I've had lots of people ask me what's next and I figured it would probably be best to go ahead and write a blog post to explain it and to also share a giveaway!
Now that we're on the waiting list, we wait (and wait, and wait, and wait) for a referral. It will probably be months before we get a referral, which in a way is disheartening to think about... Mainly because of my impatience and it makes it even harder when studying up on Ethiopia and their food, culture, language, etc. I am SO excited to go and have been having dreams about it and our child... I KNOW it's worth the wait, just sometimes hard to think we still have months to go sometimes! But thankfully, I know that God's plan is absolutely perfect and much better than my own!
Once there's a referral for us, our case worker will call and tell us about our child, then will e-mail us pictures. Then we'll get a package in the mail and we'll have 7 days to accept our referral. I'm sure many of you are wondering why we can't just say "YES - we want him/her!" With the acceptance of the referral comes a fee of $8235.... So we have to have $8235 to our agency within 7 days, or we cannot accept our referral. This fee is the International Program Fee and In Country Fee. It covers things like translation, liaison with government and agency authorities, facilitation, adoption and travel coordination, physicians, orphanage fees, visa medical exams, U.S. Visa for the child, Passport, Birth Certificate, etc.
After referral, we'll wait for a court date - usually 6-8 weeks. We'll travel to Ethoipia for the court date and meet our child and then come home. Then if/when we pass court, we wait (at home) for an embassy date when our child can receive a Visa to come home. This can take another 6-8 weeks or so and once we get that date, we can go back to Ethiopia to pick up our child. So, after the referral fee, the only remaining costs we have are travel fees (which can vary greatly, depending on the time of year, but it's estimated to cost $6000-8000).
So, I'm sure you're wondering - do we have the $8235 for the referral fee? Unfortunately, no... Since paying the $4100 for the dossier fee, our adoption account has dwindled a lot and we're not anywhere close to that amount! So, sometimes it's a good thing that referrals can take awhile, because we've got awhile to come up with the $8235!
We still have lots of puzzle pieces and shirts for sale (for shirts, we are out of XS in childrens, and have no more S in adults left! I'm sorry! I'm not sure if we'll be able to order some anytime soon unless we get a high demand for them, because it's best to order in large quantities.)! You can buy them using the side links or you can just donate! Even if it's $1. Every single penny adds up!
And, a great friend of mine, Christine, messaged me yesterday and said that she wanted to do a giveaway for our adoption. She is so sweet! Anyway, she's giving away a $25 restaurant.com giftcard! And, if we get enough entries, I will also give away a HOPE shirt and a $25 Starbucks giftcard! There are a few ways to enter:
1. Donate (ANY amount is SO appreciated!)
2. Buy a puzzle piece ($5 piece or $10 piece - go HERE for more details on our puzzle fundraiser!)
3. Buy a HOPE shirt ($20 for child or $25 for adult - go HERE for more info)
4. Share on your blog or Facebook
Once you do any of those, comment on this blog or comment HERE and you will be entered in the drawing! (you can be entered more than once by doing more than one of the above!) You have until Sunday, July 24!
Thank you SO much Christine for doing this!! You are so sweet! :) And thank you to anyone who donates, shares, or prays for us. It means more than you'll ever know! The most awesome thing is seeing just how many people have come together so far to help us bring our child home. They are SOOOO stinkin' loved, aren't they? :)