Summer 2011 - Research international adoption & agencies. We knew we wanted to adopt from Ethiopia, so we searched for agencies with the BEST rating and reviews for this country.
September 2011 - Decide to start the process with All God's Children International (AGCI). Complete the pre-application. I was surprised at how much info they needed just for that! Little did I know what we would have to put together for the dossier!! ; )
October 2011 - Submit formal application to AGCI. Complete orientation packet & call. Mail signed contract. This was the first time I learned what a notary is! I became VERY familiar during our paperwork stage!
November 2011 - March 2012 - Work on dossier, education, & home study. I was SOOOOOOO overwhelmed by all of it in the beginning. There was just so much to do! It felt like the 1st day of a college class, when you get the syllabus & nearly freak out, thinking, how will I ever get this done?!?! But I knew other couples had done it, so we would be able to too. Here's some of what we did:
- Ten hours of classes - some online, plus a workbook.
- Details on family members I've never even met.
- Medical forms
- Police clearance
- Financial documents
- Post-placement agreements
- Pictures of us, our kids, & our home
- Employment verifications
- Birth certificates & marriage license
- Fingerprints for USCIS
- Home Study documents, forms, & essays
- And more!!
March 2012 - Finished with Dossier = Yaaaay!! What a weight has been lifted! I am so relieved. Now onto the next phase = the waiting stage.
March 9, 2012 - We are officially #136 on the girl list & #116 on the boy list.
March 30, 2012 - #129 on girl list, #112 on boy list
April 3, 2012 - Received Favorable Determination Letter (FDL) from USCIS
April 30, 2012 - #126 on girl list, #107 on boy list
May 31, 2012 - #124 on girl list, #104 on boy list
July 6, 2012 - #120 on girl list, #101 on boy list
July 31, 2012 - #106 on girl list, #88 on boy list
Aug 31, 2012 - #100 on girl list, #83 on boy list
Sept 2012 - AGCI amends its policy due to increase wait: pregnancy and concurrent adoptions are now allowed for wait list families. (Previously these were cause for contract termination!)
Sept 30, 2012 - #96 on girl list, #81 on boy list, #35 on twins/siblings list
Oct 15, 2012 - received updated FDL from USCIS (because we changed our parameters & our address)
Oct 31, 2012 - #95 on girl list, #80 on boy list, #38 on twins/siblings list (yes, we moved BACK on this list!?!)
Nov 30, 2012 - #89 on girl list, #76 on boy list, #36 on twins/siblings list
Dec 30, 2012 - #87 on girl list, #73 on boy list, #35 on siblings list
Jan 30, 2013 - #86 on girl list, #71 on boy list, #34 on siblings list
Feb 27, 2013 - #85 on girl list, #71 on boy list, #33 on sibling list
Mar 28, 2013 - #82 on girl list, #68 on boy list, #31 on siblings list
Apr 2013 - #82 on girl list, #67 on boy list, #34 on siblings list...yes, back 3 :(
May 2013 - No more monthly numbers. Instead, each month if there are any referrals we will be told the "log-in" date of the couple who received the referral (the date when their dossier was approved). We'll see how this goes...
Jun 2013 - Re-finger printing for home study renewal.
Aug 2013 - Update homestudy
Oct 2013 - Receive updated FDL from USCIS
Feb 2014 - AGCI tries to encourage wait list families to switch to a different program by offering to waive the $6000 agency fee for the new country. It seems as if they have finally understood the err in their ways of having a wait list with over 150+ families on it. (Other agencies keep theirs around a dozen.) The reality that they took $6000 from all these families knowing about the slowdown has me questioning their financial ethics...
Jun 2014 - It's time to update our home study again. But this year there would be added expenses because we were adding not one, but two new family members: #4 (S from China) and #5 (bio baby due in Nov), so our social worker advised us not to update it. With everything else on our plate and the fact that the quoted wait time is now 6 years, I agreed!
July 31, 2015 - Our agency announces the closure of their Ethiopia program. We saw this coming but it's still sad. :(