Our Adoption Timeline
BF and I always knew that we would adopt– our only questions were when and what route might we travel. This past August, knowing that adoptions can often take a couple years– depending on the avenue and agency that you choose- we decided that we’d start learning more about the different processes– domestic and international– and agencies so that we could put in an application sometime in 2009. We have many friends who have adopted– both domestically and abroad– and we thought that they would be good sources for our initial research. We decided to ask all of our friends out to pick their brains and had our first lunch in August 2008. An hour later– much to everyone’s surprise, we were matched with a waiting baby from their agency. I find adoption infinitely interesting– I did long before we were on this road– and figured that some of you might, too, so I thought I’d share our basic timeline with you. I’ve left out some of the nitty gritty details that adoption parents count time by because I don’t want to bog you down with all the details but feel free to ask any questions.
Late August 2008
Have lunch with our friends. An hour later, the phone rings telling us about our baby boy. Instantly, we both know that this is our son.
Suddenly, it’s on. We have an application to complete and a dossier (the paperwork that is sent to the adoption court to consider your fitness as parents. The dossier includes a homestudy completed by a social worker who has several meetings with you and comes to your home, legal paperwork like birth certificates and marriage licenses, all sorts of police clearances on the local, state, and federal level, medical clearances, character recommendations, tax and financial statements, a letter stating why you want to adopt, etc) to get together then notarized and authenticated by the state and federal governments. We run a race and get our dossier and homestudy done by early September so that we can officially be matched with our baby. We also need to request permission from Immigration/Homeland Security to bring a child into the country.
September 4, 2008 We officially receive our referral. We tell our families that we’re expecting.
September 27, 2008 Our dossier heads to Washington DC to basically be okayed there and then sent to Africa. Once it is “in country”, the court system there will schedule an adoption court date. We will not travel for the court date– someone from our agency represents us there. We will travel approximately 4-8 weeks after our court date for a US Embassy date. At that appointment, we go before the US Embassy to get their final permission to bring the baby into the United States. In late October, we learn that our court date is in late December.
November 2008 Our friends throw baby showers for us including one where we collect donations to take to the care house with us when we travel. The photo above is of those donations.
December 29, 2008 We officially adopt our baby boy. The phone call comes at about 3:30 pm. We celebrate by decorating the nursery.
January 23, 2009 We depart for Africa at 4 pm and arrive there on Sunday, January 25 at noon.
January 26, 2009 We meet our baby boy (along with 3 other wonderful families from our adoption agency who meet their sons and daughters) and have our appointment at the US Embassy where they grant us official permission to bring an immigrant into the United States.
January 28, 2009 We receive our baby boy’s passport and visa. He’ll get his very first stamp when we travel home!
January 29, 2009 We leave for the airport at 2 pm in Addis Ababa (which is 8 hours ahead of EST). When we arrive at the airport, we learn that our 7 pm flight is delayed until midnight. We camp out at the airport.
January 31, 2009 Midnight after many, many delays, we arrive home. Sweet Baby A is such a trouper during the whole travel time– he cried for 10 minutes out of 42 hours. He did, however, have to go through 4 outfits as we couldn’t always change him at the immediate time we needed to change him.