Posted by: Kristin W | January 20, 2010

It Is Done…Mostly

So, huge milestone today.  I have completed our dossier.  The dossier is the paperwork that is sent to the Ethiopian government.  Included are 13 forms (most of them requiring two forms – one for me and one for Andrew), things like birth and marriage certificates, financial information, verification of employment, police clearance (yes, I’ve cleared up that earlier situation…) and photos.  Lot of it is the same paperwork as the home study, but we had to get updated copies.  Nine documents had to be notarized and one had to be state certified.  And I am done.  (Well, except for that final letter of recommendation, which Brad says is in the mail…)

Every time I start a new blog entry, there is a placeholder for a photo.  I usually just delete it, because I feel like there isn’t anything to show pictures of yet.  But, today I thought I’d share with you a glimpse of my paper-world.  Tonight I made copies of everything.  We have to send originals to Ethiopia, two copies to our agency, one copy to our social worker here, and one copy for ourselves.  Things that are stapled cannot be unstapled, so I had to hand-feed everything through the copier.  It has taken me an hour just to make the copies.  The notebook is where I’ve kept everything.  Those of you who have kidded me in the past about my color-coded, uber-organized world would continue to be amazed.  When we first got the list of needed documents, I got page protectors and printed labels for each one about what was needed and what had to be notarized.  Then as I collected documents, I put them in their correct sleeve.  Once everything was full (well, except the one labeled “Brad Reference”…ahem….) I knew we were done.

I have to admit, I am feeling mixed emotions about dropping this in the mail.  For a long time I, and I alone, have controlled the pace of this process.  I would work on it in spurts, then put it aside for a few weeks.  Now that it’s done, someone else is in the driver’s seat.  I don’t really know how fast or slow I want them to drive.  We’re not ready in a lot of ways (mainly Andrew’s dissertation), but I think the waiting and not knowing what’s going on will be the hardest part.

Last week, Andrew and I drove to Jacksonville for fingerprinting by USCIS.  No, they did not immediately arrest me.  That was the last step in the US part of the process, so now we’re just waiting for clearance from them.  Yes, we are on the verge of officially being on the waiting list.  Our agency recently changed their estimated wait times.  The wait for a sibling group was previously 12-18 months.  Now they have changed it to 1-12 months.  EEE GADS!!  If we get a referral in 1 month, we’d be traveling to Ethiopia three months from now.  I can’t imagine it would happen that fast, but I guess you never know.  I’ve been confident from the beginning that whatever was meant to happen would happen, so we’ll just roll with it.


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