We have just embarked on this journey, and we have already learned so much! A few months ago we knew nearly nothing about international adoption, and even less about Colombia. We still have so much left to learn, and we LOVE learning as much as we can as we feel like it makes us one step closer to loving on our precious child.
Yesterday, we had our orientation interview with our Colombia social worker, Beth, via conference call. It was so exciting delving further into the process. We already read over the gobs and gobs of paperwork, but really appreciated everything being laid out for us in layman's terms. Our next small step is turning in some more paperwork and getting fingerprinted at the police station. The next big step is the home study process. The home study process consists of four separate interviews and will be over a 3-4 month period. Our first interview is a week from today in Troy with our social worker, Sherry.
Once the home study is complete, the immigration step begins. From what I understand, this is essentially the US government telling us we are fit to adopt. We will then be bio-metrically fingerprinted, and while waiting for approval will work on our dossier. The dossier (dos EE ay) consists of a TON of paperwork, including information gathered throughout the home study, psychiatric evaluations and clearance, and documents like birth certificates, marriage license, etc. Once sent to Colombia, it will be translated to Spanish. After a certain amount of time, we will hear back from Colombia. We will either be told that they need further information from us, need certain things clarified, or that we are cleared to adopt from their country! We pray the latter is the news we receive when that time comes.
The next step is so exciting! We can either request a certain child from the Waiting Child list or Colombia will match us with a child. This can occur immediately, or be months or even years. Oh how exciting it will be to find out that Colombia has matched us with a precious little boy! (There are more boys available for adoption, and we would love to add a boy to this girlie house). The average time of this journey if 18-24 months. Once matched, we will travel to Colombia for 4-8 weeks to meet our angel and bring him to his forever home!
Here are some facts that we have learned throughout the beginning of our adoption endeavors. These facts are heartbreaking to say the least.
There are between 143-147 million orphans in the world. We can't change the world, but we can change the life of one child, and give him a forever family!
Most boys that "age out" of the system become hardened criminals. Most girls that "age out" enter the world of prostitution. Every 2.2 seconds, another orphan ages out - having no family and no home. Every day, 5,760 more children become orphans. Children in Colombia become orphans frequently because of issues with poverty, violence, drugs, and high birth rates.
I want to close on a happy note. We are telling our girls about their brother in Colombia, and obviously based on their ages their comprehension is limited. However, sweet Lilly Grace has made up a song about "my brother in Colombia" and dances to her little ditty. She also likes to show us where his car seat will be in our cars.
John 14:18 - "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
God Bless You!