When we made the decision to begin the adoption process, B and I read everything we could to educate ourselves about the process. Soon, we realized we became fluent in the adoption language – I800A, I797, LOA, PA, Homestudy, LOI, LID, TA, ART 5, and dossier.
Dossier. Pronounced doss-see-ay (I say this with my slight Southern twang.)
When we started this process in November, the dossier seemed so far far far away. And in some ways, it was. Eight months of paperwork and waiting. Eight months of “hurry up” and “wait.”
Essays about intimate details of our lives.
Interviews with a social worker about intimate details of our family, childhood, marriage, strengths, and weaknesses.
Medical visits and medical tests. Letters from our physician.
Training…to be honest, the training we were required to do for our placement agency was excellent.
FBI background check. Child abuse clearances.
Today, we shipped off most of our paperwork for our dossier to our social worker. So what is included in a dossier? Certified copy of our marriage license, certified birth certificates, background clearances, 10 photos that show our life and hobbies (with captions), information about our personal finances/assets, medical records, our homestudy, I800A approval, 3 reference letters, employment verification letters, a letter to child welfare org in the country we are adopting from that expresses our desire to adopt one or two children from the country below the age of five years. It took us as long to put this together as it did for me to write my dissertation. But, this definitely has more importance than that ever did, really.
We are still missing one employment verification for B (a little more complicated because he is self-employed) and one reference letter. We are still waiting for our I800A approval from the USCIS/Dept of Homeland Security. But, we are very close–really, we expect to have it tomorrow or Friday.
After our social worker receives all of this, she will send it off to be authenticated. Not quite sure what that means, but my agency does. They asked me if I wanted to authenticate it or pay them a small fee to do it. Let’s see…I’ve never done this and they do it all of the time…they can do it! This should be authenticated in three weeks or so and then sent off to the Ch!n3s3 Consulate in Houston for approval. After that, it will all go to Ch!n@, Lord willing.
B and I went to the Post Office together to overnight this to our agency. I had the final procedure of a root canal done this morning, so I was feeling absolutely terrible. However, I wanted that experience of going with him to the Post Office. He documented the moment.
B brought me soup home from PF Changs because my jaw was hurting so bad. I got the best fortune cookie for today.
A couple of weeks ago, B and I were worried about how we were going to pay for our next huge payment for our adoption. We are so grateful that the Lord provided by providing B with a couple of new client projects and we received a few donations, so we were able to make the payment today. Thank you so much.
This process can definitely be exhausting, but, we are so grateful for the opportunity to grow our family through adoption.
Thank you for your prayers. We continue to covet them.