2nd Adoption timeline

August 3, 2010 - Arrive back home with our little three from Ethiopia. There's just something in the air that says we aren't done yet.

July 24, 2011 - Chrissy gets a message online "So I hear you have a heart for siblings..." A link to a photo on a waiting child site...It's siblings, alright! And I can COUNT! I know I'm seeing FIVE...!
July 25, 2011 - Forwarded photo and some general info to Paul - while he was in Texas, winning the ACF National Convention cooking competition! He emails back "sounds like fun!"
July 26 - late at night - sent an email to the agency requesting some more information.
July 27 - File of info received... waiting to talk to Paul!
July 28 - Spoke with the a wonderful social worker who did not treat me like a leper! She's willing to evaluate us prior to starting the homestudy so we won't lose money if she decides we are insane and won't approve us!
August 1- Email the agency that we have decided to move forward with the adoption!
August 2 -Added to agency-wide email listserve. AWESOME folks there!
August 3 - First homestudy visit - just Chrissy and Stephanie... and 7 children! She likes us! She really likes us! Started HAGUE classes. Yeah, don't ask.
August 4 - Care center is informed that the children have a family! Agency sends us first photos taken upon arrival at the care center. Very, very sad.
August 12 - TBI Fingerprinting
August 15 - Mailed photo albums and goodies to a traveling family to deliver when she visits the kids!
August 17 - Began ShowHope grant application, got MORE pictures of the kids in my email!
August 18 - Last homestudy visit!
August 19 - our oldest son's 15th birthday, and the day our new kids got their photo albums from us! Also received updated measurements today! The boys are all within 1 inch of each other in height!
August 31 - Homestudy is DONE! How's that for amazing??!
September... was hard.
Money issues, leaks, rotting wood, fighting, arguments... then...
Sept. 22 - we got turned down from JSC Foundation based on their belief that to give a grant to a large sibling group/large family would be bad stewardship, and that we had a high probability of disruption. Thanks for that as I'm on my way to...
Sept. 23-25 - The Empowered To Connect conference with ShowHope and Dr. Karyn Purvis.
Oct. 1-2nd - We had taken weeks to pray through our difficulties and struggles and doubts. This was the weekend we thought it was God telling us to call off the adoption.
Oct. 3rd - informed the agencies, informed the world, began a blog campaign to advocate for a new family. MASSIVE pain, immense mourning, many, many, many tears and a whole lot of confusion.
Oct. 4, 5 - More pain, more mourning, some hope that some families were interested, but ultimately - they weren't their family.
October 6 - This Story happened!
October 7 - Announce to the world that the children have a family -OUR family! Receive amazing outpouring of support, encouragement and love from all over the internet, family and friends! Money comes in that we could never have anticipated! We can now file our immigration paperwork, pay our dossier fee, and start slicing away at our country fee! God redeemed this, and then dumped blessings all over us!
October 14 - Dossier in the mail!
October 18 - Dossier arrives at IAG office via Fed-Ex! Now we are waiting for a court date! :)
October 22 - Receipt from USCIS... they have us logged in, waiting for an appointment!
October 25 - Emailed USCIS and found out our appointment isn't until Nov.22! Going to try a walk-in on 10/28!
October 28 - Walked into USCIS office locally... seriously grouchy ladies there! Wow! But, even without our official appointment notice (since we knew it was coming) they took us that day! Fingerprints done! Come on 171h!
October 31 - Dossier has LANDED!! Now we pray for the translators to work at warp speed and get us submitted to court! :)
November 25 - Found out we've been assigned an officer at USCIS... surely it's not going to be much longer for our approval?!?
December 2 - Submitted to Court in Ethiopia! 1-2 weeks to be assigned a date which could be 1-2 months away!
December 14 - Court date assigned!! January 11th! Woohooo!!
December 19 - Received RFE from USCIS. Grrr. Requesting supporting documents. At Christmas time. Nice.
December 30- All supporting documents here, copied, letters written, updated homestudy... and the RFE goes in the mail to be delivered Jan 3 (thank you mail holidays).
January 3 - Snag at MOWA. Prayers from across the country for favor.
January 4 - Hear things are all-clear at MOWA, start packing for the court trip!
January 5 - Getting on a plane for Ethiopia! Interesting flights...
January 7, 2012 - Melkam Genna! Merry Christmas from Ethiopia! Today I met our children for the first time! They are WONDERFUL! We celebrated with the staff and children at the care center, had a Genna feast including (my favorite) coffee ceremony, Mirinda sodas, injera and several dishes prepared from the goat the other families had purchased yesterday!
January 10th - Skype call with congresswoman's office from Ethiopia to TN - - letting her know I still don't have USCIS approval, please, please do something! An hour later - voila! An E-copy of our 171h approval! Thank you, Lord! (And Thank You, Marsha Blackburn's office!!)
January 11th - Court Date! In true 2nd-Adoption-Story fashion, this court date was one for the story books! A reschedule, a crying American, a copy of a document, a hand stuck into a closing door, and then APPROVAL! They are ours! I'm the mommy of 12 wonderful kiddos starting TODAY!! This evening was hard - dropped the kids back at the care center for the last time, hugged and kissed goodbye for now, and cried the whole way back to the hotel. Flights home begin tonight at 11:30pm.
January 12 - Home with half my heart.
January 25 - Court Decree issued - now the post-court process can begin.
February 9 - Birth Certificates issued and in hand!
February 24 - Passports (and MOWA letter?) in hand! Found out this is the final MOWA letter we will need. Whew.
March 5 - Kids went to see Embassy Doctor. We now wait on the report to be written so everything can get translated and submitted to the Embassy.
March 7 - Kids had vaccines at Embassy today. :(
March 21 - Submitted to Embassy today!!
March 22 - Received word that our I-600 has been cleared... now they begin to work on the I-604.
March 26 - Email from Embassy... birth family interview has been set up for April 16!
March 27 - Email from Embassy... congresswoman's office had sent a letter, they put us in on April 6th instead!
March 28 - Tentative Visa interview date of April 10!! We are ready to book tickets!
March 29 - Tickets booked, Guest House booked, panic sets in!
March 29th... later that day: One of my children, while trying to give the dog a bath, somehow let the garden hose fall inside the back door, onto the carpet. Yeah. She didn't notice right away. Of course.
March 30: half day before Spring Break, going to the doctor to get a possible spider bite checked out before we fly out of the country!
April 1: Family day!
April 2: Church prayer time for our family, trip and adjustment home.
April 4: Final date night for who knows how long!
April 5: BFF from PA, Sarah and family get here to stay with the kids!
April 7: Leave for Ethiopia!
April 8: Easter Sunday - land in Ethiopia!
April 9: Pick up our kiddos, spend a little time at the care center, say goodbye... NEVER return there!!
April 10: Visa interview appointment!
April 11: free day to hang out and relax!
April 12: Board flight to come home FOREVER!
April 13: Arrive home in the evening!!
April 14: Begin life as a mom of 12! EEEEK!!


  1. catching up on all the progress and my heart just continues to be amazed by you.....i am so excited to see everything unfold-

  2. and so now you wait for???? How long is it until they get to come home? I am amazed by the whole process of international adoption. Although I must say that we foster to adopt and while I have the kids in my arms the whole time, sometimes the loss of them after more than a year of being "Momma" is equally hard.

  3. how was your last date night!?!? Its just a matter of days now!!!


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