Adoption Information


Adoption brings with it a whole bunch of questions.
Here's some basic information about our process as well as some helpful links


WHAT AGENCY ARE YOU USING?

We have chosen to use American World Adoption Agency.


HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

Our wait was anything but predictable. When began the process in December 2010 the wait for an infant girl was estimated to be about 9 months from DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia). The entire process ended up taking 5 years from start to finish.

While waiting was difficult I am so thankful God is in control. His timing is perfect! When we started this journey we weren't planning on having anymore biological children (or maybe one more but way down the line). Once we realized the wait would be years rather than month we decided to peruse congruent family planning. God was in favor and nine months later we had Parker. I can't image life without my youngest son and I am incredible grateful for God's plan.

Also, God was so gracious to not only meet us in the wait but teach us so many things. When we finally did get our referral He was so good to show us (in super-natural ways) that our Norah was exactly why we waited as long as we did. She was the precise one He had for our family.

HOW MANY TIME DID YOU GO TO ETHIOPIA? 

We chose not to take two trips but instead to go for one long trip. We brought our boys with us which was remarkable. It ended up that we were in Ethiopia for a month.  


WHY ADOPTION?

Beside's God's clear call for His Church to care for orphans and widows in their distress you can read about my heart for adoption here and here

WHY ETHIOPIA?


This one's difficult to explain but I'll do my best.

God did not speak down from the heavens and tell us "Ethiopia." (Although, months before starting the process He did very clearly put Africa on my heart during a time of prayer.) From the get-go choosing Ethiopia was a very practical and thought-out decision. After first RJ and I felt a bit guilty about this. We thought our reasons for choosing ET should have been more "spiritual" but after wise and Godly counsel from our pastor and his wife (who have also adopted) we understood that while the Spirit is very much involved in this process we also have been giving choices. We chose to adopt Internationally rather than domestically for a variety of reasons but mostly because we felt that as a couple we were more equipped to handle the challenges of an international adoption better than the challenges of a domestic adoption. Also, we felt that while the Foster/Adoption system here in the US is terrible (for lack of a better word) children in the system have somewhat better opportunities to succeed than children in Africa where an orphan pretty much faces street-ganges and/or sexual exploitation. We headed towards Ethiopia because we fit the criteria (age, years married, etc.), the projected time-line for adoption (haha!), the huge need (5 million orphans), and because we have a support system of other ET adopted families in our area.

RECOMMENDED READING

Adopted for Life
There Is No Me Without You

A TIMELINE OF OUR JOURNEY:


12/15/10 – application sent

12/17/10 – application approved. Welcome to the Ethiopia Program!

12/29/10 – Family Coordinator assigned

12/31/10 – Home Study Social Worker assigned

1/3/10 – Anna completed online Hauge training

1/17/11 – First Home Study visit

1/20/11 – Second Home Study visit

1/24/11 – Third Home study visit

2/24/11 – Home Study finalized

2/26/11 – I600A sent to Immigration

3/30/11 – fingerprinted for I600A

4/25/11 – received USCIS I-171H!!!

5/10/11 – State Certifications Arrived

5/11/11 – Shipped dossier to AWAA!

5/20/11 – DTE!!!!

11/23/2011 – Approved for Concurrent Family Planning program

4/16/12 – Sent paperwork for I600A fingerprint update

5/4/12 – Re-fingerprinted for I600A

7/2012 – Began updating Home Study

8/2012 – HS Update complete

9/25/2012 – Sent away for I-171H Renewal

10/12/2012 – I-171H renewal recieved

08/09/2013 - Re-fingerprinted for our I600A (2nd time!)

Here's the point it started taking so long I stopped recording things. Until....

02/28/15 - Our REFERRAL for a 6 month old baby girl

11/20/15 - We finally left for Ethiopia to meet our lady

11/24/15 - We passed court in Ethiopia and she was legally ours.

12/22/15 - We landed on USA soil as a family of 5.
Two Cent Sparrow.
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