Monday, April 28, 2008

The Hand of Providence

What more can I say?!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Dossier Explained

A few folks (not just Amy!) have asked about the dossier, so I thought I would explain that a little bit more. The dossier (doss-ee-ay) is the collection of documents that is compiled and actually sent to the country from which you are adopting. Typically, once approved by the adoption agency, the dossier is translated into the appropriate language and sent overseas. The child's country reviews and, hopefully, approves the dossier and sets the applicable process in motion for assignment of a child, or referral. In most cases, a dossier is also compiled for the child by the government. This would include as much information as is available about the child, medical records and history, and any necessary release forms from living relatives, I would assume.
The adoptive parent's dossier includes your homestudy approval documents, medical clearances, financial statements, letters of reference, criminal background check clearances, etc. The documents required in a dossier vary by country. When we joined the Vietnam program, we were told that we would have one of the easiest dossiers to complete. (It wasn't terrible, but I couldn't imagine what a more complicated dossier would be like!) Upon joining the Ethiopia program, we discovered that even "simpler" dossiers existed! Many of the documents required are the same between countries, so we actually have a few of these already "done" from our Vietnam dossier. They just need to be updated since so much time has passed.
Speaking of time, many people grumble about the length of time and the amount of paperwork required for an adoption, domestic or international. It IS frustrating and tedious, to be sure. Yet, I think about what I would want to happen if, heaven forbid, one of my biological children were to become an orphan. I would hope that should some stranger from another country wish to adopt my child, that that person would have to provide some serious proof of his or her ability to take care of my child! So, to a certain degree, it is all understandable and I believe it is definitely worth the time and effort!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And Yet Some News

Phew. I had my fingerprints redone today and sent them on their way to the FBI...again. We were also able to FINALLY send off all the remaining homestudy documents. Hopefully our social worker can process those while we wait on the fingerprint clearance.

Yesterday we received the terrific news from AGCI that families can now be placed on the referral waiting list -- THE List, the list you wait on until they assign you your child -- as soon as their completed dossier is accepted by the agency! Prior to this, families would have to wait for approval through Immigration and the Dept of Homeland Security to be placed on the list. This would mean up to an additional two months wait, just to be put on the list to wait some more. With the rate that the Ethiopia program is currently moving -- that is, slightly slower than before but still faster than most other programs -- our agency now feels comfortable putting folks on the list while they are waiting for Immigration/DHS clearance.

Since we already have approval to adopt a child from Vietnam, we only have to submit a Change of Country form for Ethiopia to be reapproved -- hopefully! That means that when a child becomes available for us, we'll be all set to go that much faster. Now we just have to finish our dossier...while we wait on those fingerprints, of course.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And So It Goes

Well, phooey. We were all ready to send off the last of our homestudy documents when we received word that my fingerprints were rejected by the FBI as too smudged. This means I have to wait to receive new fingerprint cards from our social worker, head to the police station to have the prints redone, then send the prints off to West Virginia for the FBI to process, and wait for word that this set was approved and that I have clearance. All this will take at least two weeks. We are on an incredibly fragile timeline as it is, for reasons that would take forever to explain, so this is a frustrating detour to have to take. Please pray that everything goes smoothly this time!

In the meantime, our case manager travelled to Ethiopia for two weeks and just sent out a slideshow of the kids in and around the Home there and of some of the families who also travelled at that to unite with their children. I wish I were allowed to share them, but alas, a whole bunch of confindentiality laws come in the way. Anyhow, it was bittersweet to see these beautiful children. As the process drags on, I feel more and more like I MISS my little girl, even though I don't even know her yet. Yet, it brings me hope to see the children -- it reminds me that someday I will have a picture of a little girl that will soon be my daughter.