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WHERE IS OUR DOSSIER?

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TRACKING OUR PAPERS- THEY ARE GETTING CLOSER!


DTE

FINALLY! WE HAVE OUR DTE (Adoption language for dossier to Ethiopia). All of our papers are on their way to Africa this very moment! We are officially waiting on our referral for our baby! No more waiting for government documents, no more waiting for signatures, no more waiting for anything else! Just waiting waiting for the moment where we get to see our baby's photo and get all of the information about him/her.

During our waiting period, we still have lots to do! We still have to get our immunizations, prepare the baby's room and the house for the baby, and I am sure a long list of other things that will come up. If the wait is longer, we may actually have to have our FBI fingerprints, our form from Immigration, and our home study updated. I am praying that won't have to happen, but we have to make sure these documents stay current.

We are currently tracking our papers via FedEx. They are currently not out of the US, but I will be sure to let you know when they reach Eth…

Merry Christmas, Baby

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Most of our post are to inform our friends and family about how the process is going, but this post is for Baby W.

Merry Christmas, baby!

This Christmas has been one of the best so far. Even though you weren't here with us, you were talked about, you received gifts, and you were prayed for by Aunt Janeece.  Baby, mommy and daddy don't know if you will be with us next Christmas, but we are really hoping this was our last Christmas without you. You already hold such a special part in the Woodson and the Jones family Christmas celebrations, and we can't wait for you to be here. We are all so excited about you coming home. Mommy and daddy sometimes wonder if you are even born yet. If you are, we are praying you were held, loved, and comforted this Christmas since mommy and daddy couldn't be there with you. If you aren't born yet, we are praying for your birth mommy and that she is being held, loved, and comforted this Christmas. We currently don't understand the ci…

USCIS APPROVAL!

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Finally! After a long month of waiting for this document, it has finally made its way into our hands. This document was the last piece of information that we needed for our dossier (our big pack of papers that goes to Ethiopia). This piece of paper states that we have been approved to be fit parents in the United States, and it gives us permission to bring an immigrant orphan into the US.

Our dossier is currently at our adoption agency in Virginia. They are currently processing all our papers, and they are verifying that everything is correct. They want to make sure that everything is how the Ethiopian government requires it, so we don't have any major bumps along the road.

I AM SUPER EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT AS LONG AS THINGS GO AS PLANNED, OUR DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) IS FRIDAY! YES! WE WILL BE TRACKING OUR PAPERS TO ETHIOPIA VIA FEDEX!

This is a huge answer to prayer because we were worried about the holidays slowing things down. We want to again thank everyone for…

JEFFREY

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I really need to stop and just thank my wonderful husband, Jeffrey, for being by my side through this whole adoption process. I know we still have such a long journey ahead, but it is so much easier knowing I have such a strong man walking with me. I know he is going to be the best daddy in the world. 








Our "Maternity" Photos

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A few months ago, my dear friend, Kaitlin, walked into my classroom and told me she had a gift for me. "I bought you guys two photo sessions. One for before the baby comes and one when the baby is home." I was so excited and thought it was one of the nicest gifts someone could give us. It showed us that she truly understood our heart with this adoption.

Since Kaitlin gave us the gift, I have told many people, posted about it on Facebook and now have posted a few of the photos from the preview shots that the photographer posted the day of the shoot. Many people have asked us if this was something required for the adoption and why we were having to do these photos.

Yes, the government of Ethiopia and the United States have required us to send in pictures that included photos of us with friends and family, photos of our house and more, but this was not another thing to check off the giant adoption process checklist. We are not sending these photos to Ethiopia.

The purpose of t…

Now What?

As many of you know, Jeffrey and I went to our FBI fingerprinting appointment today. This was very exciting for us! Once we receive this paper from immigration, we are ready to send all our papers to our adoption agency. All of our paperwork will be reviewed and translated; they said it usually takes about two weeks till they send everything to Ethiopia.

