Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why isn't she home yet?

Let me preface this with YES! SHE WILL COME HOME!  We just have to wait for a while.

The current average time between court and pickup is anywhere from 3 to 5 months.  We have been told to expect 5.  Either way, that puts us traveling sometime in the summer!

So why does it take so long?  "She's legally yours."  "You are being forced to abandon her."  "They can't make you leave her."  "What right do they have?" These are all things we've heard, but here is why...

THIS IS THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT AGENCY IS USED.  After we pass court, there are a lot of steps that must happen and it takes one in order to do the next.
-the Women's and Children's Office must write various letters at various times  requesting certain documents be issued
-a court decree must be issued
-a new birth certificate must be issued with the adoptive parents' names on it
-an Ethiopian passport must be issued 
-documents must be translated and authenticated at various times
-an appointment with an US Embassy approved doctor must be scheduled
-a medical exam complete with lab work must be completed
-a medical report must be written
-all of the above paperwork (plus MUCH more) must be submitted to the US Embassy
-the US Embassy must accept the paperwork (very often they want something to be edited)
-the US Embassy has a certain number of days to open the file, then more to review it
-The US Embassy usually requests more information.  They do an investigation to make sure that there is no corruption going on in the adoption process.
-The US Embassy must invite the adoptive family to come back for a visa interview
-An entry visa is placed in the child's Ethiopian passport

If you think about the US and how long it takes to do ANYTHING (get a new Social Security card, get a copy of an already-existing birth certificate, schedule a doctor appointment, wait for lab results, etc), it's totally understandable why it takes so long! 

No, you're not going crazy.  We didn't have to do it this way for the boys.  The basic reason is that in 2010, we didn't have to appear for the court proceedings.  Court and everything else listed above all happened while we held on to their pictures.  So while the wait is likely to be torturous, we are so blessed that we got to kiss our baby girl in the middle of all that waiting!

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