So here I go again, with a new blog. I'm still trying to figure out a way to import all my old "adoption" posts onto this one...but for now, if you are interested in more of the background of our adoption journey, you can check it out on my old blog here.
If you are reading this, you probably know that a little over a week ago, on May 27, we received THE call......the call we have been waiting for for 2 1/2 years......the call that we have a CHILD on the other side of the world in Ethiopia! At some point, I will share more about that special day, and how specific prayers were answered in a BIG way, but for now I want to answer some of the questions we have been asked.
What is his name? Sorry, but we can't post any specifics! I can try to pronounce it for you in person, but we've already heard at least 3 different ways to say it. We will refer to him as "A" although even that initial is subject to change :)
Can I see his picture? Sorry again. If you see me in person, definitely ask to see some pictures ~ but we can't post pictures until we pass court, which is not anytime soon. Just trust me when I say that he is super cute and has a dimple that absolutely melts me!
What do you know about him? His background? His family? His special needs? Our "A" is around 5 1/2 years old, which makes him our middle child. Other than that, pardon me for being vague. If you ask me personally, I may share a little more. It's so natural to be curious about his story, but please just remember that although we are overjoyed to welcome him into our family, adoption always begins with some degree of loss. We don't take that lightly and will do our best to protect his story and his heart. None of this is "secret" information, but it's just "private."
Did you know this was coming? Honestly, a few weeks ago our Family Coordinator from AWAA told us that based on our request, a referral could be coming "tomorrow or next year." So we knew it could be happening any time (from mid-January on I had a minor heart attack every time the phone rang), but at the same time knew it was a possibility that it would not be until next year.
Does he speak English? No. He might learn a few words, but other than that....no. Actually, he doesn't even speak the most common language in Ethiopia (Amharic) although he's learning some of that now. His 1st language is Somali.
When do you get to bring him home? This answer is so confusing, I can barely follow it. The short answer is - not anytime soon....but timelines are changing all the time. Our agency gives an estimate of 8-10 months, but even that is a total guess. Right now, we are working on updating some paperwork. Certain documents need to be less than a year old in our dossier (medicals, financial statements, police background checks, etc). We are working to complete these as quickly as possible. At the same time, our agency is working to collect other documents to be submitted to the PAIR (Pre-Adoption Immigration Review) process. When they have collected the documents they need (at last check, they still needed 6/10), we will file more paperwork. If our paperwork is all good, our case will be passed on to the US Embassy in Ethiopia, where they will complete an investigation which can take 4-6 weeks to complete. If the investigation results are favorable, then the PAIR letter will be issued.
When the PAIR letter is issued, our next step is court. (I'm skipping a lot of info to give you the abbreviated version). Court is our 1st trip to Ethiopia! When we pass court, we legally become A's parents. Unfortunately, at this point, we do not get to bring him home after court.
Our second trip, which involves our Embassy appointment, should take place 4-8 weeks after court. THIS is when we will get to bring A home!
As you can see, there are so many variables, and no real way of knowing when we will travel. Add to that the fact that Ethiopian court closes during the rainy season (sometime in August to sometime in October) and that just means that we honestly have no idea about a timeframe. We'd appreciate your prayers that all paperwork and investigations go smoothly!
Thanks so much to everyone for your interest and your questions! Even if my answers are vague, or even if I can't answer them, we SO appreciate you taking an interest in our sweet boy!!