Last week was a heck of a week. We have dealt with many up's and down's (in the past and present), of which we are proud to say has only made us stronger, and the urge to continue on greater. Preparing to bring our daughter home is no small feat. The process is in no way comparable to buying a car or a house. And like Michael mentioned previously, it's not easy. Though there is nothing in the world that we can compare this experience to, we wouldn't trade it for the world. The end result will by far outweigh... and none of this will matter then.
To help everyone better understand, I (Melissa) have broken down the process of where our dossier is today:
1. Prepare and compile a Dossier and forward to International agency.
2. Dossier is sent to Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington D.C.
3. Once approved, dossier is sent to "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" (MFA).
4. Then sent to "Ministry of Education" (MOE).
5. Once approved again, dossier is sent to Guardianship Board in the city where you are adopting.
6. Once cleared of step 5. parents are issued a "Letter of Invitation" (LOI).
This letter is necessary for the parents to obtain a Kazakhstani visa. Soon after, parent(s) are allowed to travel to the country and visit, arrange court dates, etc.
The bolded step (#4) is currently where we hope to be standing as of this week. We received word that our dossier was to move on early this week, putting it at the MOE.
Of course, changes can happen at any time. There is no specfic time line in between the steps - thus we have no idea how long it will take officials to go over our paperwork, in addition to other families. This is only an example. :)
Other news that came in last week, we were offered the rare opportunity to adopt 2 sisters, a sibling group. These girls are younger than Hayden, filling in any gap in between ages.
Though it was a very difficult, heart-wrenching decision... we decided a family of five was not in the cards for us at this time. We continue to hold out for one child, a girl, preferably between the ages of 12-24 months. Through all this... we have learned that God will make it happen when it's time.
Hayden's Beauty and the Beast play is this weekend and we couldn't be more thrilled! Besides singing, Hayden has a tiny speaking part that suits him perfectly. We hope to capture it on video, or at the least have plenty of pictures. Though our evenings this week are spent shoveling dinner down our throats, dashing out the door to get him to rehearsal, and then back home to bed ASAP... Hayden is having a blast! We can't wait to show off our little charmer.
Have a great week!