1st Adoption timeline

Important Dates in our journey:
9/24/2009 - Hubby gives me a great birthday gift, the check for the agency fee! We are getting started!

10/09 - researching home study agencies. Looked into a LOT of agencies, eventually settled on WACAP.

11/09 - Still researching countries and programs. Due to the 4 kids we have at home already, our options are somewhat limited. Even though we are open to either sex and sibling groups, we have less options being a larger-than-normal family.

11/29/09 - Scheduled the homestudy visits with Adoption Assistants.
12/1/09 - SO sad to hear the wait is up to TWO YEARS with the agency we chose. Now we are wondering what to do.

12/3/09 - See sibling group on waiting child list at a different agency (Holt International). Called about them, got more info, saw their cute little faces, and requested medical info.

12/4/09 - First phone call to assess our readiness to be parents of a sibling group. Disregard the fact we already ARE parents to a sibling group.

12/6/09 - Email with medical info and more pictures arrives! We sit down and absorb the info like a ShamWow! VERY interested, but going to talk to pediatrician first.

12/7/09 - Fax info to pediatrician, malnutrition is the only issue... we are all-systems-go!
12/8/09 - Chrissy has tiny heart attack in seeing a "this child's info will not be sent to other families" block on the kids picture on the agency site. Turns out... that's because they are being held for us pending our approval! :)

12/9/09 - Decide we want our WHOLE family in on this now since it started moving much faster than we thought! Parents and grandparents are all informed by the next day. All are mostly enthusiastic!

12/14/09 - Final phone interview before committee mtg. Found out we have to use an "approved" home study agency. Boo. Spoke with several people for opinions on the two main agencies who are approved to work in our area. Settled on Catholic Charities. I called and gave them the info we have so far and our desire to move quickly.

12/17/09 - Committee meeting date - presented us as potential family for sibling group. We were denied, but were told we are able to try again. To say that this day was difficult would be an understatement.

12/18/09 - Start of homestudy: Paul and Chrissy meet with social worker at her office for intake interview.

12/18/09 - Chrissy applies for passport (yes, during the busiest season at the post office.). CRAZY busy day at the post office! 

12/21/09 - Chrissy's individual interview for home study.

12/30/09 - Paul's individual interview and home visit. We are still working on getting a couple of documents in for our social worker. We had trouble finding some old tax documents since they were saved on a minimally-functioning computer in our house.

1/4/10- Draft of Home Study is ready and emailed to our Holt representative! They have approved the draft copy!

1/7/10 - 2nd Committee date - another delay. Basically, we were told there is one lady who - even after reading the approved home study - still has reservations. No, we couldn't talk directly to her... she left the country right after work today.

1/8/10 - Working on dossier. Checked off 9.5 of the 16 items in one day!

1/9/10 - I got my passport in the mail!

1/13/10 - Check off two more dossier items!

1/14/10 - Formal Holt acceptance letter!

1/20/10 - Agency personnel who is out of town 1/8-20 returns so we can get to the bottom of her concerns. Our HS agency is all ruffled up that it seems as though their report is not trusted. 

1/21/10 - Conference call between head-honchos of both agencies ... and they said YES!!!!

2/2/10 - Fed-Ex package arrives with official contract paperwork! Holt has approved us to send in our dossier, now to get the state certifications we need and Fed-Ex it back!

2/11/10 – Sent the dossier and USCIS packets in today!

2/12/10 - Dossier approved by Holt!

2/22/10 - Dossier is in Washington D.C! 

2/23/10 - I got new pictures of the kids! 8 photos all together!! Also got a letter from USCIS saying they have our packet and to expect our fingerprinting appointment soon!

3/12/10 - Dossier in Ethiopia!! WOOHOO!

3/12/10 - Social Worker calls and says for us to go get fingerprinted Monday! We got our fingerprinting appointment in the mail that day and it was scheduled for 3/24. Hmmm. I called her back and she said that with the new regulations in Ethiopia, they want us fingerprinted ASAP so we can get that 171H in the mail prior to going to court. Here's hoping!

3/15/10 - Fingerprinting! We showed up, no one else was there so we got right in! They didn't mind that we didn't have an appointment! They were super nice and helpful! I love the Nashville USCIS office!

4/15/10 - Email from Memphis USCIS branch telling us we have been approved and they are mailing our 171H today!! WOOHOO! After the past two weeks of stressing out and wondering if we would get our approval before we were assigned a court date... this is like a major load off of my mind! And such a celebration! We are all clear now!

4/17/10 - I-171H arrives in the mail! It's official! I immediately photograph the "I-171H" part and text it to  several people as proof (of my adoption-induced insanity)!

4/26/10 - Letter arrives stating our 1600A has been sent to the Embassy in Ethiopia! Another step closer...

4/26/10 - fax letter to Holt, get email saying 171H is incorrect and we need to ask for a revision. Lovely. Email Memphis office and WAIT. 

4/30/10 - We got assigned a court date!! Woohoo May 18!! Praying for everything to be in place so we can be heard and PASSED on this date!

5/1/10 - Crazy adoption fundraiser yard sale in the Nashville Monsoon/May Day Flood of 2010!

5/3/10 - Our corrected 171H arrives today! Woohoo!

5/18/10- We did not pass court. Our MOWA letter was not ready in time. Rescheduled for June 1. Boo.

5/22/10 - 2nd fundraiser yard sale... Exhausting.

5/25/10- Found out we got a grant from Show Hope! Also had friends donate a large chunk of money towards our remaining fees this weekend! Thank you, Jesus! I think we MAY be all ready to go now!

6/1/10 - WE PASSED COURT! Three sweet babies are forever Jensen kids!

6/24/10 - Received travel date confirmation! Group 14, here we come!

7/21/10 - (Wednesday) Leave the USA for Ethiopia!
7/23/10 - Friday, 2am - Land in Ethiopia! Take a cab to the hotel, get checked in, get unpacked,                              longingly stare over the fence into the care center, go to bed!
7/23/10 - (Friday)We meet our babies for the first time!
7/24/10 - (Saturday) Hang out at the care center with the kiddos some more!
7/25/10 - Sunday - Trip to Durame to meet the kids' birth parent. SO glad we got to do this!
7/26/10 - Monday - Return to Addis Ababa and take custody of the kids!
7/27/10 - (Tuesday) Play at the hotel all day!
7/28/10 - (Wednesday) Our embassy date!
7/29/10 - (Thursday) Hang out at the hotel some more, go shopping, hysterically cry myself to sleep missing my kids at home and my life in America!
7/30/10 - (Friday) Go pick up our visa packets from Holt office in mysterious sealed manilla envelopes! Keep trying to find things to do to stay busy. Try out my first hairstyle on #5. Overall, hair success!
7/31/10 - (Saturday) Holt staff takes us out shopping! Trip to the Post Office for stamps, some shops for wooden items, another sword, more outfits, and cross necklace. It was SO nice to get out of the hotel!
8/1/10 - (Sunday) Went to International Evangelical Church in Ethiopia! It was so American... except for the people in the congregation! Familiar worship songs, familiar messages... did my heart good.
8/2/10 - (Monday) Wake up smiling! Its Going-Home-Day! Pack all our stuff then leave Ethiopia and head home!
8/3/10 - HOME!!!!!!! Arrive back in Nashville at 7:45pm! Woohoo!!