Although much of my life revolves around Lili, some of my time is spent working on the dossier for our Ethiopia adoption and there is certainly regular discussion about bringing our future Ethiopian princess home. So, for those who would like an adoption update, here it is.
I’ve made great progress on our dossier and the only thing “I” have left to complete is the collection of our dossier photos.
We felt things were moving along nicely especially after our social worker came over to complete our home study update. We hit a snag when she contacted me to let me know that DCFS wanted us to get another set of fingerprints to send to the FBI. These had to be rolled prints which required a trip to a local police department. Our social worker put the fingerprint cards and instructions in the mail on December 10th and I anticipated getting them no later than the 12th. I picked up the mail everyday and when they weren’t there on the 13th, I became concerned. Since I was scheduled to have surgery on my finger on the 17th, we had to have our prints done no later than the 16th otherwise we had to wait until the bandages came off and stitches removed which would delay things another week. Our social worker called me to say that the cards had been returned to her by the post office. She sent them to our physical address and after 13 years of having our mail delivered to our PO Box regardless of how it’s addressed, they have decided to send mail back if it doesn’t include our PO Box. I could go on a tirade about the delivery of our mail in our little town of about 1300, but I’ll save that for another time. Since I really needed to get those cards I asked her to leave them at the front desk and drove the 35 miles to pick them up. On the 16th we headed into one of the local police departments and got another set of fingerprints done and by that afternoon they were in the mail on the way to the FBI. Between Lili’s adoption and this adoption we have been fingerprinted a total of six times now.
Until we get our FBI clearance, our home study is on hold. We hope to have our clearance back sometime next week, although it could take another couple of weeks. Once we have our FBI clearance our social worker will add that information to the home study report, the report will be notarized and a copy sent to USCIS and a copy will be sent to us for our dossier. Then we wait for USCIS to send us our 171H giving us authorization to complete our adoption from Ethiopia. When we receive the 171H, we will have all our dossier documents notarized and I will drive to Springfield to have everything notary authenticated. Three copies of all documents will be made and everything will be ready to send off to the agency for review and then to the Ethiopian Consulate for authentication. Once the final authentication is complete it will be sent to Ethiopia and we will officially be on the wait list for a baby girl. Our agency still has a wait time of 2-4 months for referrals, although the referral of baby girls are at the longer end of the wait time. At this point we don’t anticipate having a referral until July and if that happens we will probably not make it through court before the Ethiopian courts close, which they do annually in August and September. The one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how well I try to plan out an adoption, I have virtually no control over what happens. While I really wanted to have our referral in the spring and be picking up this summer, the more likely scenario is a referral in July or maybe not until August or September with pick up late 2009 or possibly early 2010.
The other topic of conversation has been baby names. Many families choose to keep the name given to their child(ren) by their birth families. Others completely change their child(ren)’s name completely. We took the middle of the road approach with Lili and will do the same with our Ethiopian princess. We will choose a new first name and keep her given first name as her middle name. This way our girls will have a name given to them by their birth family and their forever family. We have discussed names off and on for a few months now and have had a lot of trouble agreeing on a name. Not surprising since we were unable to agree on names in the past as well. One other thing to note is that we really wanted to find an Ethiopian name that we could agree on which made the choice even more challenging. However, we finally found a name that we both like. Are you ready?
Drum roll please ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~