Friday, January 2, 2015

Adoption Update: Our Timeline

You've only had to wait two weeks for a follow up on that adoption announcement (if you didn't see it click HERE). We would've liked to respond a little sooner, but we've been busy just like the rest of you with all the holiday stuff. Plus there's been things like adoption paperwork, rat hunting/killing, purging, and reorganizing both garages. You can guarantee I'll update you on those items another day. In the meantime, we thought you waited long enough and that you deserved a little insight into our journey that began in the Fall of 2013...

Check out the timeline below:

-Fall 2013-
our calling, our answer, and adoption here we come! (we knew we wanted to adopt long before this, but the real calling and answering didn't happen until we returned from our trip from SE Asia)

-November 2013-
met with a social worker from Bethany Christian Service to discuss the process, but were told we had to wait until February to apply (South Africa requirement of at least 1.5-2yrs of marriage).

-November/December 2013-
Announced our plans to adopt to our family.

-February 2014-
application submitted. Phone call received to inform us the South African program had closed and that we needed to wait until the Fall. Lots of praying...

-March 2014-
decided to look for a home so we could be settled before the adoption process officially started so we wouldn't have to move during our home study process (and pay an additional process fee). Looked at two houses, fell in love with the first one we went into...

-May 19-20th, 2014-
moved into our first home!

-June (first week of the month), 2014-
received a phone call from our global worker in Michigan..."a family has dropped out of the program, would you and Tyler be interested in joining the South Africa program?" Our response was, of course, "YES!" More praying...

-June-August, 2014-
background checks, finger printing, lots and lots of paperwork, references (a big thanks to all you who vouched for us!). First 10 hours of adoption education (mainly Hague training) completed!

-August 2014-
received our first message and phone call to set up our home study dates with our local social worker.

-September-October 2014-
began and ended the home study process (information on these to come on a later post). We passed...apparently we are legit enough to care for a child. Praise the Lord! Haven't stopped praying for you...

-November 2014-
lots of waiting, praying, hoping, thinking, and learning (we are required to complete 10 more hours of adoption education before we submit our dossier).

-December 2014-
official home study document approved by both the Seattle office and our global worker in Michigan! I-800A (our immigration paperwork) was sent in right before Christmas.
Plus we were FINALLY able to announce it to all you social media friends (there were too many ups and downs in this process we wanted to make sure we were further in the process before we let anybody else in on our little secret)

-December 31, 2014-
received word that UCIS is now processing our immigration paperwork. This takes 8-10 weeks. More waiting! It's a good thing they tell you it's a long process. We've never known patience like we do now! In the meantime, we will work on our dossier...which means a giant stack of papers that eventually gets submitted to South Africa.

-2015 Plan-
Once the immigration paperwork is approved (8-10 weeks from now) and we submit the dossier to South Africa, we sit and wait for a referral. That means it could be anywhere from the time of submittal to 18 months from now on the longer end. This means lots of waiting! While we wait we are required to do at least 10 more adoption education hours, wait, wait some more, and learn patience like we've never known. And all along the way, we'll be sure to provide updates here and there on the process!

After your two week wait, this should answer a few questions about where we are in the process. You've obviously gotten the idea that we've been doing lots of education hours, paperwork, meetings, and thinking/praying. However, I know there are many more questions out there. Over time, I'll blog as I always do. If you want to read, then read the posts. If you don't want to read them, then don't. We don't care what you decide to do. What we do care about is that if you do keep up with us and our journey, know that we appreciate all your time taken up to read these posts, your thoughts, and your prayers as we go through this journey.

We welcome this year as a year of opportunities and possibilities. As we do not know who our child will be and when we will meet him/her, we continue to pray that 2015 is the year it all happens! 
Welcome to the Stanley South African Adoption Journey! We hope you enjoy the long ride!

(and our little South African babe)