So many of you have been asking us WHEN? WHEN? WHEN?

Last week, I received some discouraging news through a conference call from our adoption agency. They said that the current wait time is 18 months once our papers get in country. As I heard this news, I began to cry. I feel like we are getting so close, but then this news makes it feel so far away. They said that things can change, but this is the current wait time for an infant. We are falling more and more in love with this baby everyday, and are so excited to finally see his or her little face.

Many people have asked me why does this process take so long. The good thing is right…

amesege'nallo'

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We want to start this post by expressing so much appreciation for all of you who have helped us in this paper chasing process! Some of you have written letters of reference, answered questions, helped us find documents, allowed us to use photos of you, ran errands for us, and so much more! WE CANNOT EXPRESS HOW TRULY BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE SUCH WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

This post is very exciting to write! Hence my obnoxious capital letters and exclamations! We are excited to tell you that our documents have been sent to US Immigration Services, and we are now waiting for their approval. Once we are contacted by the FBI and fingerprinted, we will received a letter from Immigration stating that we have the approval to bring an orphan into the US. As soon as we receive this letter, our dossier (massive stack of papers that go to Ethiopia) is ready to be sent to our adoption agency for a final approval and then translated. Once we send these papers, we are told it will be somewhere b…

NO MORE NOTARIZATION!

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Wow! It has been a month since I last posted anything.

The month of September has been the month of getting papers, and having people notarize them, and going back and getting them fixed, and then usually going back and getting them fixed one more time! The great news is we are pretty much done with the major paperwork! Have nothing more to collect for ourselves. We are currently waiting on the notarized copy of our home study. It should be in sometime this week. As soon as we are able to pick it up, we will be shipping one of the copies along with a few other documents to US Immigration. This is when we petition to bring a foreign orphan into the US. Once we send the documents, we wait for the FBI to contact us about fingerprinting. Once we get the okay from immigration, WE FINALLY GET TO SEND OUR DOSSIER! Our dossier is a extremely large stack of precious papers that will be translated and shipped to Ethiopia.

The end of the paper-chase is definitely in sight! I can't wait for t…

How is the adoption process going?

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Jeffrey and I are so blessed to have such awesome friends and family who want to stay updated on how the adoption process is going. I am sorry I haven't posted lately, but summer is over and real life (going to work, taking two classes, grading, and planning) has returned. Here is what has happened since we last posted.
        Tomorrow, I am going to review the home study draft. As long as everything looks good, I think it will be sent off for approval and then our home study we will be complete. We are still waiting on Jeffrey's doctor's letter and physical forms; I am growing very impatient with them. It has been almost four weeks since we were in for his checkup. Next week, we have to attend adoption training Wednesday night and all day Saturday. We have already done 10 hours of training, but the state of Illinois won't accept it. It is frustrating having to spend more time and more money on something that will probably be the same thing we have already co…

Home Visit

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Home visit was a success! Besides the fact that Atti (our 3lb yorkie) wanted to growl at the social worker the whole time, our home visit went very smoothly. Thankfully, we were able to leave our office the way that it currently is and not change it into the nursery yet. We just had to show that our house was large enough for our baby, safe, and clean. Many people think the home study is just a one visit thing, but it is so much more than that. The home study is basically a huge document that tells the state of Illinois, the government of Ethiopia, and everyone else who has to approve us who we are and every little thing about us. It is more of a short biography if I had to describe it.

Our home study is currently being composed. We are still are waiting on Jeffrey's doctor's exam, and Jeffrey's employee letter (YEAH! JEFFREY GOT A NEW JOB!) This past week has just been a whirlwind. We have been praying and believing that Jeffrey would receive a full time job in time to su…

First Visit

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Our first visit with the social worker was yesterday, July 27, 2012. We had requested a certain social worker due to a friend's referral, but they assign you to a social worker. We were so pleased with the social worker we were assigned to work with. Susan not only knows a lot about international adoption, but she adopted her three children internationally. It was nice to know that the person working with us had went through a similar experience. She did tell us that adoption is much more time consuming and challenging then it use to be. I figured so, because I have spoke with many older people who have adopted children which are now my age, and they make it seem like it was an easy process.

