I've not done the best job of keeping you updated on where we are in the adoption process. My apologies!
The main reason is, of course, because there isn't much to tell. :(
We (and by "We" I mean "I") have been steadily working on our end of all the dossier paperwork. We pretty much have all the documents done, signed, and notarized!
Funny, but true . . . I've had the hardest time getting together all of the pictures that we have to send over. I mean these are it . . . the only pics that will give them a glimpse of our family. No pressure! Not that anyone will be basing our adoption on how my hair looks or if by some miracle I got both kids to smile at the same time, but I still want to send a good looking family picture. But that requires all of us to look good . . . at the same time . . . and someone else to be around to take the picture. Easier said than done!
And don't even get me started on taking pictures of our house! When is there ever a moment when it doesn't look like Disney World threw up all over the floor? That small window actually comes only once a week . . . the two minutes before our Life Group comes over on Thursday nights. I'm running around like a mad woman throwing toys in boxes, chunking a pile of dirty dishes in the dishwasher (the group has been warned to NEVER open the dishwasher), and arranging stacks of papers as to give the illusion of organized chaos. So for a moment, the house looks beautiful. And then it is full of friends, food, and little ones that immediately undo all that I've worked so hard to accomplish!
I've been telling Chad for a month that I need to take pictures of the house right before Life Group. And every week I forget. The moment is gone. With no hope of returning until the next Thursday. So praise Jesus that Chad actually remembered this week! I got my pictures so I can finally check that off my to-do list!
In reality, we are just waiting on our homestudy to be completed. We've made corrections on the first draft (a 19 page document . . . this is no small thing!), we have one more meeting with our social worker on March 6th, and then it should be finished by mid-March!
After our case worker with AGCI reviews it for any errors, we will get the notarized final copies of the homestudy. We then immediately put it in the mail with our immigration application and send it off to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). They will hopefully quickly send us an appointment date and time for us to have our fingerprints done for immigration. As soon as we're fingerprinted, we can finally mail in our dossier to AGCI.
We might have to make a few corrections to our dossier, but at this point we will officially be on the waitlist! This means we'll get our number . . . unfortunately a very large number . . . that signifies our place on the waitlist for an Ethiopian boy. Each month, we'll get an update of our number as we move down the list.
So we are literally trying to hurry up so we can wait and wait and wait and wait. Not gonna lie, it is definitely disheartening. The current wait times given are anywhere from 2 to 3 years.
Why such a long wait when we know there are so many orphans waiting for families?
There are many reasons . . . politics, just a long process, Ethiopia doesn't have the money or manpower to process things as quickly as the US, and just plain ole drama. Honestly, I really don't understand the ins and outs of all that is going on between the US and Ethiopia that is causing the long wait. But I know that not all of it is good or necessary. And the wait is definitely the hardest on the little ones that need the love and care of a family.
Here's an article from Christianity Today that explains a little of what is going on. It may help give you a little insight into the drama unfolding and the prayer that is needed.
Prayer really is the best thing we can do right now. We invite you to join with us in praying that the US and Ethiopian governments will get their stuff figured out and will process adoptions ethically, efficiently, and will have the best interest of the orphans in mind.
I've really struggled with the realization that unless there are some major changes (which can definitely happen and is why we need to pray), it will be years before we have Easton home. I've almost pushed it out of my mind and my heart. Not Easton and the hope for him, but the heartache of the wait. I don't want to hurt for 3 years.
I shared this with Lisa (my bff) and just like her, she gave me the answer I needed to hear, but certainly didn't want to hear. (I wrote a post about how everyone should have a friend like her, but I'm thinking of taking it back . . . she is just too good at her job!! Just kidding Lisa. Don't stop. I love you for it!)
She lovingly pointed out that Jesus never shuts out the heartache that He feels for His children or for orphans. And she encouraged me that if I let myself feel that heartache for however long it takes, I will be a different person in the end. Numbing myself to the pain and struggle will certainly change me too, but not in the way I want, not more into the image of Jesus.
So that's where I'm at . . . I look ahead in excitement to finally having a number on the waitlist, but wrestle with how to wait well. How do I experience the heartache that comes from loving my orphan son, but not knowing when He will be mine? How do I rest in the story God is writing for HIS glory? How do I do this without breaking out into sobs each time I hear the word Ethiopia or see a little black boy running around?!
As you can see, we could use prayer! Thanks for walking this journey with us!