homeland Security.  We really had no idea what to expect.  His appointment was at noon, and mine was at 1:00 pm.  We waited for a little while because we were early, but they called me back a little after noon, then they called Michael back and we were both done by 12:15 pm!  It was quick and easy.

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So, we came home and prepared to WAIT for our Favorable Determination Letter (the letter that basically says you can bring an orphan back into the country) that you get after your biometric fingerprints.   From what I had heard, it could take up to six weeks to come back.  In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ve got plenty of time to get those last few things done for our dossier.”  All I have left to do is get one document notarized, arrange our pictures on a piece of paper, and get our two recommendation letters from our friends that are writing them.

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Well, I was SHOCKED TO DEATH, when I went to check the mail today, and a mere THREE days after our fingerprints, our Favorable Determination Letter was in our mailbox.  I thought when I saw the envelope from the US Dept. of Homeland Security that it must have just been a receipt or something from our fingerprint appointment.  I opened it up and literally started shaking with excitement!  I couldn’t believe it was already here!!   This is such a big deal because it is the last piece of paper we need to complete our dossier.  Once our dossier is completed, certified and authenticated, we will finally be on the waitlist!!!

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{Obviously, something was really funny!}

So, tonight, I pulled out my thick dossier file folder and double checked everything in it to make sure we were good to go.  I am going to get the things notarized that we need tomorrow and collect our recommendation letters, and then it looks like I’ll be taking a trip to Jackson (hopefully Monday) to the Secretary of State’s office to get all of our documents state certified.  I so hope everything we have is good and nothing will have to be changed.

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{Selah got some new, sparkly shoes for fall/winter, and when they came in the mail, I had to try them on her!  They squeak, and she loves them!}

The next immediate step is the state certification, then our agency will send our dossier to Washington, DC to be authenticated.  After that we will be on the official waitlist.  At that point, there is nothing we can do except wait for a referral.  No more paperwork, no more notarizations, no more fingerprints, etc.!  Our agency’s average wait time for a referral after the dossier is authenticated has been seven months.  This could obviously change because with adoption, nothing is a definite or a sure thing as far as a timeline.  BUT, we know that it is all in God’s timing, and it will be perfect.  (Also, if you are unfamiliar with the process, after we get our referral we will have to wait a little while to travel to Ethiopia.  Ethiopia requires two trips for adopting families.  On our first trip, we will meet our daughter and get to spend some time with her, and we will also have our court date.  We will have to leave her there (I can’t even imagine that separation), and return several weeks later to actually bring her home).  We are praying that we will have her home by the end of next year!

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{Seriously cute shoes!}

I knew I would be excited to get our Favorable Determination Letter whenever it came, but I was way more excited than I thought I would be.  I was almost downright giddy.  I can’t imagine what the day will be like when we get our referral and get to see our baby girl’s sweet face!  I love her so much already and find myself thinking of her so often.  Has she been conceived yet?  Has she been born yet? What is her birthmother like?  What is the situation her sweet birthmother is in?  What will she look like?  When will she be in our arms?  We cannot wait to meet her and have her home!

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This adoption journey has been incredible up to this point, and I know it is only going to get better.   One of the main themes of adoption is waiting.  Waiting to get paperwork done… Waiting for documents to come to you in the mail…  Waiting on a referral…  Waiting to travel… Waiting to travel again…  The Lord has already taught me a lot about patience, and I know He will have to continue to teach me as the time will seem to drag on and on before we will have our next daughter home, but He gave me this scripture this morning during my quiet time, and it ministered to me so much….

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,and he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what HE has done and will be amazed. 

They will put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:1-3

We pray that through this adoption that many will see what the Lord has done and be amazed…I know we have been!  He is so good!!

3 comments:

The Hensons said...

congrats, y'all! i hope the rest of this process moves just as quickly! praying....

Meaghan and Wes said...

Horray again! I love this post, and I LOVE those sparkly shoes!!! :)

Alison said...

YAY!!! You better call me when you are in town Monday!!! When will you be here?? Want to meet for lunch?