So the real question everyone wants to hear answered "WHATS NEW WITH THE ADOPTION!?" . Well I'm glad that you asked. August 1st we received our approval and notice that our Home study was finally FINALIZED! In a nutshell that is what I would tell most people when they ask this question... when in all reality my heart bursts to explain the rest of the process. Completion of the home study seems so minute, but this is HUGE. Soooo here we go with the continuing steps (which are always subject to change....)
1. Home study finalized! (CHECK!!!!)
2. Home study sent off to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services to get approval for us to immigrate a foreign born child into the US!!!
--This is exciting stuff people! The USCIS is running about 40-50 days to review and hopefully approve. Once we get this approval we get the green light to continue on and submit our paperwork TO COLOMBIA. Oh yeah... and this piece of paper grants our child AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP as soon as we LAND ON U.S. SOIL the day we bring him/her HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. As we wait these 40-50 days to receive approval from USCIS, we work on our DOSSIER. Our Dossier is a super complicated huge set of paperwork that I have been collecting since MARCH. I think I have everything, but you never really know.
--We have hired a company to help us with this process. A woman who used to work with our agency opened up her own company helping families through the Dossier process. When I say complicated... that doesn't even do it justice. With this company, we send them all of our papers I have already completed and collected and she submits everything for us. Everything is sent exactly where it needs to go. The first time.
4. Once the Dossier is complete and ready to be submitted, it can take 3 weeks to get translated into Spanish. Once translated, we hopefully get approved. THEN our file is TOTALLY LEGAL and READY to receive a REFERRAL for a CHILD!!!!
5. Current wait time could be one month, 6 months, or 12 months-To receive a referral.
6. 5-7 weeks to prepare for travel AFTER we accept a referral for a child.
7. TRAVEL!!!!!! Depending on where the orphanage is that we are adopting from, travel could be 3 weeks ... or 8 weeks!!!!!!
So this is exactly where we are. Seems long and complicated, YES... but we are moving along. I love how God continually refines our hearts to look a smidge more like HIS. When we began this process I was certain I could do the paper work faster than normal, I was certain that it wouldn't take near as long as it was taking other families, I was certain that we would fly through this process (because of course I could control that.). Common problem there is the re-occurrence of the word "I".
God's up to some pretty cool (and intense!) things..... Loved our time of praise and worship this Sunday... The 1910 band did a new Hillsong song and these words are so simple but seriously heavy in our hearts.....
And I will run and not grow weary
I will rise in God my strength
My heart will trust
For all my hope
Is Christ alone
Now my soul sings
Your love it knows no end....
I will love for You have loved
I will forgive as You forgive
Your love prevails
Our life group (minus a few!!) got to go experience some pretty NEAT things the other day in Kerrville at this HUGE cross. This is seriously what "doing life together" is all about... the support and LOVE from these other couples is unbelievable.