I have been hoping all week that I would get to write this post. The post letting you know that we have been officially approved by the Hong Kong Adoption Unit to adopt Esther! I am beyond excited.
Yesterday morning our social worker called and caught me completely off guard when she let me know that she had received the news of our approval early in the morning. It was such a great feeling to know that we had approval from both the orphanage and Adoption Unit. We are really getting to adopt her… in a few months!
There are still a few more steps left to complete before we can travel but there is a slim possibility that we may get to go before the end of the year. #PrayersPlease Now we move onto the next step which is preparing our I800 for the US Government. ML and I hope to knock that out this weekend so it will be ready to send at the beginning of the week. Each new step gives me renewed energy to keep working hard and complete everything that is required of us. We can do it. We can do it. It’s also exciting to know that Fall is just around the corner and then it’s Winter. And with Winter comes Esther. We are so close.
One of the exciting things about having official approval from the Adoption Unit now is that the caregivers at the orphanage will begin to tell Esther about us. Remember that photo album we put together earlier this year?
She will be getting that soon as well as a video of us. I’m a little nervous about that part because we have to prepare a 6-10 minute video of us and our house. I have been trying to get the house in order all day. Not because I think she actually cares what it looks like but because our house has been so out of order these past few days that she wouldn’t recognize from the video when she gets here if I didn’t straighten it up soon.
In the video we will show her her new room. Speaking of that I should show you guys her new room. Esther and Noah’s room has changed a little over the Summer. It’s not finished yet but I should show you some progress pictures. Maybe I can take some while the house is in order. Maybe. Back to the video. We will also be introducing ourselves to her. I am a little nervous about this part because it will be her first impression of us.
Please pray for Esther in the coming weeks. Becoming part of a family and leaving the orphanage, the only place she has ever known will be hard for her. She may not even be excited about us in the beginning because thankfully she has bonded and loves her social workers. This is healthy and normal though. It is good that she has already learned how to attach and while she will likely go through a grieving period once leaving the orphanage hopefully in time she will grow to love us and her new home. These are going to be some big changes for a 30 month old little girl.
In addition to filming a video, and sending Esther the photo album we also get to ask questions about Esther. I look forward to finding out more about our little girl and hopefully getting some more pictures of her or better yet another video. We only have two videos of her. Each just a couple minutes long and there is no telling how many times we have watched them! We just smile and fall more in love with her each time.
So just as a refresher this is what we have left.
Operation: Bring Esther Home
DTHK (Dossier to Hong Kong)- check
Dossier review from team at Mother’s Choice- approx.. 1 week
Dossier sent off to AUSWD (Adoption unit)
Dossier review at AUSWD 4-8 weeks
Follow up questions sent to family from AUSWD- can take several weeks to get these questions
Responses sent back to AUSWD- 2-4 weeks (of course, that is what they give you- you can respond more quickly) 6 week wait before we received final approval
Waiting period for referral begins:6-9 months (just be prepared for a shorter time frame in case)
Acceptance of referral Because we matched with Esther who was on the waiting child list we bypassed the referral period and have already signed our acceptance of referral. Yay!
Submit I800 for approval- 1-2 months
Approval received/ Article 5 issued from US Consulate in HK: 2-5 weeks
High Court for final approval- 6-8 weeks
I’ll let you know how the filming session turns out. Watch out Hollywood!
P.S.- I was the guest post blogger at Alabama Women Bloggers yesterday. Head on over to how an avid Ole Miss fan ended up Mississippi State University and what it’s like living as a MSU fan in the heart of college football country, Alabama.
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