Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Friends and Family rejoiced with us yesterday at our long awaited news from Macedonia....Our Dossier was approved and therefore, we are approved to adopt from the Country of Macedonia! We have been officially placed on the registry of waiting families. What does this mean?
1.) We are the FIRST ever family to submit for an international adoption from the Country of Macedonia - after almost 2 years to date (The first day we heard about "Xavier" was Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:29am), patience, money, and tears!
2.) We are the FIRST ever family to pursue an adoption of a SPECIAL NEEDS child from the Country of Macedonia.
3.) Macedonia has accepted and approved all of our documents and have verified that we are suitable applicants to adopt from Macedonia. THIS IS HUGE since this international program is 100% new - so both Macedonia and our USA Agency are working from the ground up to create this program. Literally writing policies and procedure as we go.
4.) We have made it past a BUNCH of hurdles to get this far....One last step to go - (and the timing is uncertain). We are now waiting for our referral - or our MATCH - which could - theoretically - come ANY TIME. Under Hague Adoption law we have to tread lightly since we cannot know for certain ahead of time who we will be matched with....however, God used a photo of a particular precious little boy to lead us on this journey. It is our continual hope and prayer that all will work out for us to be matched with "our" boy - however, we know God has lead us this far and will continue to work out the details. It is our intention to accept the referral we receive, although our home study was tailored to match (as best we were able) to "Xavier's needs" to give us the best chance to be matched with him. Now, we continue to WAIT, HOPE, and BELIEVE.
5.) Along with our approval letter came the expiration for our Dossier Documents which is our submission date.....which was all the way back in April. Soooooooo, we have to begin collecting documents to update and recreate the Dossier.....it is a HUGE prayer that we will be matched and have travel dates before our current Dossier expires as apostilling and translating all the documents will cost another several thousand (and we certainly never budgeted for that!)
6.) Our First and Immediate Step Moving Forward:
A.) Resubmit our updated Home Study to USCIS (immigration) to keep our paperwork updated and current. If we do it before February, its a FREE update. (Thereby saving us $800). The HS is updated, now to fill out the I800a supplement form and send it in as soon as we get our notarized copy.
B.) We will have the updated HS translated and sent to Macedonia once we receive the Immigration Update/Approval. This updated HS includes a broader age range (since when the HS was initially written, "Xavier" was less than a year). Hopefully we are able to get this done with haste! Prayers this process moves quickly would be appreciated.
C.) If we do not have our referral/travel dates by February, we will have to go ahead have our documents apostilled in Albany and have our Dossier translated again (which would be about a $3K expense). We are praying we get our referral before this will be necessary......however, at this stage of the game, we'll do whatever it takes! The doors keep opening and we'll continue to pursue with love and passion trusting that God will provide!
7.) Once the referral (our match) finally comes - I imagine there will be some screaming and tears and pounding hearts! You'll probably hear us! (hehehe) - But, if you can't hear the JOY and EXCITEMENT, I'll be sure to post our news for all the world to hear!!!!!!
We're getting closer....this was a HUGE step. This shows us that Macedonia is serious and interested in this program with the USA. This could be opening the door for many other children with special needs to be adopted. It is our prayer that all this waiting will one day be an avenue to bless many others!
While we won't have our son with us this Christmas.....we did receive wonderful news and our hearts are greatly encouraged.
Many blessings to you all. Your prayers and encouragement are coveted as this becomes a reality for us!
~Joe and Hannah