- We signed a contract with European Adoption Consultants in early May. We've never used them before, so I'm really not sure what to expect when it comes to "customer service".
- We contacted our home study agency to begin that process within a day or two.
- Ordered all of our certified documents after vacation (May 26th-ish).
- Got fingerprinted for our FBI clearances on Memorial Day, as well as requesting our local police clearances.
Right now we are waiting for the FBI clearances and our completed home study. Once we have those we can request our I-600A (immigration permission to bring home an orphan). That takes about 2 weeks, because we need to get re-fingerprinted by Immigration Services.
Once we have immigration approval, we submit our dossier (fancy French word for "mountain of paperwork") to our agency for approval and translation. Then the agency sends it to Congo to be matched with a child. Matching can take from 1-3 months.
When we are matched with a child, the Congo will conduct an investigation to ensure that either 1.) the birth parents want to have the child adopted, or 2.) the child is a true orphan. The investigation can take another 3-5 months.
After the investigation is complete, the agency lawyer submits all our paperwork to the courts in the Congo for the adoption. This could take another month.
Upon the Court's decree of adoption, we submit the final immigration paperwork and start making travel plans. We need to wait for the immigration paperwork to be sent to the National Visa Center in NH.
Did I mention that I'll need about a gazillion shots? I hate shots! Especially the yellow fever shot. The last time I had that one I was severely sick for a week.
Then it's time to go get our little girl!
I will travel while Mike holds down the fort. I will travel for about a week and then we will come home with our last child. (Please God, let this be our last child? I love children and all, but I'm good with eight.)