Since my last big update a month-and-a-half ago, we have completed our home study and almost everything for our dossier. After finally receiving the paperwork for our home study, I immediately sent a copy of it to USCIS (immigration office) on May 12th. It took three long weeks to get the final copy of our home study because our social worker was on vacation. Then when our paperwork finally arrived there was a glaring “typo” on the first page. I became very impatient in my waiting! Once our home study arrives at USCIS, they should have our immigration papers back to us within eight weeks. That means that by July 8th, at the latest, we will have the last item for our dossier in our possession. At that point, we will have to have all of our documents certified at the county level and authenticated at the state level. Then we will have that sucker in the mail a.s.a.p. I can’t wait!
Our dossier will go to our adoption agency first, and they will send it to Ethiopia. Once it arrives in Ethiopia, our official waiting time for our referral will begin. The current wait is between 9 – 11 months. Unless something changes, we hope to receive the name and a photo of our son around April or May of 2010. It is surreal to imagine that that day will ever really arrive.
Since the flood of paperwork has subsided, we have put our focus on fundraising. We have now made about $2,000 on T-shirt and note card sales! We have shipped to fifteen different states and a foreign country. It’s so fun to imagine “Go. Seek. Love.” T-shirts floating around all across the country.
We are holding a ginormous yard sale on May 30th at the Pegram Church of Christ parking lot. We have received mountains of donations from our generous family and wonderful church family. My mom and I began this week to sort through and price everything. I’m not sure that we will ever finish. I guess we could always just put up a sign that says “Make an Offer.” A sweet co-worker of Daniel’s agreed to organize a bake sale for the day, as well. Come one, come all for homemade cookies, brownies, and muffins! In the morning we are planning to serve Gobena coffee (from Ethiopia) and cold lemonade in the afternoon. And, as if that’s not enough, we are going to offer DISCOUNT T-SHIRTS on the day of the yard sale. More details on that later.
Lately I have been focusing any extra time that I can find on applying for adoption grants. There are a number of wonderful Christian organizations out there, dedicated to helping families with the financial difficulties of international adoption. Most of them are matching grants, which means that they offer to double money donated by our friends and family. But there are a few that are outright gifts. I have been scouring the internet to find all that I can. I could make this a full-time job if I had the time. So far each of the three that I have worked on have required five or six hours to compose the requested essays, financial information, and other application materials. I hope and pray that we will qualify for one of them.
I had an extremely frustrating experience last week. After spending HOURS compiling the application materials for a grant from Our Creator’s Hope, I received an email from the director informing me that they are no longer accepting applications for grants. That was nowhere on their website! I was devastated by the waste of time. If you are an adoptive family, DO NOT apply for a grant from Our Creator’s Hope!
So that pretty much sums up what’s going on with our adoption these days. Life is crazy, but it is full of blessings. Please pray for us that:
- We keep our eyes on Jesus throughout all the busyness of fundraising and paperwork.
- We have beautiful weather and a great turnout at our yard sale on May 30th.
- We don’t encounter any unexpected problems or delays with our paperwork.
- God prepares us for the important task ahead of raising our son from Ethiopia.
- Protection and blessings for our son and his mother (she is probably pregnant with him right now!)