Our Ukraine Timeline

For those of you who have been following along all along, are just joining us now, or who have no idea who we are but are trying to navigate your own adoption process, we thought it might be nice to share the timeline of our adoption process through Thailand in a simple(ish) list. I’ve definitely consoled myself in the past (okay, yesterday) by looking at timelines on other families’ blogs, so I hope that this is helpful to some of you!

December 1, 2013 – Learned about a Ukrainian child in need of a host family through our church’s orphan care group

December 2, 2013 – Were approved to be his host family

December 19, 2013-January 16,2014 – Hosted Vitalii. Sent petition to inquire about his adoption status to Ukraine with him on the 16th

February 19, 2014 – Receive official letter stating that Vitalii is registered for adoption in Ukraine

February 23, 2014 – Learn that we are able to simultaneously pull off both adoptions and commit to pursue adoption of Vitalii

March 26, 2014 – Completed home study revision

June 24, 2014 – Summer hosting of Vitalii fell through the night before hosting was to begin. It was a very difficult, uncertain time

September 23, 2014 – Received registration letter from Ukraine

October 1, 2014 – Received invitation letter from Ukraine to travel

October 13, 2014 – Jason traveled to Ukraine for SDA appointment/ first visit

October 21, 2014 – SDA appointment, matched with Vitalii

October 23, 2014 – Traveled to Vinnitsya to see Vitalii

October 28, 2014 – Vitalii signed his petition to be adopted

November 14 – December 3, 2014 – Jason returned to the US to wait for the delayed court date

December 8, 2014 – Court date. Beginning of 10 day waiting period

December 19, 2014 – Unification day! Jude Vitalii is a Camorlinga!

December 22, 2014??? – Obtain passport and travel to Kiev for completion of medical and immigration documents.

December 30, 2014 – The day that Ukrainian winter break begins. If paperwork is not complete by this date…. they will be there an extra week twiddling their thumbs.

Our Thailand Timeline

For those of you who have been following along all along, are just joining us now, or who have no idea who we are but are trying to navigate your own adoption process, we thought it might be nice to share the timeline of our adoption process through Thailand in a simple(ish) list. I’ve definitely consoled myself in the past (okay, yesterday) by looking at timelines on other families’ blogs, so I hope that this is helpful to some of you!

October 31, 2011 – Realized we were “ready” to grow our family through adoption and that it would probably be through Thailand.

November 7, 2011 – The Defending the Fatherless Sunday that solidified in our minds we would adopt an older child.

November 27, 2011 – Adoption application to WACAP completed and submitted.

April 30, 2012 – Homestudy through Partners for Adoption (now closed) completed and reviewed.

May 10, 2012 – Received approval packet from WACAP, accepted to the Thailand program.

July 9, 2012 – Dossier completed.

August 24, 2012 – Dossier sent to Thailand / USCIS application (immigration) submitted.

October 5, 2012 – USCIS (immigration) approved.

October 18, 2012 – Received child referral of James from the Thai Red Cross (TRC) / had an international adoption doctor consultation.

October 19, 2012 – Letter of Intent submitted to TRC.

December 15, 2012 – February 28, 2013 – Thailand rejects initial Letter of Intent, and a second appeal is made (thanks for rallying, troops!).

March 7, 2013 – TRC approves our family. We are matched with James!

April 8, 2013 – Sent over an album of family/friends/home photos and gift to James.

September 14, 2013 – Received first video of James, photos and a drawing he made.

October 17, 2013 – Received official “child match documents” from TRC, began renewing our home study (it was set to expire) and immigration and finished travel vaccinations

February 19, 2014 – Received copies of James’ birth certificate and other documents, as well as the To Whom it May Concern Letter. Submitted 1-800 form ICPC (more immigration paperwork).

February 23, 2014 – Notified that US government is processing ICPC.

March 10, 2014 – Received provisional approval of ICPC.

March 14, 2014 – Received notice that Visa paperwork was wired to embassy in Bangkok. Completed and submitted DS 260.

March 20, 2014 – Final processing in Thailand before we are invited to travel. Article 5 issued.

March 26, 2014 – Received committee meeting date!

April 10, 2014 – Travel to Thailand.

April 17, 2014 – MEET JAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME

April 18, 2014 – James begins staying with us.

April 23, 2014 – Attend DSDW matching committee meeting; get his passport and visa.

April 28, 2014 – Return to US.

2014 – Four post placement reports at 2, 4, 6 & 7 months (Thanks, California).

???? – Adopt in US court.

???? – Finalize adoption with Thai consulate.

The Adoption Process for Thailand
The Adoption Process for Thailand

“This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.”

-John Fawcett

Still Hope

As you are probably already aware, we have been waiting to receive a “yes” or a “no” from Thai officials (about whether they think us fit to parent the sweet little guy that we are pursuing) for a few weeks now. The answer came, and it was neither.

This is good news, because there is still hope. It is not great news, because it means we are on the verge of the “no” that we do not want to hear.

Fortunately, there is a woman from the orphanage that has decided to be an advocate for this child, and she has promised to bring our appeal before the board a second time to see if they can be convinced that we are a good match for him. The board is concerned that we are young, able to have natural children, and potentially at risk of being overwhelmed by a special needs, older child. Our job now is to present to them all of the reasons why we are capable, surrounded by support and fully committed to this boy alone.

The second presentation of our family before the board will take place in January, so, there is time to collect new references that specifically address this child and these concerns, and for us to write a letter that explains in detail how we are prepared for and why we are committed to this endeavor.

