- Since we found Tavin on the Reece's Rainbow site, our first step was to file commitment paperwork with them, and find a agency to do our home study. I did not have one lined up, but was able to get recommendations from the Reece's Rainbow facebook room and we settled on an agency within a couple days. We have been super happy with them so far.
- The first few months are just a massive paper chase. I got the paperwork for the home study and thought "wow!" then got the paperwork for the dossier and thought "WOW! The home study is a piece of cake!" The good news is, if you can read, fill out paperwork, read more, fill out paperwork more, run around town to gather documents, get 10,000 pages notorized and follow very specific directions, anyone can do this! It just takes time. This process also includes filing paperwork (I600-A) with USCIS to get approval for adoption. This whole paperwork process typically takes about 2-3 months. (Note: the dossier is a packet of...well...everything! Everything from employment verification, to medical exams of parents, to home owner verification, to 4 copies each of passport, to marriage certificates, birth certificates, you name it. Every single piece has to be notarized, then sent to Richmond to be apostilled, which is a verification of the notarization, then its ultimately submitted to his country.)
- Submit our completed dossier to his country. We are trying to get it in before the close for the holidays in early December but it will be really tight. I think it's more likely we will have it ready when they reopen after the new year, but we are doing our best to work fast.
- The Long Wait. We will be waiting for an invitation from his country to travel, and there's nothing to do but to wait...and wait. That will be killer! During this time we will focus hard on fundraising. The Long Wait usually lasts about 3 months but can vary. Really that's not a long wait at all as most international adoptions take at least 18 months.
- The invitation!! Finally we will receive an invitation to travel, with a specific date we have to be in country to view Tavin's file. We could have anywhere from 1-3 weeks notice (on average) before the date we need to be there.
- In country time is estimated at about a month total. Both of us have to be there for the first 3 weeks then one of us could fly home after our court date when he becomes legally ours. We are undecided if we will just both stay at that point for the final week or not. He will come home with us at the end of the month!
So there you have it! All told we are estimating about 7 months from start to travel, which would put us around April for traveling. But that could change between now and then depending on how soon paperwork gets done, and how quickly we get that invitation so we will keep you posted!
Also, we want to say thank you to whoever donated yesterday to put us at $325!! We will be able to request a list of donors from Reece's Rainbow to personally thank each of you. It was so exciting to hit "refresh" and see that our family sponsorship fund had grown!We are also working on our first fundraiser for next month - its going to be awesome, I am super excited! Stay tuned. And keep praying!