Our Dossier is Done (for the most part)!

K. showing a family album to friends at her orphanage (last May)

I haven’t posted anything because I have been working like a maniac on our paperwork. When I haven’t been writing or organizing, I’ve been waiting for more paperwork to arrive from AAI. On Thursday we received the dossier instructions and fortunately for me, not much had changed since Dimple’s adoption. I already had nearly everything in my hands. On Friday I put all of the paperwork on the table and organized it. I made piles of papers that were complete, papers that still needed signatures but did not need to be notarized, and papers that needed to be signed and notarized.

At 2:30 we went to our credit union and notarized ALL of our paperwork. When we were done, we looked over everything and realized that the dossier was complete – with the exception of the homestudy. Rather than take it all home again, we went straight to FedEx and sent it off to AAI. We also sent the Secretary of State letters for authentication to the WA state Secretary of State office and to our state office.

Our homestudy is nearly complete and will be in AAI’s hands for their review on Monday. If it is all good, our agency will FedEx the completed homestudy to AAI by Wed. and overnight our copies to us. We hope to go to USCIS on Friday to submit our I600A and be fingerprinted. We are praying hard that this will happen because Sweet Pea and Mimi are on spring break next week and it is a perfect window of opportunity to get them fingerprinted when we don’t have to work around three class schedules (including Russ’ teaching schedule).

This weekend we are also completing our Adoption Training DVD course and the required paperwork for it, which we hope to submit to AAI by Monday.

I was thinking about why I don’t like the paperwork part of the process. For one thing, I am not a very patient person – it’s nearly painful for me to wait for documents to arrive in the mail. I am naturally fairly organized, so I do find it satisfying to pull papers from files and find what I need. But in the end, it is like labor. Once I am really ready to have my baby, I want labor to start, and I don’t want it to dilly-dally. I want it to kick in and just happen. I don’t like the pain, but I focus, I breathe, and I get to have the baby in my arms before I know it.

We still have a long way to go, homestudy completion, USCIS approval, actually signing paperwork committing to B., and more paperwork still. Then there is court, travel, embassy and more. That being said, the bulk of the paperwork is behind us and I feel good!

To make life even more wonderful, today I got a series of photos of B. from somebody who recently traveled to Ethiopia, AND yesterday Sweet Pea turned 21! She cooked most of her own birthday dinner while I was stuck at FedEx, but it was still a great evening. The night before she had a birthday party with her book group, so although it was a busy week, we had plenty of celebration. I’ll try to post a few photos soon.

I’ll keep you all posted on our progress. Thank your encouraging comments, I really appreciate them!


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Sherry
    March 9, 2008

    That’s wonderful Lisa! I am like you as far as the “labor” goes…I have pretty much everything done for the dossier except the notary and authentication…now just to get the homestudy finished! UGH!

    You are going to have such a quick journey this time, everything will be done and you will be traveling this summer, and I am so excited for you!

    Is this friend someone I know, because I just saw ALL the kids pics this weekend…maybe I got to see “B” as well and didn’t realize it! 😀

  2. Leslie
    March 10, 2008



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