Snow day today, so a good day to work on getting dossier paperwork organized. This is the checklist required for the dossier. Once everything is collected and notarized, it goes to the State Department and then to the Ethiopian Embassy.
1. Power of Attorney letter - must also be certified by the state department. Luckily that's in Raleigh, and they have a same-day service if you go there in person.
2. Statement of Reason for Adopting an Ethiopian Child - done. Mostly I included what I had written here, but in more formal language.
3. Photos of us and the house - done. Lots of cleaning involved, just in case an Ethiopian official is on the lookout for dog hair under the couch.
4. Original copy of home study - done.
5. Employment letters for each of us - requested and should be arriving soon.
6. Financial statement - done.
7. Birth certificates - Tabb's is ordered and on its way. I was born outside of the U.S. but luckily I do not have to order a new certificate. I can just get a notarized copy of the original.
8. Copies of passports - mine expires in August, so I've sent it in for renewal. Should come in a couple of weeks.
10. Marriage certificate - picked one up yesterday after work.
11. New health form from our physicians - I have an appt on January 20. The traveling notary will meet me at the doctor's office once again. Tabb works next door to the hospital, so he can pop over to the doctor any time.
12. Police clearance. We have our FBI clearance, which will be enough, unless we don't have our dossier completed by February 16. On that day we go past the allowable 3-month age on documents, so then we'd have to get a local clearance instead.
13. Two letters of reference - with a few changes, we can use two of our original reference letters from our home study.
14. USCIS approval - we have our fingerprinting appointment on January 20. I don't know how long after the appointment we get the clearance. The timing of the USCIS approval will probably determine whether we can get everything processed by the State Department and Ethiopian Embassy before February 16.
And then, once all that is finished, we are officially on the waiting list. At this point it sounds like the wait for a referral will be well over a year. Then there will be an additional wait, which also seems to be getting longer, to get a court date in Ethiopia. So I'm guessing it will be at least summer of 2012 or later before we travel to Ethiopia. And of course, anything could happen between now and then.