Today marked a big step for us in our adoption journey . . .we were finally able to submit our dossier to get on the waiting list for our child!
A dossier is essentially a huge pile of papers we have worked on, gathered, signed and often had notarized, and then finally organized to present ourselves, as a family, to the Ethiopian government. There are all kinds of "do's" and "don't" and "must haves" to reach this point.
After dropping off 3 very excited little girls at Grandpa and Grandma's house, Ryan and I headed up to chicago for our final "hurdle" to submit our dossier: fingerprinting with USCIS.
From there, we headed STRAIGHT to the nearest Kinko's to assemble the last remaining details.
Organizing all our needed copies in the correct order
Our finished piles (and 6 1/2 months of our lives : ) )!!
When you get ready to mail your packages, they always ask you to state what is the value of your enclosed items. Ryan and I joked later that it was all we could do not to respond with, "How much do you value your own life!?" (we didn't).
But it is crazy to think that it is these papers that will play such a huge role in bringing our child into our family. You can't place a value on that! We might be able to say that as we prayed together later tonight, thanking God for His faithfulness this far, we may have also prayed for protection and safe arrival of these papers in Oregon tomorrow morning.
And wouldn't you know, a starbucks was conveniently located 3 stores down from the kinko's!? Perfect refresher after a lovely hour and a half spent in Kinko's. : )
After a quick trip to Nordstrom Rack for me to window shop the shoes : ), we got to enjoy an early dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We've gone to so many other restaurants lately while in Chicago these past few years, we decided it was time to head back. Between the company and great food, it was a great way to end the day.
(we may have snagged a couple pieces of cheesecake to stuff ourselves with once home tonight as well) : )
It seems crazy to think that it was almost exactly NINE months since we first submitted our preapplication to begin the adoption process and six and a half months since we mailed our official contracts to AGCI. It feels incredible to have this part of the journey (largely) past us. The irony of having begun this process 9 months ago isn't lost on me. : )
While this part of our adoption journey stretched out much longer than we anticipated, the reality is that this next step of the adoption process has also stretched out longer in front of us than we anticipated.
Now that our dossier has been submitted for approval, we wait to hear back from our agency, will make any needed revisions, and then will be given our number (or place) on the waiting list. Adoptions in Ethiopia have slowed and wait times have increased. We anticipate high numbers . . and honestly, after beginning the process expecting about a 9 - 12 month from this point, we could be facing as much as 2 years.
Yet God has spoken so much to me about His promises. These past 9 months have been filled with ups and downs. Yet we can stand here and call Him faithful (and not because of the milestone reached). He was faithful in the unknown, He was faithful in the obstacles and hard times, and He was faithful in the victories. We know that regardless of the time still ahead, He stands besides us and will continue to be faithful.
For that, we have much to give Him praise.