Saturday, December 13, 2014

40 months DTE!

Whew! It has been 40 months since our dossier was sent to Ethiopia!

That's a long time to wait to get your kiddo, folks. That's one heck of a long time!

Two families from our agency got their referral this week, which bumped us up 2 more spots on the wait list. We are getting SO CLOSE to it being our turn, and we rejoice with the families who got such great news!

We just got to submit the paperwork to update our fingerprints with USCIS. We also sent off a new Power of Attorney to the WA Secretary of State to be certified - Ethiopia's MOWCYA is asking families for this new POA, so we want to have that ready to go.

We continue to wait and pray for our little girl! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

38 months DTE!

Yesterday marked 38 months since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia!

Last week, Ben and I were pro-active and got our travel vaccinations. Ben got 6 shots and I got 8. The next day we both felt super achy, as if we had lifted 100lb weights all day long. We both felt tired, and a little nauseous, but aside form that, felt fine. By Sunday we were back to normal. (We had expected much worse!).
Before you get all excited that we might be traveling soon, the main reason we got the vaccines now was that our health insurance is pretty awesome, and most of the shots were fully covered.

To see which vaccinations are recommended for travel to Ethiopia, you can check HERE.

Aside from getting vaccinated, there isn't really much news. We continue to wait... we continue to pray... and hopefully we will have some more interesting news for you by the end of the year, but there is no guarantee.

Looking on the bright side, we are a whole lot closer to the end than we were 38 months ago!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

36 months since DTE!

Today marks the big 3-year-mark of waiting since we sent our dossier off to Ethiopia! That's 36 months of waiting for our daughter, folks. 36 months!

When we sent off our dossier, Mark was only 5 years old, and Sean was not even a year old. Look at this picture of them, proudly posing with our dossier just before mailing it:

This was taken Aug 12, 2011
 Oh how we love our boys - they have grown up so much since then! Now they are 8 and almost 4!

Our two wonderful boys hope to be big brothers soon!

Right on time for this celebratory blog post, we finally DO have some updates and good news. Our adoption agency has sent us an email telling us that we are nearing the top of the wait list, and therefore should make sure all our paperwork is in order. We have been busily updating a few of our dossier documents that we have to re-submit upon receiving our referral. 

Since in International Adoption everything is so unpredictable, we honestly don't know when we will receive a referral. We are hoping it will happen before the end of this year (tomorrow would be fine with us, too!). However, we continue to trust in God's perfect timing!

For those of you who are wondering what will happen after we get a referral, here is the approximate sequence of events:
  1. We get a referral. This means our agency calls us to tell us we have been matched with a child, and we get to review her file. The file includes pictures of her, any known history, and medical info. 
  2. We accept the referral. We get to send in a bunch of documents at this time, as well as the referral acceptance fees. 
  3. We wait for the Ethiopian government and the US Immigration services to process a bunch of paperwork. With the new so-called PAIR process, this takes about 4 months.
  4. We are assigned a court date once PAIR is complete and MOWCYA has written a recommendation letter. 
  5. We travel to Ethiopia to meet our daughter, and to adopt her in the Ethiopian court. She legally becomes a Bradley family member at this time!
  6. We travel back home without our daughter while the US Embassy processes MORE paperwork. 
  7. We get Embassy clearance, and travel BACK to Ethiopia. We finally get to take custody of our daughter! We have to attend several appointments at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, and then we travel home!
  8. Upon arrival on US soil, our daughter becomes a US citizen!
  9. We arrive at home, and become a family of 5!
Thinking about arriving at home with our daughter makes me feel all giddy and also a little bit teary with anticipation. This will be one of the most wonderful and also one of the hardest things we have ever done. I am looking forward to a bunch of friends and family welcoming us with our daughter at the airport! More than anything, I am looking forward to holding our daughter in our arms!

Please continue to pray with us for our little girl!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

35 months since DTE

This month our documents have been in Ethiopia for 35 months. WOW! From the time we signed on with our adoption agency we have been waiting 40 months for our daughter. Since the paper chase takes different amounts of time for different families, everyone counts from the time their dossier was sent off though. Hence, we are at 35 months, and counting. 

You might have noticed that I missed updating the blog for a couple of months. Oops! On the bright side, we are that much closer to getting our referral. 

We have worked VERY hard in the last few weeks to get a bunch of our expiring paperwork updated. We have completed our Homestudy update, and have applied for our I-171H renewal. A few new laws were passed, and we JUST BARELY squeaked our application in before they came into effect. Otherwise we would have had to have background checks for every residence we have lived at since we were 18. Between growing up overseas, going to college, being in the military etc. we have moved MANY times, and I don't even remember the address for every place we lived. Whew!
(I should add that our social worker is a rock star. WA DHS was backlogged to the point where our clearances would not have come through on time to make some of the deadlines. She took time out of her day to make sure we got our clearances on time and everything was notarized and mailed on time!)

Quite a few families in our agency have gotten referrals in the last 3 months, now that regional Ethiopian clearances are finally coming through on children's paperwork. Our agency doesn't refer a child until he or she is 'paper ready' - this means a possible longer wait on the front end, but once a referral is given, the paperwork is fairly straightforward. (I say 'fairly' here... keeping in mind that in international adoption a lot of things are unpredictable!). 
This is an exciting (and somewhat nerve-racking) time - the families who are getting referrals right now are about 4 months ahead of us in the process. This means that maybe, just MAYBE we will get our referral by the end of this year! This means that our daughter is most likely already born. Please join me in praying for her...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

32 months waiting since DTE

It has been 32 months since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia!

This month I have some good news: there has been movement in all areas of the process in our agency. Families that have received referrals already finally were issued the so-called 'PAIR' letter. Court dates were given. And the best news: several referrals were made this last week, moving us up the wait list by multiple spots. We feel very encouraged by all this movement.

A lot of our paperwork is expiring, so now we are working on renewing everything that needs to be renewed so that we are ready to go as soon as we have a referral.

Dear Lord, please be with our far-away daughter, whoever and wherever she is right now. Please keep her safe. Please surround her with people who love her and protect her. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

31 months waiting since DTE

I missed our 31-month-wait-aversary. Oops. On March 12 we have waited 31 months. That's one heck of a long wait... and we anticipate waiting for quite a bit longer. 

Today I am praising God because a few families in our agency just got referrals. They are about 6 months ahead of us on the wait list. This does not necessarily mean we will get a referral in 6 months, but it does give me hope that we will have a sweet little face to look forward to within this year.

All our documents are expiring, so in April I will have to start updating our paperwork. While not quite as involved as the initial dossier, it is a LOT of work to get all the documents.

We continue to pray for our daughter's family, and for our little girl, wherever she is right now. We don't know if she is born yet, but we are praying that her mind and her body are covered in God's protection and love. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

30 months since DTE!

It has been 30 months since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia!

I don't really have anything new or exciting to say... except that we are 30 months closer than we were when we started out this wait. :) The wait sucks, but I know that God knows what he is doing, and so we continue to wait patiently-ish.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

29 months since DTE

It has been 29 months since our dossier was sent to Ethiopia.

I don't really have any new news for you right now... so we continue to wait, trust, and hope that the wait will soon come to an end! It could take another year, or there could be a whole slew of referrals. 

On Monday I painted a little painting of my friend's daughter dancing with her scarf at the Ethiopian New Years festival (Enkutatesh) back in September. I needed to paint something hopeful, joyful... I'm getting pretty tired of waiting at this point!