Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Process

As we mentioned before, the Ethiopian adoption process is long and requires a lot of paperwork.  We turned in our official application to Bethany Christian Services in Holland on 12/17/10 and are excited to have the first step completed.  The next step is to complete a home study which we started today.  A home study consists of four meetings.  Today we both met our case worker and she was able to answer many of our questions.  We will each have a meeting with our case worker separately, and then one meeting together in our home.  We hope to have the home study complete in the next few weeks.

Once our home study is approved we will move on to the immigration process.  We are not exactly sure what this entails yet, but we do know it takes approximately 8 weeks to complete.  While we work through immigration we will simultaneously be creating our Ethiopian dossier...a packet of information that is sent on our behalf to the government there to review and approve.  If things go as planned the dossier will be approved just before the immigration process is wrapped up.

These three steps (home study, immigration, Ethiopian dossier) are the main items needed to get us to "waiting for referral" status.  We don't know exactly how long this will take, but we are shooting to have all of this done by May.  The average wait is then 6-12 months for a referral for a child in the age range we are requesting (12 months or younger...we can specify boy or girl, but have not yet decided:).  Once we receive and approve a referral (a match with a child) we are required to make two separate trips to Ethiopia.  The first trip is usually around 5-7 days and takes place about 2 months after receiving the referral.  The purpose of this trip is to attend a court hearing to make our adoption official.  We will then travel back home and expect to go back to Ethiopia approximately 2 months later for another 5-7 days for the Embassy appointment and to bring our child home!  I suppose if all of the time estimates are accurate our child will be home with us in the early 2012.  We just need to stay flexible though as the process can always change.

So now we are in between home studies and are focusing on completing necessary online training and learning about the country of Ethiopia and other Ethiopian adoption stories.

More to come soon!  Thanks for your interest and prayers!


Anonymous said...

Stacey & Scott -
We were so happy to hear of your adoption plans. Our oldest son Ryan and his wife Amy adopted a 3 yr old daughter from Ethiopia last April. She has been a real joy to our entire family. They are in the middle of adopting a second child - also from Ethiopia, probably sometime this spring. If you have any questions for them, I'm sure they'd be happy to talk to you. Amy is a stay-at-home mom and can be reached at (616) 218-7411. We'll continue to pray for you guys. God Bless!
Sally Hulsman

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott & Stacey -
I just talked to Kerri DeWeerdt tonight and she said that you have the same case worker! We're so excited for you all. I was saying it would be so neat if you could make your first trip together. We'll keep praying for all the details. Steve & Jan

don and sara said...

Congratulations on starting your "paper chase"! And good job explaining the process- you're already a pro!