Your prayers would be so wonderful. There are several specific ways that we would ask you to pray;

  • Please pray that we would answer their concerns well and wisely. Also, that we would remain joyful during the Christmas season and not be overly preoccupied with the anticipation. Additionally, I (Danielle) would really appreciate knowing that you ladies are praying for me to be a patient, good-in-the-waiting wife.
  • Also, praise God for providing us with advocates for our adoption. Thank Him for the woman who is helping us to properly prepare for a second presentation to the board and for her commitment to finding this child a home. Thank Him for our case worker with WACAP who will be sending along an official letter from the organization endorsing us as a good match. Thank Him for the fact that we are even being given a second chance to appeal; that alone is wonderful. This is clearly in His hands, especially now.
  • Please pray that whatever the outcome, this child will end up with a family that loves him, cares deeply for him as he grows, and teaches him to know the Lord. Whether this turns out to be a false start, a difficult lesson in faithfulness for us, or he comes home as our son, we will have hope that he will come to know Jesus.
  • Pray, too, that more people would become aware of the desperate needs of all of the orphaned children, the vulnerable children, and the marginalized children of the world, and would sacrifice the “normal”, the “easy”, and the “ideal” in order to meet those needs.

Thanks again to all of you who are journeying through this alongside us… There is so much evil in the world, but when we are joined together in this way, amid all of that, we are reminded that goodness will win.

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32

Merry Christmas!

The USCIS Letter of Approval

Today we received notification from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that we have been approved to adopt one male child from Thailand between the ages of three and five at the time of referral. Yay!

This letter is the result of the biometrics appointment apparently confirming that we are who we say we are- again.

So, what does this mean? It means we have until December 27th of next year to bring our fella home, OR we will need to file for an extension and repeat some of the process. Praying for the former, but totally anticipating the latter and trusting that whichever it will be, it will be what God intended.

Thankful for the reassuring pace of progress,

Danielle.

 

Update of updates

Hi friends!

We have heard news from WACAP that our dossier has indeed been sent to the Thai government! That means, those of you who have helped us so far with references and notarized copies and costs and prayer deserve a huge thank you from us:

THANK YOU!

We hadn’t heard anything for a month or two from the woman handling our file, so we were extremely excited to hear that the paperwork was correctly submitted and that we  are now just waiting for, a) a response from Thailand saying they received the file, b) a notification that we are officially on their wait list and c) the match of our boy! Our caseworker has assured us that their shouldn’t be any issue with acceptance, but we are still praying that it is swift.

Since we declined to select a child from the waiting children list (a decision that was difficult to make), once we are accepted by Thailand, they will give us a child referral. That means, a child of their choosing that is probably within our specified age range (3-5) and sex (male), will be sent to us through WACAP and we will decide whether to accept the referral or wait for another. Jason and I, after speaking with other couples from our church who have adopted or are in a similar stage of the waiting process, decided that we will accept the first referral that is given. We are praying and trusting that that child, whoever they may be, will be the one that God has had in mind for us from the beginning.  That is such a beautiful thought and I always  have to wipe my eyes after I really think about it.

Additionally, our application has been sent to US immigration (the paper that will say, yes, you may bring a child back here) and we recently learned we have been approved for a small loan from Lifesong. The loan from Lifesong is helpful and we are very grateful to our church for helping us to obtain that, BUT we also received a generous offer from my parents shortly thereafter. They have offered to  play our interest free bank throughout the rest of the process.  This is such a HUGE blessing, because now we know we won’t be juggling interest payments or credit cards or any of that with each hefty payment. Any fundraising we manage to do will be paying back Lifesong (an organization that will fund many other adoptions) or my folks (who aren’t a big, scary interest charging bank).

SO, that is our update. Thanks again to all of you who ask us how it is going and remember us in your prayers. You’re all greatly appreciated and much loved.

Piggy bank from our brother and sister for the little guy

Approval Packet

We learned that an approval packet will be mailed to us sometime this week. This packet will contain next steps for paperwork, as well as an album of waiting children.

We are really excited.

Our son might be in that album and that means we may actually get to see him for the first time. Ever. This week.

We are praying that it will be made very apparent through the Spirit which child is ours!

Homestudy Approved!

After four months of questionnaires, personal statements, collecting documents, interviews and waaaaiting, our homestudy has been approved by WACAP!  We are so excited!  The whole thing feels way more real now, even though we knew from the start that this was what the Lord was calling us to do.

Now we will submit a few more documents to the US government and then our paperwork will head over to Thailand, where our kiddo is surely waiting.

This is a pretty big life changer, and one that brings us great joy.

Step 2

Now that our applications have been accepted by WACAP and Partners For Adoption, we are ready to begin the home study process. Within the next month or two we will meet with a social worker who will inspect our home, and more importantly us, and collect tons more documentation to be sent to WACAP, and ultimately to the US and Thai governments.

We are definitely stepping out in faith as the new year and new semester approach. I am comforted by the words in Isaiah 40 that remind me how small we are in God’s eyes, and yet, how loved.

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the LORD,
or instruct the LORD as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?

-Isaiah 40:10-14

So, even as we walk in uncertainty, I know that God has it under control, and that makes everything feel much more manageable.

The Application is Complete!

Finally, after much debate and information collecting- the applications are complete.  Because we intend to use an agency that does not have offices in our state, we needed to fill out a separate application for the home study process. Not a big deal, just a bit more time invested in getting things ready. Now we just mail them in and wait. This is do-able.

Applications
Complete!

Continue reading