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!