Well, this was a week of adoption progress, and that certainly felt good!
We were able to send our dossier to our family coordinator at AWAA to be approved last week! She reviews dossiers on Monday, so we overnighted it on Thursday to be sure it would be there on Friday, in time to be reviewed on Monday. We are hoping that everything will look fine, and it will be authenticated and then sent on to Ethiopia! It feels great to have those papers outta here, and exciting to know that after approval, it will be in Ethiopian hands!
I spoke with our agency this past week regarding our request as well. I had some questions about placement of children, and all that goes into that consideration. We are requesting two children between the ages of 0-5 (or 6?)....either siblings or unrelated children. They will most likely both be older than Elijah. We have discussed whether or not it matters to us if the children are related, and decided to leave that decision up to God (He already knows who our children are anyway!). If we adopted them at different times they would be unrelated, and have different stories, and we would be dealing with those things anyway. The only difference here is that they are coming home at the same time. So, we remain open and are excited to see what our referral will bring! We are also leaving genders open as well (although it would be very neat and tidy if we got one girl and one boy...we would have the bedroom thing all figured out....so I'm pretty sure that's not what we're getting! LOL).
We do not know how long to expect for a referral. We were told that there have been other families who have come along and said they would like two children, and are also open to unrelated children, so we should expect to wait longer than maybe we originally thought for a referral of this kind. So....six months....longer...? We just don't know. Our family coordinator gave us the standby advice of "expect the wait to be longer, and then be surprised if it's sooner". I think it would be awesome to have a referral by Christmas, but we'll see. I don't want to get my hopes set on any kind of time line. (BTW - this wait time is not because there are not many children that need families, but because our agency only works with a certain number of orphanages and there is MUCH to do to get a child paper ready before referral....there are also many times complications with paperwork or details to be filled in before they are ready to be adopted).
It feels good to move on in the process...and to not be getting things signed, notarized, certified, and copied. Now, we just wait, but I'm not sure which is harder - the working or the waiting!
Thank you for your prayers for our family, and for our precious children still in Africa. Please pray for them - that their needs will be met, their bellies full, their health good, and that God will send someone to comfort their hearts in what is most likely a very difficult time for them, whatever their story is. We'd appreciate it!