I am beginning in the middle because that’s where we are now, but I plan to backtrack and write more posts about our adoption in the future.
First of all, I want to thank every one who has taken any interest in our journey. I am continually blessed by friends and family who ask us how things are going, mention they are praying for us, or simply show enthusiasm when they find out we are adopting a child from Bulgaria!
May of 2018 we submitted our Dossier to our agency. In short terms, a dossier is a HUGE packet of paperwork that contains all possible information about our home, family, finances, health, etc. Below is our biological daughter Anya holding it just before we turned it in to the office.
Since May 1, 2018, we had several tasks ahead of us. Later that summer my husband and I visited the US Citizenship & Immigration Services office. As natural born citizens, it’s not somewhere I had ever thought much about, but it was an interesting place! We set up back to back appointments so we could take turns with Anya while the other person was inside. Fortunately the process moved quickly, and once we presented our documents we were able to be fingerprinted. This process is part of our approval to immigrate a child to the USA, and we do it now so that we are ready to bring that child state side at any time.
After our immigration papers were added to our Dossier, it was sent to Bulgaria to be translated and approved by their Ministry of Justice for international adoption. Once complete, we were given the “official” date to the beginning of our wait… August 25, 2018. Even though it took us a full year to arrive at that date, that is where our 3-4 year “paper pregnancy” begins as we wait to be matched with a child.
In between August 2018 and now, we took a round of online parenting classes. This was both tedious (because we had taken past courses already), and informative. If you’re wondering why we had to take these courses when we already have a child, it’s because these courses focused around the early trauma children who have been abandoned by their biological families experience. It also prepared us for some of the situations that may come up in the future as a trans racial family. I grew up with an extended trans racial family, so this was not a new concept to me, but it was a good reminder of what our children will possibly experience.
Finally, in the Spring of 2019 it was time to renew all of the information we had previously submitted. Our immigration status expires every 15 months, and our home study will expire shortly after, so we recently submitted a second mini version of our Dossier. This meant another round of gathering financial information, doctors approval for the three of us, and soon another visit from our social worker. This time our daughter will be old enough to be interviewed as well, so that should be interesting. As you can see below, she is very excited to be part of this process!
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to say when people ask about our adoption… It’s not a particularly glamorous or exciting process, but it is one I could talk about all day if you let me. Adoption is also funny because unlike pregnancy, there are really no outward signs that you are expecting another family member. This is why I am both pleasantly surprised and blessed by the number of people who remember and take interest in our journey. Please don’t stop asking, and keep us in your prayers!