Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dossier to D.C.!!

I have to keep this post short. Emotionally, I'm drained, but in such a good way. Today started out normal enough. Errands to run, pictures at church for the directory, followed by lunch and playing at the park with the girls. I had found out the day before that our I-600A had been approved and that within a week to two weeks, we could expect that all-important I-171H form to arrive in our mailbox. This form is the one sheet of paper I've been talking about non-stop because it's the final document needed for our dossier.

Our Dossier - blood, sweat and tears
As I got closer to home, my heart started to quicken because I knew by then that the mail had arrived, and that there was a chance it would be there. But I really didn't want to be disappointed so I talked myself out of it. "Courtney, it's okay if it's not there. Remember, the U.S. postal service takes forever to get these kinds of things across the country. It's NO BIG DEAL." (yes it is)

There was one envelope in the box. One envelope with a return address of U.S. Department of Homeland Security. I about hyperventilated. My poor sister-in-law, on the phone with me at the time, asked if everything was okay.

Within seconds, I was staring at that sweet piece of paper; it had finally arrived!

Needless to say, the next 2 hours were a flurry of activity as we contacted my friend who was available to notarize the document, scanned and made said copies of this document and did one final check-through of everything needed. And of course, we had to write out a big, fat check (more on the costs of adoptions later - promise that post is coming).

On our way to the one FedEx office still open, I kept a tight grip on the bag containing everything. It was so bittersweet to realize we were finally sending off everything.

When we got to the office, Meredith asked if she could carry it in (nervous mama over here!). But she did fine - I think she knew this was a big deal!

Proud big sister
The girls were, ahem, rather loud normal and I thanked God we were the only customers there. And thank goodness we had such a nice FedEx man there. He quickly realized what we were doing and heaped words of congratulations upon us.
The girls, making themselves comfortable.

There it is! Just need to slap on the address and it's ready to go.

She asked, "Okay, so NOW can we go get my brother?"

Miss Sassy Pants Junior.

I had one moment where my breath caught in my throat. As he was finishing up the package, he asked us what we'd like to list as the value of that package. I jokingly said, "One million dollars," and then looked at my husband as I realized this package truly was priceless. Needless to say, the package is officially OUTTA HERE and hopefully on a plane, making its way to Washington D.C., the location of our agency.

What's next? Our agency has to do a bunch of super-secretive stuff to the documents before the dossier is sent to Ethiopia. Kidding, of course. But seriously, they have to translate everything, authenticate some know, make sure every I is dotted and T is crossed. I'm thankful for the fine tooth comb investigation that's conducted. I pray all our paperwork is indeed fully complete. This review process can take anywhere between one and three weeks, then after that, our dossier is on the way to Ethiopia and we "officially" begin our wait of approximately 18-24 months (or longer, or shorter).

I find it fitting that this took place today. It's technically the first day of autumn; we are in the process of changing seasons. As we transition from this rushed paperwork process and settle into what will be an excruciating wait, I pray that this change in "seasons" is one I will grow to appreciate. What little control I had in this first season is now lost as all paperwork gets turned over to our agency and in turn, over to the Ethiopian government. We have a long season ahead of us; winter will come. But even though we can't see it, God is planting those seeds, and nurturing them. One of these days, spring will come, all stars will align, and when our child steps forward, in need, we will be ready.

Okay, this "short" post has become longer, and deeper than I intended, and a blank sheet of paper sits next to me, begging for the makings of a grocery list to appear. Much love, as always, to all of you.



  1. Courtney - this gets me really excited! We just had our last home study (its the last thing we need before I send in the I-600A) today. I know exactly how you feel. I can not wait to get that blessed I-171H form. CONGRATS!!! So excited for you!

  2. Congratulations! I know how incredible it feels to finally get this packet out the door. Celebrating with you! Michelle