Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dossier Do-Over

We recently read in our Agency correspondence the following
. . .The Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth (MoWCY) has now begun enforcing a guideline that dossier documents have an expiration date of two years from their date of origination (i.e. the date when they were notarized or issued as certified copies). Documents need to be current at the time they are submitted to court. . .

Yuck! Most of our documents were dated November or December 2009. We most-likely will not go to court until November or December 2011. So this means in addition to having our Home Study amended for $750, we now have to do most, if not all of our dossier again. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means we have to have all of our employment letters, medical clearances, banking letters, personal references, local law enforcement clearances, photos, certified marriage and birth certificates, etc., all re-issued, re-dated and re-notarized, AND THEN go through the Authentication process again with the state and federal departments as well as the Ethiopian Embassy. Oh yeah, and PAY for it all again too. Then it will be sent to Ethiopia to be added to our paperwork so that everything is in order and up-to-date when we go to court.   Humph… We will also have to apply for a USCIS extension of our paperwork and fingerprints, as they will expire in August.  We are hoping and praying that they will grant the one-time extension to us.  If not, we can add another $1,000 for the reprocessing of that paperwork. So basically, it's as if we are starting the adoption process all over again-- well, sort of. 

Although it sounds like I’m complaining, I really don’t mean to. Truth is, we’ve done it once already, so the second time should be a lot easier, right? The dossier process really wasn’t that bad for us and I had a very systematic process to do it. In fact, I said that I enjoyed it so much that I should help other families put their dossier packages together. Although last time we did all this paperwork, we didn’t have a newborn baby in tow!  And, we did enjoy our trip to the Ethiopian Embassy and talked about visiting it again, so here’s our chance.  So, despite having to pay for the authentication process again, I guess it won’t be too bad. And, we won't have to start over on the wait list again.  Our Dossier submittal date is still January 2010 -- that won't change. 

And, honestly, we are grateful that CWA allowed us to go ‘on hold status’ during our pregnancy and will allow us to jump back on the list once Baby Faith is 6 months old.  Many agencies void your contract if you become pregnant during the adoption process, forfeiting all of your fees, clearances, etc. And although, at first, we were upset that we had to be ‘on hold’ for 6 months after Faith is born, we understand the logic and are thankful that we can continue the process in August. So, although we will lose about 7 months of wait time, we are still thankful that we do not have to start over on 'the list.' 

We’ve heard a million times that “…adoption is not for the weak-hearted…” Now we know why everyone says that.  The adoption process is daunting, exhausting and sometimes frustrating.  Many times there is so much red tape and processes that have to be followed that it is probably easier to give up; but, we know those regulations and processes are in place to protect the children, as well as us. We still have people who are surprised that we are still going through with the adoption.  I never once thought of quitting.  It's not like Faith is going to take the place of E.  Both girls are going to be very special blessings in our family, so why on earth would we abandon one or the other?  I'm baffled sometimes at the thought  process of some, but I'm sure that's a two-way street!  Ha!  So anyway, just for the record, we aren’t giving up. We will press forward until we bring sweet E home to her forever family, no matter how many times we have to travel, no matter how many times we have to redo our dossier, and no matter what. 
I have to keep remembering the path and that it is not MY plan. Sometimes we might have to take the scenic route through life, but think of all of the things we might have missed along the way if we had taken the short-cut! 

You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.  You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That's right—you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.


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