We started our adoption journey in September of 2011. A little over 6 months later, here we are in full swing; the initial application paperwork is done, our homestudy has been finalized and sent to Colombia, the psychological evaluation (that took 7 weeks to finalize) is complete, we received our Gladney approval, and we recently started our dossier. Even though we sometimes felt like we would never get here, a lot has been accomplished in 6 months. Up until this point, we've had a "to-do" list a mile long and time has zoomed by. Now, things are slowing down and there's not much left for us to do but wait.
Gladney introduced us to a service called "KBS Dossier" which we've decided to use for peace of mind. This service will ensure that all of our dossier documents are prepared correctly and relieves us of the stress of what is known as "paper-chasing." We have a few things left to do like, getting fingerprinted at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and getting a notarized medical report form stating that we are each in good health. KBS will compile all of our documents and have them verified by the secretary of state from which the documents originated. Once all the documents have been verified for authenticity, the dossier will be sent to Colombia. This could take up to 6 weeks to complete. With that projected timeline, Colombia would receive our dossier the week of May 14th. Further timelines are dependent on Colombian officials. There's really no way to pinpoint how long it will take for our dossier to be translated and accepted. Once our dossier is accepted we will receive an official referral containing medical history, current medical conditions, background information, and any other information beneficial for a physician's recommendation for adoption. Once we receive the official referral, we have 2 weeks to make a decision. During this time we will seek a professional medical opinion about the health of our children. Based upon the recommendation of a physician, we will either accept or decline the referral. Once we accept the referral, we will receive a court date and make plans to travel to Colombia.
Meanwhile, our homestudy has already been sent to Colombia in an effort to match us with children quickly. Our caseworker will be communicating with personnel in Colombia to locate children that match our specifications. Although it is possible for us to have limited information (pictures, ages, names) in the coming weeks, we will not be at liberty to share this information until given permission to do so. Even though it's extremely difficult for us to contain our excitement about finding out who our children are, it's even harder to imagine knowing who they are, but not being able to share it with the world!!! We always imagined feeling relieved to get to this point in our journey, where we didn't have a million things to do. But, now that we're here, we wish we had something to keep us preoccupied! Waiting truly is the HARDEST part!
Thankfully we have the Lord with us each step of the way, teaching us patience and calming our restless spirits. Gladney has also given us what they call a "tool kit" to help prepare us for what life will be like as adoptive parents. Now that things have slowed down, we'll actually have a chance to read all of the wonderful information they've provided. We've also recently been given the names of the 4 orphanages that Gladney works with in Colombia.
- Casa de la Madre http://www.la-casa.org/
- Los Pisingos lospisingos.com
- Chiquitines http://www.chiquitinescali.com/home.html
- La Casita de Nicolás http://www.lacasitadenicolas.org/
Our children will be coming from one of these four places! Everything is becoming more real by the day. The excitement is building and we are more eager now than ever to see their faces. We feel privileged to be a part of something so big and are secure in the Lord's promise in Philippians 1:6 "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Although we understand this scripture to refer to the security of our salvation, we know the Lord is faithful in ALL things. We're confident that He will make ready the path for us and provide every thing we need to complete this journey... this good work that He began!