So, what is a referral and what happens after we get one? We have not done a stellar job of explaining to all of our friends and family how the many facets of this process work. We are constantly taking in information about the steps in this process as we move along. The gathering of knowledge and praying about this are about the only things keeping me sane! So, to answer my own question... When we talk about receiving referral, we are talking about a phone call. Someone from our agency will call us up. I imagine they will say something like, "Congratulations, you are having a boy/girl!" (This is how it plays out in my head about 50 times a day). We will receive some medical information and background information about the child. We will also receive picture(s). The next step will be accepting or rejecting the referral. Let's be serious, I have yet to imagine a scenario where we would reject the referral, BUT that piece of the process is there for a reason. This is a lengthy process and our agency is nothing if not ethical. So, the rejection possibility is there, but not likely in my mind. NEXT (yes, there is MORE), after accepting a referral, we will wait for the Ethiopian courts to assign us a court date. My best guess, is there will be an 8-12 week lapse between referral and court date (what do I know, though???). We obviously hope for less. We will travel to Ethiopia and meet our baby. We will attend court (why do I feel the anxiety pulse when I write that?), and then we will return home, without our baby. More paperwork will be processed after we pass court. So, we will wait for the Ethiopian Government to collect and process this paperwork once we have officially passed court. Once they have everything ready, we will be invited to return to Ethiopia. The first 2-trip families have waited 6-8 weeks between court returning for the 2nd trip. During the 2nd trip, we will take custody of our baby, and we will attend a visa interview at the US Embassy in Ethiopia to secure the visa for our baby. If possible, we will meet anyone willing/able from our child's birth family during this 2nd trip as well. We hope and pray to have this opportunity to ask questions, and hopefully express our profound gratitude for the chance to grow our family through this amazing process (I say hopefully because I can't quite figure out what words would even come close to expressing the honor and gratitude that we already feel and we are pre-referral). Next step???? COME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can hardly wait to get home and begin building our bond and attachment as a family.
My hope is that the above explanation makes sense and clarifies this process. That was a wordy one, huh? If it left lingering questions, feel free to ask!
|I don't care if it is a boy or girl, I just don't want my tail pulled or my ear tugged. :)|