Our dossier reached Ethiopia on August 18, 2008. However, we INITIALLY sent our file to the province for approval in March of that same year. After waiting weeks and weeks for approval we received our approval letter and I noticed a mistake had been made. It said that we were approved to adopt a female infant or siblings from Ethiopia when in fact we had not specified gender. Thankfully I noticed the error but we had to go through our local agency to get the mistake taken care of at the provincial level. This of course took more weeks and weeks to fix. Finally we received our letter of approval, our dossier was ready to go and I spent a weekend in August tracking it across the world until it arrived and was signed for in Addis.
When Imagine give each family a number in last month based on when their file was received Ethiopia we were # 43 on the single child list and #16 on the sibling list. After the recent referrals I THINK we are about #34 or 35 on the single child list and #14 or 15 on the sibling list (not following it too closely but I know my blogger peeps will figure it out for me, lol). Because we may or may not receive a referral before our documents expire in August we will probably have to update our dossier documents (notarized documents, etc)...I'm just waiting to see what happens. Supposedly we won't have to update them IF we have a successful court date before then (or just a court date, I'm not sure which it is).
Because referrals are happening sooner than expected and in good numbers I am getting concerned about making sure our paperwork is in order in time to receive our referral.
Because we adopted Josina last year we obviously need to have a homestudy update done for our file with a new letter of provincial approval. This isn't surprising and makes good sense. After the bankruptcy in July I waited to see what was going to happen with our Ethiopian adoption before paying $ to have an update done. I called our local agency in November and they suggested I wait a few more months because it wasn't pertinent then as we didn't know then that the referrals were going to start happening so soon. I called them again today and have told me that our provincial documents (criminal record checks and medicals) have expired in the amount of time that we waited since I first called and we need these for our updated provincial approval. We JUST got the criminal record check done in the summer for the court papers for our domestic adoption and this annoys me to no end. This means more time and $$$ that we just don't have (on top of paying for the homestudy update). Quite annoying really! They told me that criminal record checks now need to be updated every 6 months. Beside the fact that criminal record checks cost $ it also involves loading my daughter up in the car, driving to downtown, paying heavily for parking and braving the cold.
If I had continued with the update when I wanted to I wouldn't have had to worry about it. Grrr.
Aside: at least our provincial intervention check doesn't have to be updated. We had that updated in the summer for the court documents for our domestic adoption. That took 3 months!!! YEP....one piece of paper with one signature took 3 months! It kept getting 'lost' and we kept having to get another from the agency. Here's the process for an intervention check.
1. Call the local agency for the form.
2. Agency sends the form in the mail.
3. Fill out the form and have someone WITNESS your signature. Grrr.
4. Send the form to the LOCAL AGENCY.
5. The local agency sends the form to the provincial government.
6. Provincial government approves the form and sends it to you in the mail.
7. You send the approved form to the local agency.
This summer we filled out 3 forms! It kept getting 'lost'. After waiting a month and we hadn't received the form I called our local agency and it 'was lost'. So we'd get another form, fill it out, get it witnessed, etc., etc. and again and again it 'was lost'. I have no idea where. The local agency or the government. But it took 3 months! Thank goodness that form hasn't expired and we can use it for our Ethiopia adoption. Sheesh!
Back to the homestudy update: So we've booked an appointment with our social worker for next week to do the update and we'll get the criminal record checks and medicals done hopefully soon. What concerns me is how long it will take to get provincial approval again. How many months this time? I don't feel like I have too many months to waste before we expect a referral(which I guess is a good thing, lol). What did ease my mind a bit is that the government said that if Imagine is awaiting approval in order to give us our referral that I can contact them and they will confirm our approval to Imagine. So that's good.
Dont'cha just love paperwork! But I'm still thrilled that I GET to update paperwork...It means we can adopt from Ethiopia! It still seems so surreal after the heartbreak in July of learning of the bankruptcy.
Oh hey! I should mention...Josina's adoption was finalized on January 6th! It's official! She's legally ours! Yay!