Even at the ripe age of 28, I often wonder, "What would I do without my mother?"
So, here is what is up in the Anderson Way of Adoption:
1. WHERE DID YOU SAY?
We are adopting from Ethiopia. :) I state this only because we still have had several people ask us where we are adopting from or if we had decided if we were doing international or domestic. If you are new to this blog or new to our story, check out this post on how we came to this decision! As far as preference goes, we have listed a child of either gender between the ages of 0-2 years.
2. WHAT DID THE BEGINNING OF THIS LOOK LIKE AGAIN?
We officially started our adoption process with the Home Study in January. Contrary to what many might think, this only included one visit to our house and the actual "study" of our home was minimal.
I'm not gonna lie...that was slightly disappointing.
The majority of our Home Study was made up of meeting with our Social Worker at the Bethany Agency office, talking about our lives, our families, our hopes, our jobs, our faith...basically like a CSI investigation on steroids and with a strong guarantee of no jail time at the end. (We had some training mixed in with all of that as well...so maybe more like FBI?)
We finished our Home Study at the beginning of April and have currently been waiting for it to be approved by the Bethany headquarters in Michigan. This process has taken a bit longer than we had hoped...but it's almost done!
3. SO WHERE YOU AT NOW, SUCKA?
While we have been waiting for that, we started on our Dossier (Doss-e-ay). Basically, this is all of the official documentation about Erik and Jessa Anderson that will go over to Ethiopia and allow us to be approved to adopt from their country.
It is intense. It has moments of being REAL ugly. And it is tedious. Good thing I inherited my momma's awesome organizational skills. I have never loved 3 ring binders, checklists, and plastic sheet covers so much...in my life!
At this moment, all we are waiting for is our Home Study to be approved and notarized so that we can send it to US Immigration to be approved to bring a child into the country. The rest of our Dossier is COMPLETE! We are hoping to have everything sent off by July....fingers crossed...fingers crossed...
5. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ALL OF THAT?
After all of that, we wait. We wait for a long time. We are put onto a waiting list to receive a referral of a child. There are no guarantees, but judging from what I have seen, read, and heard, the wait time is anywhere between 9 and 18 months...to receive a referral. Another 6 or so months to actually get a court date, travel, and officially bring our child home. That is...if all goes smoothly...which in adoption, the road is more like budget cut California roads after the rainy season.
6. DOLLA DOLLA BILLS YA'LL!
On the topic of Fundraising...
We have been SOOOOOOOOO blessed. There have been so many instances of grace, compassion, and generosity shown toward us that honestly, we are a little taken back. I have shared this with a few people, but when we started this whole process, finances was one of my biggest fears. It is incredible how God can take one of your biggest fears, when you hand it to Him, and turn it into a reaping of absolute humility and peace.
If you follow our "Fundraising Thermometer" you have seen that line raising over the last few months to almost half of the cost! It is AMAZING! So, I will take this moment to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the people who have given of there own means to help support us on this journey. There are not even enough words to thank you all enough. You truly do have a special piece of our child's life!
We obviously have more work to do in terms of working toward the total cost, but feel so confident in God's wide open doors and blessings!
7. CAN I GET AN AMEN?
Interpretation: How can you be praying?
This is another question that we get a lot and probably one of the best ones that we are asked! We firmly believe that your prayers are one of the strongest supports that we can be shown, knowing that God is faithful to His children who come before Him and seek Him.
So as far as prayers...here are a few:
- That ultimately, God would be glorified through this process, through us, and through each person who is uniquely a part of this story.
- For the process of Ethiopian adoption going on right now, as there are always obstacles, challenges, corruption, and changes. Everything that is happening now effects the lives of children who are waiting for homes with loving families. Please be praying for the Ethiopian and US government, orphanages, and agencies that are working hard to match children with families and care for the orphans.
- For the completion of our Home Study and Dossier...for a smooth, error free process...and for wise and discerning eyes to catch anything that needs to be done or changed quickly and effectively
- Peace, patience, and understanding as we continue to walk through this process. Each new day there are new feelings of excitement, hope, sadness, frustration...you name it. Our heart is to pursue this journey and our child by following God's heart and living in His promises and displaying His character. But that is really hard sometimes. :)
- Continued support in finances. I have been abundantly blessed with great photo jobs (which all of the proceeds go toward our adoption) and, as stated before, we have been SO blessed by the generosity of others. But we haven't reached the end yet! So keep praying!
If you are still reading this...
Thank you. Thank you for walking through this with us, being a part of our story, our child's story, and God's amazing story. We couldn't do it without you.
I think that is it. Holy cow. Talk much?