It occurred to me that those of you who are following Ladybug’s journey home may not be familiar with all of the steps involved in our adoption process. So, I thought I’d write about the process overall and what steps we’re looking forward to over the next several months.
For our adoption, here are the big steps that we move through:
- Complete a home study
- Apply for a general immigration approval
- Submit dossier to Ladybug’s country
- Receive invitation to travel to meet Ladybug
- Accept the official referral and be matched
- Work to complete necessary immigration/adoption/travel steps in order to bring Ladybug home
- Travel to go attend court and get Ladybug from her orphanage
- Arrive home as a US citizen
Home studies generally take a few months, and ours spanned May-September. In reality, I wish it had gone much more quickly; but looking back, it’s hard to see where we could’ve saved time! There is a LOT to do!
We are currently waiting for our general approval to immigrate a child to the US. To do that, we had to send an application and application fee off, await an appointment date to be fingerprinted, and now we are awaiting our approval.
Next, we will need to apostille that approval so that it can be submitted with the rest of our dossier. Thankfully, the other dossier documents are all ready to go and already apostilled, so we can obtain our final apostilled document quickly and easily.
After that, we will send all of our dossier to our placing agency who, after recording it, will send it on to Ladybug’s country for translation. After it’s translated, it will go to the Prime Minister’s office and await his review. We will be awaiting our invitation to travel to meet Ladybug at that point. We’ve been advised that this wait can take 2-4 months on average. Then, the happy news will come that we can make travel plans to visit her for about 5-7 days! After meeting her, we will accept her referral and be officially matched to her!
Sadly, then we will have to return home for another lengthy wait – approximately 3-6 months – while other documents and articles and papers and approvals go back and forth between our two countries (I’m sure I’ll understand this portion of the process more thoroughly when we reach it!). Finally, we will get notice of our court date in her country, and we will travel to be there. After we pass court, we will take her into our care, and we will spend 2-3 more weeks in her country preparing to come home. During that time, we will need to get her Visa and passport and what not.
My hope is that we can get our dossier to our placing agency as close to December 1st as possible and MAYBE hope to travel to meet her in March or so. I think it’s a stretch, but I’m really hoping to be with her on our second trip for her third birthday this summer. Thank you for praying that with us!