Friday, October 24, 2008

Greetings! Well, Peter and I are still waiting to wait. Our social worker is still writing up our home study report. We have made some more concrete decisions though. We are going to try Ethiopia first and we are requesting a healthy child (either gender) between the ages of 0 to 24 months. This is slightly older than we initially thought (originally we thought under 1 year old). But the process for a child that young would take 2 to 3 years, whereas being open to a slightly older child should make the process take under 18 months. And everyone who knows me should know patience has never been a virtue of mine! As soon as we get our homestudy, we'll file our I-600A application with Homeland Security in order to get permission to pursue an international adoption. We'll wait a couple months for a fingerprint appointment with the FBI after filing that. But it will give us time to assemble the dossier.

In the meantime, Peter just turned 40 this week, and we are hosting a big party tomorrow evening to celebrate. Peter has always wanted a Halloween costume party, so that's what we're having. I cleaned yesterday, we're decorating tonight, and tomorrow its going to be food-shopping, cake-baking, and celebrating! We do have our costumes and no, we aren't going as political figures (too scary), also I didn't have $150,000 to spend on a wardrobe.

We also finally planned our Christmas travels back to the midwest and will be arriving in Minneapolis on Christmas eve. We'll be in Owatonna until Dec 28th, then to Cumberland until New Year's eve. Except for my sister, I haven't seen any family for almost a year and a half, so I'm most looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The longest journey begins with...

Hold onto your hats...the rumors are true! After celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, we have decided to expand our family. Yesterday Peter and I finished the last of our home-study interviews with a home visit from our social worker, and we are that much closer on our journey of adoption.

We are very excited! There are still mountains of paperwork to assemble (and notarize) and many, many months of waiting to endure before we really add our new son or daughter to our home. We are hoping to have him/her home by Christmas 2010. That's a really looooong time isn't it? We'll pray for a faster timeline, but are expecting an elephant pregnancy (2 years of gestating).

In the immediate time horizon, we've already completed a series of couple and individual interviews with our social worker, 10 or so hours of pre-adoptive education requirements, two sets of paper work, and are attending our last formal class on Tuesday. In the coming month we assemble our dossier, send paperwork, birth certificates, our marriage certificate, our fingerprints, and a vial of blood (just kidding on that last one) to homeland security for permission to adopt (did I mention we are pursuing international adoption?) If we are done with all the paperwork by Christmas 2008 we'll be making excellent progress.

This is very much a "hurry up and wait" process. After our paperwork is finalized, we are anticipating a 10 to 22 month wait for a child referral. This partially depends on the country we adopt from and how the socio-political conditions play out internationally. We are leaning very heavily toward adopting from Ethiopia, but are also considering Korea. We are working with a Massachusetts agency, Wide Horizons for Children, with well established programs in both countries. WHFC also has the notoriety of being the agency Angelina Jolie used to adopt her daughter Zahara, also from Ethiopia. Talking with her and Brad about their experiences with the agency has been a real trip. :-) Yeah, we wish.

We are now open game for all the friends we've tormented with baby name suggestions during their pregnancies. We, like expectant parents anywhere, just have one response. Bring it!