We got the email today that our final piece of dossier paperwork is approved!
But first I want to say three things that are huge on my heart before they get lost in the details of what has gone on to get us to this point and what is still to come.
First, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness. The Lord continues to be evident in every step of our journey. The last couple months have been full of exhausting days and sleepless nights. Elijah, our sweet 10 month old, has red swollen gums and is painstakingly cutting teeth… slowly, one at a time. In the late nights, as I soothe and cuddle him, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of our sweet baby (who did not come to us easily) and pray earnestly for the child(ren) I know the Lord is in the process of bringing into our family. Even though I am exhausted from lack of sleep and running the paper chase race, I have a Peace that surpasses understanding. Thank you Lord Jesus for deepening our roots of faith and understanding of who you are through this process.
Second, our child(ren) are worth it all. Period. They are (or will be… only time will tell!) formed in His image and are fearfully made. Their lives are worth every effort we make to bring them home. The Lord has placed them deeply in our hearts, so much so, that when I do a head count and only count three, it feels like someone is missing! So, while the paperwork and fundraising is daunting, please hear my heart loud and clear… their lives are worth it all and much more.
Third, I am blown away by the gift of you. Encouraging notes dropped in the mail, constant prayers, financial support… there are so many people who continue to support us in so many ways. We are humbled and reminded over and over again that this is not about us. We thank each of YOU for answering your unique call and taking part however it is the Lord has asked you to care for orphans. (side note: I can’t wait until our child(ren) are firmly set in our family and are no longer called “orphans”.)
So, this is where we currently stand… ALL of our home study paper work is gathered, filled out, signed, notarized and approved! We meet with our social worker next week to review and hopefully accept our finalized home study document. It will then get sent to our adoption agency for review. Once they give us the thumbs up, we will send it in with the rest of our I-600A application (this is the official request asking the U.S. Immigration to expedite a visa for an orphan to be allowed to be brought into the United States as our adopted child). ALL of our I-600A paperwork is filled out, approved and ready to go. Then we will be scheduled for fingerprints and receive our approval from U.S. Immigration. Then we head down to the capital building for authenticating from the Secretary of State and our dossier is sent to Ethiopia! ALL of our dossier paper work is collected, approved and ready to go too. So, all of our “doing” and “gathering” feels pretty much done. (that is of course unless it expires and has to be renewed, but by then we will know what we are doing, right?! 🙂 It feels good to have all of our paperwork ready to go. Now we pray as we wait for the dominos of “this, then this, then this” to come together.
This is a crazy journey. Thank you for being faithful to pray for us. Please continue to ask the Lord for his blessing in processing of our paperwork, for a successful Christmas tree fundraiser and for his blessing on our adopted child(ren)… and for sleep to be sweet and plentiful in the Smith household!