We were first interviewed (I don't know if that is really the right word, but I kind of feel like that is what we were doing) together and then she divided us up and asked us things individually. I honestly thought the questions that we were asked together were more challenging than the i…

Vacation

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We are currently in Delaware spending the last day of vacation visiting family. As we told you in our last blog that we were waiting for the social worker to contact us, but she was on vacation. Of course, she is now home and ready to meet with us, and we are hours from home.

We will arrive home late tomorrow night. Next week, we both have doctor's appointments to have our medical exams done for our home study and for our dossier. We both have to meet with the social worker individually, and then she will come visit our home and speak with both of us. We are hoping we can have this all done before Rachel goes back to school. This is the last big thing besides the FBI finger printing that has to be done before we can send everything to Ethiopia. We are also still waiting on Jeffrey's birth certificate so please pray that it comes soon! We just have a minor things besides passport photos (we already have our passports but we still have to get passport photos).

Even though we wer…

Social Worker

Our last post was mentioning how we are currently in the process of waiting for the social worker to contact us. Jeffrey contacted them on Monday, and they told us that the adoption social worker would be on vacation till next Monday! We have been trying to do the things that we can to prepare for the home study. We are trying to do little things around our house. I have been trying not to think about how nothing has really moved in a while. We are still gathering and creating information that we need for our dossier which goes to Ethiopia. Even though the home study process is taking a little longer to get started than we planned, we will have almost everything ready to ship off when it is complete.

Please keep us in your prayers. The other night it really hit me hard that my baby who may not be born yet is not going to have his/her mommy and daddy at the beginning of his/her life. I just began to weep as I thought about this. Oh how I can't wait to meet him/her. Even though we h…

BREATHING

Just to keep you all up to date, we are currently in the process of waiting for our social worker to contact us. We have submitted all our paperwork to them, and they should be reviewing it. As any mommy who is concerned about her baby would do, I contacted them and made sure they had received the papers. The office assured me that they had, and that they will be contacting us soon. The social workers are the ones who perform our home study. The home study is a key part to the adoption process. We can't submit our dossier (all our papers to Ethiopia) until we have been approved by our home study. We have been told the home study process can take up to a month. They interview us in their office twice (I think) and then they have to visit our home twice as well.

While we are waiting on the social workers, we have been very busy collecting all sorts of documents- Life insurance forms, birth certificates (Jeffrey's is still on its way! It is challenging to get an overseas birth ce…

FATHER'S DAY!

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Father's Day was a very exciting day in our journey! We celebrated Father's Day with Rachel's family on Friday night because Lynn had to work 16 hours on Sunday.  We celebrated Father's Day with Jeff's parents on Father's Day. Both families are really excited! We wanted to let them know soon, because one we need their encouragement and support and two they are smarter than us, so we need them to help us find all our documentation =)

We are blessed to have our families behind us. As you can see from the pictures, we put the sonogram of Africa in their Father's Day cards.

WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED!

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On Friday, June 8, 2012, we were officially accepted into the Ethiopia program. We couldn't be more excited! We have a very long process ahead of us, and ask that you pray for us through this time. We are currently setting up our home study with a social worker. We have tons of paper work that we have to collect to complete our dossier which is all of the papers that will go to the Ethiopian courts. The purpose of this blog is to keep you informed on where we are in this process. We want this to be something our friends and family get to experience with us. We honestly have no idea when our baby will be in our arms. There are lots of things that we are required to do, but there are also many variables out of our hands. Thank you for your love and support. We don't want anyone to feel pressured to donate, but we have setup a paypal account where all of the money that is donated will go towards our adoption. We are also going to have a few fundraisers throughout the adoption pr…