We received an email today informing us that our dossier arrived in Ethiopia last Friday (4/24)!! Prior to that, it traveled to the US State Department for authentication, and then to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C. for further authentication. Now that it has arrived in Ethiopia, the Holt representative over there will translate it and ensure that all documents are prepared for court. Although we still have no idea who our child is, we are so excited to reach every milestone and just know that the paperwork side of things is in order and ready to go!
Many people ask what our next step is, and the answer is WAITING :) We are on the list to be matched with a child, and many factors can affect when that occurs. Our agency says to expect a 6-9 month wait for a referral from the time our dossier was submitted, so that would put us receiving a referral sometime between September - December. We have seen some families' timelines move quicker than that, so I'm secretly hoping we'll get a referral this summer, but trying not to get my hopes up to much. After we accept our referral, the Holt staff in Ethiopia begins the process of submitting our paperwork through the court system. We would probably wait about 3 months until our court date. If we pass the first time, we would likely travel to Ethiopia to pick up our child about 2-6 weeks after that. It's not uncommon to not pass court the first time though, so the wait before we travel could be even longer.
Everyone who knows me, knows I am a planner. Sometimes it's hard to just wait for things to happen, and really have no idea how it will all play out as far as the timing of everything. But, it's definitely a time of growth for us, and a time where God wants us to really just trust that He knows what will happen, and His timing is perfect. I feel good about that, and secure in knowing His plans will ultimately prevail in all situations pertaining to our adoption.
We are just so privileged to have this opportunity to adopt, and know our lives will be incredibly blessed. Many people comment that the child we are adopting will be so lucky to join our family, but we actually feel that WE are the lucky ones! Just as a biological child brings great joy to the family he or she is born into, the same is true of an adopted child. Us as parents are just the privileged recipients of the extrodinary gifts we call "our children!"