Hello All! If you are still hanging in with us on this journey, we say thank you! This post might be a bit longer, but we wanted to provide you all with some specific details regarding our process thus far, and what we expect to happen in the days, months, and potentially years ahead. To start, here is a timeline of our process from the beginning until now:
- 11/13/18 – We submitted our pre-application to Lifeline
- 11/20/18 – We submitted our official application to Lifeline
- 12/21/18 – We had our orientation interview phone call
- 12/31/18 – We had our first home study interview (in-home visit)
- 1/22/19 – We had our second home study interview
- 2/12/19 – We had our third home study interview
- 2/18/19 – We had our psychological evaluation (required for adoption)
- 3/19/19 – We mailed our I-800a to Lifeline
- 3/27/19 – Our home study was finalized
- 3/29/19 – Lifeline mailed our I-800a to USCIS
- 4/1/19 – Our I-800a was received in the “lockbox” and we sent our FBI fingerprint results to DC for federal apostille
- 4/5/19 – FBI documents apostilled and sent to Lifeline
- 4/10/19 – FBI documents received by Lifeline
- 4/11/19 – WE MAILED OUR DOSSIER TO LIFELINE (YAY)
- 4/22/19 – We had our fingerprint appointment with USCIS
- 5/13/19 – USCIS approval received
WHEW! That is a lot! These are the major highlights, but there were also a ton of little steps that we had to take to hit all of these milestones. Needless to say, we have been busy bees. So in light of this, you are probably wondering where things stand for us. Right now, our dossier is being translated from English into Spanish so it can be sent to Colombia. We just received approval from US Immigration that we are officially approved to adopt from Colombia by the US government. Once Lifeline receives their copy of our USCIS results, they will then send our translated dossier to Colombia for review!
While we have been waiting for all of this to happen, Lifeline asked us how we would like to submit our dossier. We had two options. We could submit through ICBF (which is the overall child welfare agency in Colombia similar to DCFS), or we could submit to one of the private “casas” (what we would refer to as a group home). Lifeline recommended, based on our family profile, that we submit to a casa called FANA. We accepted that recommendation and have filled out the application for that home for it to be included with our dossier!
AND NOW WE WAIT!
We would imagine that some of your are wondering what the process looks like once our dossier is sent off. We will do our best to shed some light on the process for you now.
- How long will it take for your dossier to be approved once it arrives to FANA? We are not exactly sure, but have been told that it can take up to three months for approval. A big part of this seemingly long waiting period has to do with how often the approval board comes together to review files. They typically do not review files unless all members of the board are present. Couple this with the Colombian culture and the fact that the country celebrates several holidays during the summer months, it makes it difficult for the board to all be present together with regularity.
- How is a match determined? Any adoptive family has a few avenues to make a match. A family can match with a child from the “waiting child” list. This is a list of children that for a variety of reasons (i.e. moderate to severe special needs, sibling groups, older child) are eligible for adoption but have yet to be matched with a family. A family can also match with a child that they have hosted through hosting programs offered through various adoption agencies. In these cases a family has had a specific child or children in their home previously for a short term stay and have elected to pursue adopting said child/children. Finally, a family can be matched with a child by ICBF or one of the private casas. In these cases, ICBF or the casa reviews the file of a family and determines if they would be a good fit for a specific child or sibling group. As a family, we are in the third scenario.
- How long will it take to be matched once your dossier is approved? Upon approval we have been told that a match can happen anywhere from 6 months to 18 months on average. We have heard of matches happening on the lower end of this time range, but for most families the matching process happens in the upper end of the range. We’ve even heard of some families waiting two years or longer. Needless to say, unless God moves otherwise, it may be awhile before we have good news to report regarding a match.
- So what are you going to be doing in the meantime? We will be preparing our home for the addition of a child(ren). We will continue to talk to our boys about what it means to be brothers to siblings from another country. And we will continue to make memories and enjoy life together as a family of four. Our primary goal, however, will be to continue to work on securing the funds necessary to complete our adoption. We have applied for a few different grants and heard back from two. We are planning to apply to a couple of more with hopes that it will be enough to bring us across the finish line financially. We are also preparing for a garage sale on May 18 (which we cannot wait for it to be over with). Finally, we have been approved for a Both Hands project that we hope to implement in the early part of the Fall. We would love to have all of the funds necessary for our adoption by the end of 2019.
How Can You Support Us?
We have been blessed to receive a $5000 matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans and our church Johnson Ferry Baptist. We invite you to support our adoption through tax free donations that will be matched dollar for dollar. If you give $1 it becomes $2 through this grant. If we are able to secure the full amount of the grant it will be doubled! Please visit My Story for more information on how you can contribute to our matching grant. If you want to give offline please contact us for our family account number.
How Can you Pray for Us?
- Pray that God gives us the patience as we wait for the various steps of the adoption process to play out. This part of the waiting will be particularly difficult as we may not hear much of anything for weeks or months at a time.
- Pray that God continues to provide the funding necessary to complete our adoption. Stepping out on faith and asking for help has been a challenge for us, but God has shown himself faithful and for that we are grateful.
- Pray for us as we complete our garage sale fundraiser and begin to form our team for our Both Hands project.
- Pray for us as a family to continue to remain faithful to this process and to stay strong as a unit.
- Pray for our daughter(s) to be well taken care of spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Specifically, pray for the staff and caregivers at FANA as they are the ones that are caring for our little one(s) currently or in the near future.
If you have hung in this long, thank you so much. Updates may be sparse, but we will do our best to continue to blog and give some insights into where we are as a family as we wait to bring our little one(s) home!