As we’ve pointed out elsewhere, the adoption process is long, with many requirements both on the US and Eastern European sides. Our adoption had several delays that were specific only to our adoption and our situation. Even if you are adopting from the same country, your timeline may or may not resemble this one. If you are adopting from another country, your timeline will probably look NOTHING like this one.
We’re home now, adjusting life to a family of three and loving every second (even the rough ones!). We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s still amazing to look back on how far we’ve already come. Here’s a breakdown of our 9-month journey to bring our daughter home.
Homestudy and Official Commitment
- 03/30/2013 – Official commitment
- 04/04/2013 – Fingerprints, 2 adults (for homestudy)
- 04/05/2013 – Phone meeting with Children’s Hospital International Adoption Pediatrician
- 04/08/2013 – Homestudy application
- 04/10/2013 – Home fire inspection
- 05/08/2013 – 1st Home visit for the Homestudy
- 05/15/2013 – 2nd Home visit for the Homestudy
- 06/14/2013 – Homestudy complete
USCIS & Dossier
- 04/01/2013 – Gathering of documents began
- 04/07/2013 – Notary appointment #1
- 04/21/2013 – Notary appointment #2
- 05/31/2013 – Certifications of notary received at Hamilton County Clerk of Courts
- 06/04/2013 – First batch of documents taken to Columbus for apostilles
- 06/05/2013 – First pack of dossier documents mailed
- 06/08/2013 – Initial application documents sent to USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Service)
- 06/14/2013 – Completed USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Service) application mailed
- 06/21/2013 – Second pack of dossier documents mailed
- 07/01/2013 – Fingerprint appointment for USCIS approval
- 07/29/2013 – USCIS Approval received, and the same day, our third (and final) pack of dossier documents mailed
- 08/08/2013 – Dossier submitted to the Eastern European government for processing
- 09/27/2013 – Travel dates received
- 10/27/2013 – Depart for Eastern Europe
- 10/30/2013 – Appointment with adoption regulators to receive official referral
- 10/31/2013 (end of business day) – Pick up the referral paperwork, which is never ready until the end of business the day after the referral appointment
- 10/31/2013 (overnight) – Travel to Shanti’s region
- 11/01/2013 – Travel to Shanti’s orphanage to meet her
- 11/01/2013 to 11/25/2013 – Visit Shanti every day in her orphanage for anywhere between 1 and 4 hours, getting to know her
- 11/25/2013 – Court date
- 11/25/2013 to 12/05/2013 – Ten-day waiting period between court approval and when official custody is granted. We continued to visit her in the orphanage every day, as before.
- 12/06/2013 – We took custody of Shanti, and we are officially forever a family. Hooray!
- 12/09/2013 – Trip to her region’s capital for her passport application
- 12/10/2013 – Trip to her country’s capital to begin the US immigration process
- 12/19/2013 – We are cleared by US immigration to come home!
- 12/22/2013 – Fly out of Shanti’s birth country
- 12/23/2013 (at around 1am) – finally arrive in Cincinnati. We are home, and the journey is just beginning!