A lot of people have asked exactly where we are in the process.
So far the things we have done:
•Provide initial application for review.
•Receive preliminary approval into the program.
•Begin the home study with an agency.
We have completed our first home study visit which was a tour of our house and an interview with both of us about our marriage. It took about three hours I think. We still have two more visits to do for our homestudy. Part of the home study is getting a lot of documents together (birth certificates, marriage licenses, driver's licenses, etc), 8 hours of online training and reading a book that is required.
Ok, then here is the good stuff:
•Make application for USCIS approval.
•Meet with agency for Dossier compilation (this is more paperwork!)
•Send Complete Dossier for authentication and translation.
•Attend a parent workshop.
•Start our immunizations. (not so excited about this!)
•Receive Referral for our child! (I'm told this is anywhere from 2-9 months)
•Go to court in Ethiopia and return home to wait for next appointment(2-6 months post referral)
•Pick up our Child! (Normally, 6-8 weeks post court approval)
•Ususal length of stay is 5-7 days in Ethiopia.
So that is the plan! We need to get our home study completed before we can start applying for grants. We can’t have our second home study visit until we get our fingerprint packets in for a background check. We are still waiting for those packets to come in the mail so we can complete them. Hurry and wait. You get the picture! Our total timeline I have been told could be anywhere from 9 months to 18 months from beginning to bringing our child home. We are expecting our child to be somewhere around the toddler size and we don’t know whether we are expecting a boy or a girl. Really the only thing we know for sure is that before the beginning of time God set this child apart to be a Kessler!
I have been reading a lot about Ethiopia and work that is being done there. It is amazing to me how this whole new world has opened up that I sort of knew existed but somehow ignored. I asked Brian if we could just think about the possibility of me staying in Ethiopia a tad bit longer (since we have to pay to fly there anyway) and seeing if I could work with one of these groups like World Vision that are already there. His response was “I have to take a midterm- don’t cloud my mind with craziness”! Hmmm … I will take that to mean “we can pray about it”. :)