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Orientation meeting

Today Jon and I sat down for an orientation meeting via the phone. We have a pile of paperwork coming in the mail that all must be signed and notarized, but before signing it all, the agency wants to go over what is in the documents. Here are some random things we learned from the conversation...

*Our homestudy and dossier (Ethiopia) paperwork will be conducted at the same time. They give us 6 months to complete both of these. Most of the time it takes 2-4 months to complete.

*When we travel to Ethiopia, all of the accommodations are taken care of by our agency! We will have to figure out the airplane tickets, but then they take care of hotel, food, transportation, and translators when there. This was a sigh of relief for me, as when I had been reading Ethiopia adoption blogs, it seemed like many couples were arranging their own chauffeurs in Ethiopa and I was really nervous to have to figure that out!

*Just in the last week, Ethiopia has changed one of their court date guidelines. In the past, there were two court dates that were set that coincided with the first visit of your child. One of the court dates we do not attend, as it is meant for review of the family/abandonment papers of the child. The old way of scheduling these two court dates was to do it at the same time; however, now Ethiopia will not allow us to make a court date until the first court hearing is conducted. Our agency still isn't sure how this will affect the timeline of the adoption. We are hoping that it does not add too much extra time to the process! By the time this is all happening, we will have seen pictures of our child (hopefully children!) and we will be anxious to be in Ethiopia where the child is!!! So another thing to add to the prayer list...

*Expenses.
We knew they were coming. And I knew there was a chunk that would be asked for sooner than later -- unfortunately "sooner" came faster than we had hoped. My initial reaction to the paperwork that had to be signed was ecstatic because I thought it would just be signatures, then sent in the mail, and then we would be onto our next step. But then reality hit, and in order to be completely "official" with this paperwork, our first big chunk of money is due... and ouch does it hurt.  We won't let money keep us from adopting!... but that doesn't mean I'm not terribly nervous of how we are going to come up with all of the adoption money...also added to the prayer list!

Speaking of prayer - thank you to all of our family and friends that are keeping us in your prayers. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to know we have so much support in our lives.

In Christ,
Mara

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