It. Is. Done. All of our dossier documents have been mailed, reviewed and approved by our adoption agency. Now, we wait. Even though we are incredibly excited to find out more details about how (and when) our family will grow through adoption, we admit, we are thankful to just be waiting.
We are also very excited to share that we officially decided (paperwork is in!) to adopt two little ones. Our heart all along had been to adopt a sibling group of two, but we were not sure if we would be approved to adopt two or if we could swing the adoption fees for two little ones, but God did it. We were approved for two and God opened up just the right doors for us financially. God has blessed us beyond measure throughout this journey and it’s been such a joy to watch all of the pieces fall into place.
Once we finished our home study the clock started ticking on all of the dossier documents. Many of them expire after a year so our agency urged us to get everything in for the dossier as close as possible to when the home study was finalized. Ryan and I got the home study draft on Tuesday. We reviewed it. Sent the draft back on Wed. and then our social worker finalized it and sent it off to our agency on Thursday. After a crazy two weeks to get all the last of our dossier documents together, we were so thankful to be able to put them all in the mail to our agency the day after our social worker sent our home study to the adoption agency. How is that for timing?
We ran into a few glitches along the way with some of the documents. We have templates for the letters we had to get from a variety of agencies. Just about every single time, the agencies would write the letter for us and follow their own internal agency template and not the one we had for them from our adoption agency. So, often we would have to get things redone or find some type of compromise so the letter met their own internal criteria as well as Uganda’s requirements as well. We have made lots of trips to the Sheriff’s office, the local clerk and many, many trips to Staples, all with our three little ladies in tow. The girls did great though, despite many of the trips taking much longer than we thought they would.
Now that everything is done on our end of things for the dossier, here is what the future holds (if everything goes according to plan…). Our adoption agency will send off the dossier to Uganda. It is a two to twelve month wait on average until a referral is given (referral is when Uganda makes a recommendation for a particular sibling group they think would be a good match for our family). After getting a referral it is typically three to five months until we would travel to Uganda for court. We can make either one longer trip or two shorter trips before returning back to the States with our little ones. There is still a long road ahead of us, but we are so very thankful for this bit of time to reflect on how far the Lord has brought us on our adoption journey and wait in anticipation for all he is going to do in the months ahead.
Have a look at some of the sweet blessings he’s given us along the way:
Such sweet family members and friendships, near and far, to encourage us and cover us in prayer.
8 O’clock ranch, a local farm who we get our meat from, gave us 3 months worth of meat for free when they found out our plans for adoption.
Bib scarves! Wow! We thought this would be a small venture and would only raise a bit of money here and there. But, we’ve raised nearly two thousand dollars through bibscarves.com
Two Danes Photography gifted our family with a free photo session right when we needed some family pictures for our dossier. Plus, gave us some beautiful framed prints for the wall in our newest ones bedroom to help welcome them into our home.
One of our friends held an online garage sale, while another made adorable rompers to sell. Both donated the profits to our adoption.
Someone who we have never met in person gave us a lovely bedding set that we can either use for our newest little ones or for Miss Esther in a few months when she graduates to a big girl bed.
Another local family we have been friends with for a bit of time is also adopting from Africa. It’s been such a blessing to know someone else locally who is adopting.
Numerous people have donated to our adoption and given little red gifts.
Our social worker turned out to be fabulous. We were apprehensive about the home study before we started, but God blessed us with a wonderful social worker that has been an invaluable resource.
One of the last days we were getting everything together, we had to go to Staples. Their color copiers were not working properly and Grace and the little ladies ended up spending and hour and a half trying to get the last few documents to print off properly. Eventually, we got what we needed and Staples gave us all of the documents we needed for free because of the hassle.
The last three documents needed for our dossier all showed up on the same day in our mailbox, the day before we wanted to get everything off to our adoption agency.