I am so glad that our agency gives us the process in small chunks. Some days I can't believe we made it through the paperwork. After referral, we began two simultaneous processes, one with the Ethiopian government and one with our own. We were told that both could take many many months and it could be 8-10 months before we were traveling to bring our son home.
Many times I have thought my Daddy was up there with his hand in this process. God was saying "Don, I control everything but I'm going to let you help out." Our process went FAST! The two governments seemed to flow through their processes at the same time. We are fortunate that we didn't get caught up in anything like other families have and do.
The American side of the process basically calls for all the paperwork to be pre-approved. This used to be done AFTER Ethiopian court, but although it takes a little longer on the front end, it helps to enable a shorter wait on the back end to bringing your child home. We received the final paperwork for our PAIR process on December 17, again a fitting day. One year from the day of losing my Daddy. Redeeming the date indeed. We were traveling to Arizona for Christmas so we couldn't complete the LONG and tedious process of submitting while there. So, we waited to complete that task and got it in on December 29. At the same time, we were issued a MOWYCA (Ministry of Womens, Youth and Children's Affairs) paperwork court date of December 30th. We knew we wouldn't "pass" because we had to get a few documents updated, per the new rules and have them translated for Ethiopia. We didn't pass and were issued a new court date of February 16th and were told that all our paperwork was there and would ensure a positive letter be written. We didn't have a letter on that date, no surprise, but were shocked to receive one just a few days later!!! Things were moving fast, in fact, we were one of the quickest families to fly through these processes! Back to the American government, we were assigned a PAIR officer and our case was approved state side in one week (again we were told it could be a month). The case was sent onto the US Embassy in Ethiopia where we needed an interview in our child's region of birth (Harar). That would take a couple weeks, but once it was complete, we literally were cleared OVER NIGHT! Our caseworker told us to have on our radar to travel in March, which was what I had in my mind! :)
We were issued a court date of March 17, but we requested to put it off because I had a serious case of the flu. The court obliged and we were slated for Ethiopian court on March 31! We learned that we would travel with two dear families that we had been friends with for years in the process!
Ready to post about our trip!!!