Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Fun Begins

Yesterday we received our dossier packet from America World, our adoption agency. Here we go! Daniel and I sat down last night and went through the fifty or so pages of instructions and guidelines that describe all of the documents we must assemble, the eight hour training we must attend, exactly what has to be notarized, and basically all of the hoops that we must jump through in the next several months.

Let me back up… for the uninitiated, the definition of dossier is: “a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.” So basically the dossier for our adoption is a huge file of paperwork that will be sent to Ethiopia.

So that you have an appreciation for the enormity of the task, here is a list of everything that must be included in our dossier:

  • Application letter to the Ethiopian government
  • Original certified copies of each of our birth certificates
  • Original certified copies of our marriage certificate
  • Letter’s from both of our doctors stating that they have examined us and we are in good health
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of life insurance
  • Financial statement
  • Employment verification letters
  • Three letters of reference written by friends
  • Police reports stating that we have not committed any crimes
  • Fingerprinting by the FBI
  • A copy of our home study (which we will be starting soon…more on that later…)
  • Photos of our family and of the inside and outside of our home

Honestly, it’s not as bad as I had feared it would be. After reading what people write about the dossier process, I imagined it being worse. I think possibly that it’s the details that are the worst part – things like no staples can be removed from any documents or it will invalidate the document, or that almost everything has to be notarized, etc.

So last night we came up with our game plan: we prioritized everything and divided up tasks between us. I have to admit, I actually like this kind of thing. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to paperwork. It’s just so straightforward, I guess, so black and white. It appeals to the accountant in me. J I am excited to get started with our “paper pregnancy,” as it’s called in the adoption world.

This isn’t Daniel’s thing. I’m the nerd; he’s the creative guy. And speaking of Mr. Creative, I’ve been dying to give my blog readers (both of you) a sneak peak at what he has been working very hard on. Our adoption website! Daniel wanted me to be clear that it is not quite done yet. It’s still in “rough draft” stage. But we would love your feedback! Play around with it and let us know if you see any issues. The T-shirt fundraiser sale will be officially starting soon, but the paypal portion is up and running if you are in the mood to buy.

The website is:

I have added a link to my sidebar too. There is info on the website about how to add a badge to your blog too, if you want to. Thanks for checking it out!


Chad said...

Awesome is all I can say. Oh by the way on the website the instructions on the hand carved stamp is in some other language. But other than that it's great. It's exciting to see how God is working in your lives.

Trendy Mindy said...

WOW - that is a ton of info to get together! How's it going? Glad to have met you the other night at Tracy's - I hope you made some serious cash :)