We are so happy you’ve joined us on our journey to parenthood! As hopeful as we were, and as hard as the road was, we are breathing a sigh of that the infertility process is over and are moving on to a new and exciting adventure. We are hopeful that the road to adoption will not be too bumpy and will result in the creation of our family. Addis Ababa, here we come!
In case you were wondering, here are the Ethiopian adoption basics:
1. Pre-application: We just received approval from our adoption agency (WACAP) to begin the adoption process, which was reason enough to bring out the champagne! Not too early to celebrate, right?
Step one, complete!! Yahoo!!
1. Next: The Dreaded Homestudy: During this phase of our adoption, we gather every document we’ve ever touched in our lives, write a biography, fill out a resource plan, have physicals, increase our life insurance, etc, etc. Once the homestudy documents are complete, our case manager from the agency will come to our home and give it the white glove test. Just kidding! (We hope!) This visit is just to make sure that our home is safe and appropriate, and to meet us in person. The homestudy process takes roughly 3 months, which we are beginning now.
2. The Dossier: Once the homestudy is complete, we begin our dossier, which is another packet of documents that are sent to Ethiopia. I understand that some of these documents are similar to the homestudy requirements, so we are going to try to kill two birds with one stone and order doubles of everything. The dossier process takes roughly 2 months.
3. Immigration: Once our dossier is complete, we wait for an appointment to be fingerprinted. Once fingerprinting is complete and Immigration gives us the green light, we are on The Wonderful, Amazing List!!
4. The Wonderful , Amazing List: Once a family is added to The List, they are officially in line to receive a referral for a child from Ethiopia. We are waiting for a 1-12 month old child, either a boy or a girl. Because we have not designated a desired sex, we will very likely be referred a boy. The current wait time for a healthy baby boy is 7-12 months.
5. The Referral: This is the call all adoptive parents wait dream about. Once a referral is made to us, we receive medical information and any history that is known about the child. If we accept the referral, we get ready to travel! If we do not accept a referral, we stay at the top of The List and wait for the next referral.
6. Pack Your Bags!: Once a referral is accepted, we start getting ready to travel. For an Ethiopian adoption, two trips are required to Addis Ababa. The first is to go to court to become legal parents of the child. The second trip is to take the child home. This is a new process, as before June 2010 only one trip was required and the courts are closed in August and September. As it is so very new, we aren’t really sure how it’s going to work out – we know some folks going ahead of us so they will pave the way (thanks, guys!). Wait times between the referral and the first trip is 8-12 weeks. Between the two trips, the wait time is 5-8 weeks.
7. Come home, breathe a sigh of relief, and start our lives a family!!
This is a very simplified version of upcoming events, but hopefully everything will go smoothly and in the next 18 months or so we will have a little one to call our own!!
More updates are coming soon. Once again, thank you to everyone for your support over the last couple of years and in the upcoming roller coaster!
Molly and Cory