Thursday, November 19, 2009
Bye Bye Dossier!!!
I can finally say that we shipped our Dossier off to our adoption agency today!! A few weeks ago, I learned that the US Immigration Department had lost our documents. We had been waiting a few weeks already for their approval. The documents were resubmitted, and our approval was pushed through. Today we received a letter from the US Immigration Department which states:
"It has been determined that you are able to furnish proper care to an orphan or orphans . . ."
All of our documents in our Dossier have to be notarized. You would be shocked at how many different ways there are to screw up a notary signature. We have had quite a few documents "re-notarized". In the case of one recommendation letter from the in-laws, they had to have this done FOUR times! The point of notarizing each signature is to certify that the signatures are accurate and not forged.
So now that we have our golden ticket from immigration, I made my way downtown to the Secretary of State's Office. Their job is just certify each notary's signature. One document was rejected (that was the 4th recommendation letter from Jim & Sherree) because the notary stamp didn't have accurate information on it. So Jim went to the bank again to notarize another recommendation letter. I then made a second trip downtown and got the letter approved by the Secretary of State.
So where do we go from here? The Dossier (picture above) is on its way to our agency in St. Louis. They will then send it out to be "bundled" a certain way so that it becomes one document. Once that is done, the dossier is sent to Washington, D.C. and a courier will take it to the Department of State. The DOS "certifies" the dossier by making sure the Secretary of State's signatures are accurate. After the DOS, the courier takes the dossier to the Ethiopia Embassy in DC and they put their stamp of approval on it.
Finally, after being in DC, the dossier is then sent to Ethiopia, and we will officially be on the waiting list for a little girl. Our agency just confirmed that the wait times have increased for infant girls. We can now expect to wait 12-15 months from the time our dossier lands in Ethiopia to the time we are "referred" a child. However, I think our wait will be shorter than that. Our agency has since switched orphanages, and the past two weeks our agency has been flooded with referrals. Also, we are getting past a huge group of people that had switched from the Vietnam program (when it closed last year) to the Ethiopia program -- all at the same time. That huge group has been waiting approximately 14 months for referrals, and the agency is close to getting through that big group. Once the parents in that group have received their referrals, I think the wait will become much shorter. I am guessing (hoping) that we may have our referral next fall sometime.
Anyway, we are moving forward. This is a long journey, full of paperwork gathering, certifications, frustrations with government offices, etc., but I can easily say that this is a piece of cake when I compare it to what we went through to have Wes & Cal. Thank you again for all of your support. I will update this in 2 weeks or so to let you know what our official number is on the wait list. As for now, enjoy your Thanksgiving! Adam, the boys, and I are headed to Sedona for some much needed R & R!