Sunday, October 5, 2008
Here is a brief overview of what our process will be like:
Phase One: Paperwork: We have a mountain of paperwork to get through. Lots of forms to fill out, things to notarize, and fees to pay.
Phase Two: Homestudy and government fingrprinting: This involves interviews with our homes study agency (Bethany Christian Services) and getting fingerprinted etc.
Phase Three: Approvals: After the home study report is finalized it will go to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services office to be combines with some of our paperwork and federal fingerprints in order for us to get our official approval to adopt from Rwanda.
Phase Four: Dossier work: Although a lot of the paperwork that goes with the Dossier (the paperwork that gets sent to Africa), is done simultaneously as the other paperwork, we still have to wait until our homestudy and USCIS approvals are completed before we can get the Dossier authenticiated (state verifies that the notaries are good and certified etc.) then this paperwork will all go to Africa and we will wait for a referral
Phase Five: Referral: Once our Dossier is in Africa then the person who is our case worker there will help find a match for our family. She will work with the government to make sure things are in order, and when children are matched with our family they will "refer" them to us.
Phase Six: Once our case worker notifies us that they have a "referral" for us, then we will have some more paperwork to do here in the states and will have to make travel arrangements etc., to go to Rwanda to pick up our girl(s).
Phase Seven: Travel: It could take anywhere from one to three months (expected time frame) from the time we get our referral to the time we get on a plane and head to Africa. Once we do go there we will meet up with our in-country host(s) who will take us to the orphanage to meet our baby(s). It is believe that we will spend some time in Rwanda and some time in Ethiopia.
Phase Eight: Paperwork in Africa: After we get the baby(s) from Rwanda, then we will go to Ethiopia to finish our paperwork in order to bring the baby(s) back to the US. This will involve work with the US Embassy, lawyers and the consulant and once it is stamped and approved then we travel back the to US.
Phase Nine: Adjustment: Once back in the states we will introduce big brothers to their new siblings and then work on getting everyone adjusted to live with a larger family! During this phase we will also have some follow up home study visits to ensure that things are working out well and probably have some more paperwork to complete!
Whew!!! It does seem like a lot of work and a long process... but I am certain it will all be well well worth it!!!!