Just under a year ago on November 13, 2018 we submitted our pre-application with Lifeline Children’s Services. With that submission we began our journey to adopt from Colombia. We poured ourselves into hours, days, weeks, and months of paperwork and training. We exposed our lives before strangers (who are now our Lifeline family 🙂 ). We had medical exams and had our fingerprints taken many times. We experienced the highs in good news throughout the process and the overwhelming emotional and financial support from friends and family. We also experienced the lows of delays at various points throughout the process, but primarily due to the loss of my (Keith’s) job back in May. Despite being told to expect the ups and downs in the adoption process, it has not always been easy. But every single step has been worth it because we are now able to say…
OUR DOSSIER HAS BEEN APPROVED!!!
How It Happened
To back track a little, we’ve had this good news for about a week now. In our previous update we said that approval could take up to a month. We had the hope/goal of having an approved dossier by the beginning of November. God had different plans and a drastically different timeline. Our dossier was up for review last Wednesday, October 9th. That afternoon Laura got a call from our social worker saying that the director of FANA sent a text to our Lifeline rep in Colombia saying that we were approved. It was a completely unexpected, but very welcomed surprise!
What This Means For Us?
Short answer…and now we wait! To expand a bit, up until now we have been in the application stage; we were what I like to call a “paperwork family.” Up until last Wednesday afternoon, we were not eligible to be matched. With the news last Wednesday, we officially became a “waiting family”. What this means is that we are a home study and dossier approved family that is eligible to be matched with a child.
The way the process will work for us is over the next 1 to 18 months we will be in a mutual matching process. Lifeline will hear from FANA concerning a child or a sibling group of two that they feel might be a good fit for our family. Our social worker will then give us a heads up and ask us if we would like to receive a referral. If we choose to receive a referral, the medical file for the child/sibling group will be sent to us for our review. We will have 16 days to exclusively review the contents of the file. During this review period we can seek out the advice of medical professionals to help us determine if this child/these children would be a good fit for our family and vice versa. We can decide before 16 days, but once this time expires we must give Lifeline our decision. If we choose not to move forward we will wait for another referral and upon receiving one, go through the same process. If we choose to move forward with the referral then…WE HAVE FOUND OUR DAUGHTER(S)!
At referral acceptance we would then go through a process of applying with US Immigration to declare our formal request to adopt. We would also have to complete some other paperwork through our agency as well as Colombia. At some point we will receive a court date in Colombia called an “Encuentro” day. Once this is scheduled then we will be given the green light to book flights to travel to Colombia. We have been told that travelling happens within two to three months of accepting a match, so we are hoping to be matched sooner rather than later!
How You Can Be Praying For Us
- Pray for us to have patience as we wait for referrals. We do not have a good idea of how often referrals will come. We could and will likely experience long periods of silence.
- Pray for us to have wisdom when a referral does come. There is a child or sibling group of two that God has determined to be a part of our family. We need wisdom to find out who she/they are. We could know on the first referral, but there is a possibility that it would take more than one referral to know for sure.
- Pray for God’s timing. There are naturally easier times of the year to travel and so it would be great if things fell into place for us to travel during those times. Ultimately, we want to go when God determines so please pray that we will have favor from FANA, the Colombian Courts, US Immigration, and our jobs when the time does come for us to go.
- Finally, and as always, pray for our little girl(s). We will know who she/they are soon and we can’t wait. Pray that her/their little hearts are prepared to receive us. Pray for her/their emotional, mental, and physical well being. Pray for her/their patience as they wait.
As always, we will keep you updated as things happen. During this waiting period we will write a couple of post to help you all understand more in depth the process of adoption.
Thank you again for hanging with us and most importantly for your prayers and support. WE ARE GETTING CLOSER!
Updated Adoption Timeline
- 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
- 5/16/19 – USCIS approval received
- 9/16/19 – OUR DOSSIER WAS MAILED TO COLOMBIA
- 10/3/19 – Our dossier was sent to FANA for review
- 10/9/19 – OUR DOSSIER WAS APPROVED BY FANA!!!