Friday, May 30, 2008

Introducing SPROUT

Sprout is the name of my daughter. OK, it's not the REAL name of my daughter (only two people know the name I have chosen for her), but it is what I am calling her until I get her referral.

I don't know anything about Sprout. She may not even be born yet, but I know I LOVE her already. I love the thought of her. I love her spirit. I love how happy she already makes me. I love the role she already plays in my life. I love my future dreams for her. She doesn't know it, but without even being here, she is shaping my life. She is changing my life. So much of what I do these days is with her in mind. I can't wait to know her. I can't wait to see her. I can't wait to hold her. I can't wait to sing to her. I can't wait to teach her and love her, and to mold her into a wonderful person.

The adoption process is long and tedious. Slightly longer than a full term pregnancy, but the big difference is that with a pregnancy, you have a due date. You have an end (or beginning) in site. You know that (hopefully) on such and such a day, your little one will arrive. With adoption, there are so many unknowns. You don't know how long it will take to get your paperwork collected. You don't know how long the homestudy will take. You don't know how long it will take USCIS to process your "golden ticket", you don't know how long it will take to receive your referral, or how long before your court date. It's just a whole lot of "hurry up and wait" moments. But it will make it just that much more wonderful when I finally get to bring her home. Such a sweet sweet reward for all the tedious work.

I'm coming for you my little sproutling, and can't wait to have you in my arms forever!

First Post

Ok, this is my first venture into the blogging world. It may take me a while, but I'll get all the bells and whistles added to this blog (pictures, tickers, timelines, etc.) to pretty it up a bit.

This blog will not only be a way for me to share my adoption journey with my friends and family (as well as complete strangers), but also a way to document it for my daughter for when she is older.

A bit of background:

I'm about half way through the adoption process. I'm using a local agency, Adoption Avenues, to facilitate this adoption, and so far I'm very happy with them. I first had contact with Radu in early January, but didn't officially start the process (and fork over the money) until early April, so technically I'm only two months into the adoption, even though I've been dreaming about it for much much longer than that.

I've sent in my petition for adoption to the USCIS (immigration) and once I send in my homestudy to them, they will "invite" me to come down and get my fingerprints done, and then they will process the petition. Once they approve me, they issue me the I-171H which, in the adoption world, is referred to as "the golden ticket".

After I receive "the golden ticket" I gather all my documents that make up the "Dossier" (which I have been working on since January) and send it on to Washington D.C., and then on to Ethiopia. Then, I wait for a referral.

After referral, I get assigned a court date in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and my attorney there will represent me so I don't have to be present. Once I pass court, the baby will legally be mine and an appointment with the U.S. embassy in Addis will be schedule for me. This appointment I have to attend, and will be when I can bring my daughter home.

My greatest hope is to be travelling to Ethiopia by the end of December. We'll see if the cards will be in my favor.