Remember this post I wrote last weekend? Praise God, Ronel is home! Just tonight! He is not an orphan in Haiti any more!
If you didn't read the backstory, you should, you totally should! God writes better stories than Hollywood! The image of Ernest Parker leaving his comfortable home in Houston to fly to earthquake ravaged Haiti to rescue the son he had been in the process of adopting and sleeping on the embassy floor with 8 year old Ronel for over a week fighting for that boy, assuring him he wouldn't leave without him . . . Well, I can't help thinking it is probably as close an earthly picture as you can get of how God loves us, adopts us, rescues us, never leaves us and redeems our lives from the rubble! And if you were part of the media/technology blitz, it worked! Twitter tweets, emails, phone calls all went out to tons of government and news officials on behalf of this family to the point that officials told them they were so tired of hearing about them that they wanted them out of Haiti!
And now 7 updates on our adoption from Ethiopia:
- We finished all the paperwork required by our agency, passed our homestudy and are officially approved by Gladney!
- We have been working on our dossier that will be sent over to Ethiopia for about 6 weeks. A dossier is a whole 'nother bunch of documents that all have to be notarized and then authenticated 5 times (not kidding). We are using a service that is helping us compile all the paperwork and get it authenticated. We did finally get that bank letter I complained about a couple weeks ago, but only because a friend knew someone high up at the bank that got us some special attention. Now we've moved on to other headaches! But as hard as the process is, at least I don't have to gain 20 to 40 lbs and experience all the discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth to bring this child into our family!
- We sent in our fingerprints for FBI clearance Dec. 27th and are currently waiting on those results. Also, we're waiting on our appointment to be fingerprinted for CIS (Citizenship & Immigration Services) who will (after getting our fingerprints) then issue us approval to bring an adopted child into the country. We hope to have all this in the next couple months and then be on the official waitlist.
- We are requesting a girl age 0 to 30 months. Since there is more of a demand for infants, we are expecting she will be in the older end of that range. The average wait time before a referral (when you are matched with a specific child) for a child over 12 months old with our agency is 4 months (for children 0-12 months it is 8 months).
- Once you accept the referral you wait 1-2 months to get a court date which is then usually 1 month or so later. You do not travel to Ethiopia for court, but are represented by a lawyer from the agency. Once you pass (it is rather common for the judge to order additional paperwork on the child and that could delay things by a couple months) court then you travel to pick up the child 3-6 weeks after passing court. Ethiopia only requires adoptive parents to make the 1 trip to the country and the stay in country is about a week.
- I am a planner and would love to be able to pinpoint an exact date when we will bring our new daughter home, but as you can see, that is impossible (Did I mention also that the Ethiopian courts close for about 6 weeks in the early fall for the rainy season? So nobody clears court during that time.), rather I have a range of some time in the next 14 months, most likely late 2010.
- We are trusting God's timing. His plans are always better than ours!