Our Ethiopian Adoption

"We do complicated."  If you know me, you may have heard me say that...often.  It's just what we do.  I can deal with it (complicated), or I can make it happen. 

We began this adoption with Ethiopia in mind.  After all, there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone.  As soon as we began the adoption process in Ethiopia, things slowed down.  I'm not afraid of slow.  I get stuck behind tractors and old people all the time!  However, this was a slow that put an anxiousness in my heart that could only be from God. 

In March of 2012, I found God stirring me...BIG TIME.  He stirred me straight up out of bed and to look at "waiting children" lists.  One particular evening, I looked under our agency's "waiting children" list-UNDER AFRICA!!!  I PROMISE!-I yelled for Dallas to come in and look at not one, but TWO sibling groups right in our age range!  He said, "How is it that we have not seen these kids before?!!!"  Upon further examination, he said, "Kell, these kids are in HAITI!"  Darn.  Well, that prompted us to put in an application to be considered for these two sibling groups (not knowing the can of worms we were about to open up).  Right after we applied to the orphanage to be considered for these little ones, I went on an adoption retreat called Created for Care.  At one point in the weekend, I was praying over a HUGE world map on the floor-one hand on Ethiopia, one hand on Haiti, I was ugly sobbing and crying out to God, "WHERE are my children?!"  He didn't answer that weekend, that week, or even that month (I'm not very patient...call it a character flaw.  It is what it is.).  We asked several times if they'd heard back from the orphanage.  "Not yet."  Then, we heard back.  We were not accepted for these two sibling groups.  I kind of just went with the flow (I know, a SHOCKER!), thinking, "Well, God answered THAT question!  Our kids are in Ethiopia, and we'll just keep waiting."  The next week, we got "the call."  I got home and Dallas called to tell me to open up an email that included pictures and "tons" (in adoption world, "tons" of information is relative) of information!  WAY more than most people get with referrals!  We were referred two healthy brothers!  I laughed out loud when I read the "blurb" about their personalities, and how the younger brother gets into "minor trouble."  HAHA!  I can do "minor trouble!"  I do that practically every day anyway.  Don't believe me?  Read my "Seeing Red" blog about my littlest redhead!  These boys will be the perfect fit for our family!  The icing on the cake!  The missing piece to our puzzle!  We were thrilled and accepted the referral!

Things kind of happened out of order for us, and to try to explain it would make me want to crawl into the fetal position in a corner, but basically, it's a good thing I was fasting (you can read about that HERE) when all this went down, because I would have completely shut down otherwise.  We re-did our entire dossier in 2 and 1/2 months, had it translated and authenticated and sent down to Haiti.  We just got our confirmation message TODAY!  God's Littlest Angels Orphanage in Haiti has it IN HOUSE!  WHOOP!  I don't have dates and all that exciting  stuff about our SECOND dossier.  Just trust me that it was a WHIRLWIND...a WHIRLWIND!  I guess that when I told God and anyone else just how horrible a thing dossiers are and that I would "NEVER IN MY LIFE DO THAT AGAIN (while shaking my fist at God),"  He wanted to make sure that I realize that I should not tell Him what I would and would not do again (I'm a little hard headed...but just a little-wink, wink).

CURRENT STATUS:  Waiting to be logged into IBESR in HAITI! (Dossier to HAITI date: 8.13.2012)

Our timeline:
~Applied to Bethany Christian Services-12/28/2010
~First homestudy appointment-1/20/2011
~Second homestudy appointment-1/27/2011
~Home visit-2/24/2011
~Homestudy complete-3/28/2011
~FBI Fingerprinting in York, PA-6/14/2011
~USCIS Preapproval (immigration)-7/11/2011 (I think we might go out for free slurpies to celebrate!)
~Dossier appointment with our Social Worker in Lancaster, PA-7/14/2011
~Dossier PA state sealed in Harrisburg-7/14/2011
~Dossier approved by Bethany Christian Services (BCS)-7/14/2011
~Dossier approved by BCS headquarters-7/26/2011-Sending to Dept. of State on 7/28/2011
~Dossier authenticated by the Department of State and Ethiopian Embassy-check!
~Dossier sent to ETHIOPIA!!! 8/12/2011
~Dossier registered in Ethiopia! 10/13/2011
~Wait time for siblings under the age of 48 months was just changed to 18-24 months.  Ethiopia will not accept Dossiers older than 2 years, so when the oldest item in our Dossier is 2 years old, we will have to begin to RE-DO our Dossier 12/10/2011.  
 ~We are now praying about changing our adoption plan from adopting siblings to adopting a single child. 12/17/2011
~Changed preference form.  Our preference form now states that we would either like a single child between the ages of 0 and 3, or siblings between the ages of 0 and 5.  1/3/2012
~Our agency "up-ed" the wait time for referrals of 0-3 year olds to 18-24 months.  The wait time for siblings in our age range is well over two years.  At this point, we are praying about what to do with that information.  
We are now in the HAITI program and are adopting brothers from God's Littlest Angels Orphanage~Still using Bethany Christian Services
~Submitted application to be considered for the two sibling groups in HAITI that we saw on the "waiting children list."
~Found out we were not chosen for the two sibling groups we applied to be considered for in HAITI~4/24/2012
~Referral of two brothers from HAITI~4/30/2012

~Dossier to HAITI~8/13/2012 (My parents' 35th wedding anniversary!)