Is that the question you are thinking now? Maybe not. But it is the question my mom is wondering (I think she is a little bit excited to be a "gamma" again:)
Right now, my dossier is on it's way to my agency, Gladney. Once there, my fabulous case worker, Natalie, will review all the documents and make sure every possible piece of information and every money order for fees is there. She will be adding a few items to my dossier such as an authenticated copy of Gladney's license, an authenticated copy of our post-placement supervision agreement and such. Once this is complete, my dossier will fly to Washington DC.
First stop in DC is the US Department of State where it will receive federal authentication, basically meaning that the US government will authenticate that the Secretary of State from each respective state has the authority to authenticate the documents in my dossier.
The courier will then take the entire double-authenticated dossier to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC. There, the embassy will authenticate the dossier again.
Once that is completed, my dossier will be forwarded to the in-country representatives and the Ethiopian Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA). From today, my dossier should be in-country within about 2-3 weeks, barring complications. The representatives will have my dossier translated into Amharic in anticipation of court.
Meantime, stateside, I will be eligible to receive a referral. A referral is when my agency will give me information about a child that is eligible for adoption. The information will include a medical and social history (as much as known), current health status, information about the child (such as developmental milestones like sitting, standing, walking, speaking), and pictures! I will have the option of accepting the referral or awaiting a different referral. Currently, my agency is reporting a 3-5 month wait for a referral of the age and gender I am requesting. It could be longer or shorter based on the children available.
Once I accept a referral, a court date in Ethiopia will be requested. At that court date, my dossier along with information about the child will be presented to the judge. If all goes well, the child legally becomes mine at that court date! In-country representatives then get to work on getting a passport and such for the child, and approximately 3 weeks after a successful court date, I will travel to meet my new daughter and bring her home forever!
I point out that the court date must be successful because recently, many adoptive parents have "failed" court their first time through. Some for reasons such as missing paperwork, others because of unknown reasons. So even though I my get a court date, I can't know for sure when I will travel until court is successful.
Other things that have to happen prior to traveling are:
~Complete 10 hours of Hauge accredited eduction (about 4 done at this time.)
~Make sure my sis can go with Abigail and I!
~Pay remaining $9,935 to my agency
~Finish vaccinations for Abigail and I (Typhoid and second Hep A)
~Plan our travel, stock up on new kiddo stuff, and get lots of rest!