Chris and I were really surprised that we hadn't heard anything from our agency pertaining to phase 1 of our application. I contacted them today and there must have been a glitch in the system. She sent us phase 2 of the process and I was able to fill it out during my lunch break today. I sent her an email that we completed it and she reviewed it and we have been approved!!! Yeah! I have learned that the beginning of the adoption process is really based on our timing. The second part is up to the person who completes your home study. And the third part is waiting for your referral. This is where the agency matches you with a child. The last part is when it goes to the Ethiopian court for approval and we travel to pick up our child. Wow, that just gave me the chills. I love it!
The next part of the adoption process is completing the International Application Packet. This includes signing a lot of papers (reminds me of getting a mortgage) and getting a notary to witness our signatures. Luckily, my father is in the midst of tax season and one of his employees is a notary and she works 14 hour days so we can visit his office after work together. When we submit this packet of information back to our agency the first part of the agency fee is due.
We will also have to go through an "orientation" with our agency. We have not set the time to do this yet. Hopefully we will do it in the next week.
To be able to adopt a child from an international location, we have to complete 10 hours of training. The government is likely going to be signing the Hague Convention in April and all people who plan to adopt must complete 8 hours of training online. This training pertains to the Hague Convention. For those of you who are not aware of what this is, it is a way to make sure that countries are abiding by the rules for adoption. In corrupt countries, people have kidnapped children and put them up for adoption. Not only does the child suffer, but both the birthparents and the adoptive parents are caught in the middle of a horrible situation. The impact of only working with countries who sign the Hague Convention and follow it will hopefully be the best for everyone involved. For example, the majority of the agencies in the US have already stopped working with Guatemala because they are not following the rules. It is really an unfortunate situation because the kids are the ones who suffer the most. My heart goes out to them because there are lots of people who would take them into their family. We have so much to be thankful for in the US.