- We have already filled out our application and paid the application fee to Lutheran Social Services in LaCrosse who will take care of our home study and the other domestic steps in the process.
- We have also already filled out our application and paid the application fee to Holt International who will take care of the Ethiopian part of the process.
- Receive approval of application from both Agencies - should be completed by Nov. 1st.
- Turn in signed paperwork.
- Complete home study (includes a series of home visits and interviews with a social worker to discuss our backgrounds, marriage, financial situation, reason for adopting, etc.).
- File with U.S. CIS (Citizen Immigration Services) for our child’s visa to enter the United States.
- Get fingerprinted by the FBI
- Assemble our dossier (an extensive set of documents required by the Ethiopian government for our adoption). The following items must be included in our dossier:
- Application letter
- Certified copies of our birth certificates
- Certified copies or our marriage certificate
- Medical letters from our doctors following physical examinations
- Proof of medical and life insurance
- Personal financial information (tax documents, etc.)
- Employment verification letters
- Several letters of reference
- Police reports
- US passports
- 171-H approval (after our application is approved by USCIS)
- Have all dossier documents notarized, certified, and authenticated.
- Holt International sends our dossier to Ethiopia.
- Dossier presented to the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia for approval.
- REFERRAL DAY – MOWA sends a child’s picture and medical report to us.
- We have the opportunity to accept or reject (which we don’t anticipate doing!) our referral.
- After accepting our referral, we travel to Ethiopia to attend the court hearing to grant us official guardianship of our child. This visit should be about 4 days.
- Approximately 8-10 weeks after the court hearing, we return to Ethiopia for the best part -- to bring our child home!!
- During our second (one week) trip to Ethiopia we will do the following:
- Receive our child either at our hotel or the orphanage
- Obtain a visa for our child and complete a few other paperwork items
- Fly home with our baby!!!
Wow! What a process that will be. Some people are asking how long we expect the process to last before we can pick up our child. Well, you always get to pay for the next step as you go. So, we have already paid the application fees. Once we have money to pay for our home study, we begin that step. Then, as that is being completed, we start saving for our Dossier. We pay for that, and then it's visas and background checks, etc. There is even a post-adoption fee to pay that we will have to save up for before we go so we can pay upon our return. Also, you have to factor in the wait list time. Right now, it is about 4 months from Ethiopia receiving the Dossier to the referral being made. Although, this changes frequently. Here is a breakdown of the steps/process...
- Application Fees $720.00
- Home Study Fee $2,780.00
- Dossier Fee $3,000.00
- Program Fee $10,890.00
- Travel Fees $10,000.00 +
- Document Process, visas, background
checks, etc. $1310.00
checks, etc. $1310.00
- Post Placement Fee $1,300.00
Yikes! That's a lot - but we are confident The Lord will provide, in his timing. I just hope it goes relatively quickly! :)
Some people have asked about a fund to donate to. We are looking in to that. I'll keep you posted, as we would welcome donations for sure!