Wow...we are floored by the support we're receiving! We have the best friends and family members in the world! Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and genuine interest. It all means so much to us!
Since there has been so much interest, I thought I'd go ahead and address some of the most commonly asked questions...
What is the time frame?
The process is estimated to be about nine months. Hmm...know any other kids that take nine months to get home? We think it's pretty cool that it's about the same time God gives you to prepare for a biological child! While it could be as little as six months and as much as one year, we've been told that nine months is a safe bet.
Are we getting girls or boys or one of each?
We don't know for sure yet. We've asked for at least one boy.
How old will they be?
We don't know this for sure yet, either. We asked for at least one baby, which is really any child under 12 months. We are okay with the other one being up to age 2. We just want to make sure that we keep our birth order, so we don't want one to be older than Megan.
Will they be siblings?
Not necessarily. If there are siblings or even twins available, great, but they don't have to be.
Where are we at in the process?
Our initial application to Our Family Adoptions (OFA) was accepted last week. We submitted our initial application for our home study earlier this week. The home study process is estimated to take about 4-6 weeks and after that is complete, we will submit our i600A form to the US Government. That is our request that the government allow us to adopt a foreign-born child. It can take 3-4 months or more for an approval from them. They will send our approval to the national visa center and they will then send it on to the US Embassy in Kinshasa (the capital city in Congo). Meanwhile, we also submit our dossier (fancy name for documents required to process an adoption) to Congo and a lawyer over there represents us in their court system. After that, we wait for an interview date with the Embassy and then Hubby will travel to Congo to pick up our kiddos. Which leads me to...
Will you travel to Congo to get them?
Yes. But only Hubby. Because of the potential dangers of traveling to Congo, we feel like it's wisest for only one of us to travel there. He will be escorted by someone from OFA from the get go, and additional escorts will meet them on the ground in Kinshasa and be with them at all times. They will stay in a Methodist/Presbyterian hostel. And just for the record? It is killing me that I won't go. Even though I know it's best that I don't.
When will we get our referral? (Find out who our kids are?)
We don't know for sure. The amazing lady who runs OFA, has told us that she won't start looking for matches for us until after our home study is complete. Theoretically, at any point after that's done, we could find out who our kiddos are!
Any more questions? Keep 'em coming. We really don't mind! I know I still have other things to address, too, like what the kids think about all this, and why in the world we're adopting 2! And obviously, if you've read this far in our journey, you know I've no shortage for things to talk about. : )