Why Gladney: long standing record, everyone we've talked to RAVED about them, everyone I've talked to has been very informative and kind, they have a family association in Midland/Odessa, they take special care of the orphans that are placed in their care. Mostly, we just felt like this is the road God has for us!
What have we been doing: Once we chose Gladney, we sent off our first informational form & fee. We then were contacted by a Gladney representative - we had some paperwork we had to take care of before proceeding, so it took a bit longer (on our end) to get an orientation meeting set up.
We had the orientation meeting on 11/11! It was a special time, Stephen & I both had just gotten home from early morning accountability/bible study and got to spend some time in prayer together about the process as we were waiting for the call. We spent about an hour on the phone with Judy and it was very informational. We went over the process in more detail & looked over some of the paperwork. After we got off the phone with her - we filled out another form & paid another fee to get our official application!!
So 11/11 begins the paper chase! or "paper pregnancy" as they call it in the adoption world. Let me just break down the process for you with estimated timeline.
4-6 months to complete: Application for Gladney, homestudy, foreign dossier
This basically means that over the next 4-6 months we will be collecting a lot paperwork & having a case worker come to our home for the home study. They are basically interviewing us to be parents - that's how I feel it's best described. For example - we immediately made copies of our 5 reference forms that have to be sent in on our behalf, and made doctors appointment for a physical & blood work. Then there is about a 9 page application we fill out and once we are done with that we can start the home study! Now the foreign dossier is what gets sent to Ethiopia - basically a whole other set of paperwork!
8-10 months to wait: Once we get everything sent off to Ethiopia, then we wait. The wait time right now is 8-10 months for an infant. The age range is 6-12 months, so anywhere in that age range. We will specify that's what age we want in our home study. So during that time they are locating a child that meets our requirements, testing them for diseases, making sure they are legally ready to be adopted, etc. Then, once they found a child - thats called a referral. They will send us pictures & health information along with a list of doctors who are familiar with international adoption. We are to show the medical info to our pediatrician (need to get one of those!) and make sure this is the child we want to adopt. Once we say YES then we are waiting for Ethiopia to set a court date.
3-5 months for court date: It could take up to 5 months for Ethiopia to set a court date. We will travel to Ethiopia to appear in court & to meet our child :) We will stay about 7-10 days on this first trip. Then we have to come home, empty handed, and wait for them to finalize the legal stuff. But 3-6 weeks later we are back to Ethiopia!
That is pretty much the process in a nutshell. I want to talk about it on here & for you to be able to follow along. It's sort of scary looking at it all at once but what I keep coming back to is My God is Bigger! Sure, it could take that long & so many things can go wrong but " God can do IMMEASURABLY more than all I ask or imagine" Eph 3:20 and anything is possible! We are prepared that it's not going to be easy or fun the whole time but the end is worth it. Getting to bring our child home!
Thank you for walking this journey with us. Just be praying for us as we go along the process that we will trust God every step of the way! more soon....