I wanted to give you a quick update on where we are in the adoption process. Andy & I have completed ALL of the paperwork and it is just sitting on my desk, notarized and ready to be sent to Ethiopia once we get approval from Immigration Services. From this point on, there is really nothing we can do to speed up the process. I think we gathered all the documents at a record-breaking pace, but now it is up to several different agencies to process, review, and approve everything.
We completed our interviews for our home study this weekend and our social worker has written her report. Now the home study has to go through an approval process from our adoption agency and our home study agency. That should take a week or so. Then we send the finalized home study to Immigration Services and the wait begins.
Customs & Immigration Services (CIS) is, in essence, looking to see if we are capable of supporting an immigrant, or if that immigrant would become a burden to society. They say the approval process can take up to 12 weeks! That's 3 months! WHAT?! Seriously, our packet would take about 30 minutes to read front to back. Not sure why in the world it would take that long, but I'm hoping that they're bluffing and we'll get it back a lot sooner than that. If there are any other adoptive families that are reading this blog, I would love to know how long it took to get your CIS approval.
Once CIS processes our request, they will send us a date to get fingerprinted (again). This will be the 3rd set of fingerprints needed for the adoption. Our fingerprints will be processed and we will be given some type of letter signifying that we are able to bring an immigrant back to the United States with us.
At that point all of our documents for the dossier will be sent to Sacramento to be certified. And finally, we will send the completed dossier to America World (our adoption agency) who will review each document for any mistakes and then ship it off to Ethiopia!! From that point, I believe the wait for a toddler boy is 5-7 months.
So, I'm writing all this, one, to give you an update, and, two, so that you would pray with us about this approval process. I'm not worried that we won't be approved. I'm just concerned that it could take FOREVER if it gets stuck on the wrong person's desk this holiday season. Please pray that God would put our paperwork in the right people's hands at the right time and that we would be able to avoid any unnecessary delays. The length of time it takes to process this paperwork could have a dramatic effect on how quickly we're able to bring our son home.
Thanks so much for your interest, support, and prayers!