Today at church, I had several people ask about why I hadn't posted anything since Christmas eve. I think denial is the proper answer, but the pretending is over. Time is moving on and three weeks from tonight, we'll be making the final preparations to fly. Here is our projected timeline. Everything will have to line up perfectly for us to keep this timeline. It is possible that we could complete the process sooner, but it is not likely.
Steps in Our Adoption Process (with Projected Date for completion)
The S.D.A is the abbreviated name for the National Adoption Center in Kiev, Ukraine. All adoptions in Ukraine are processed by the S.D.A. All Adopting families must have their documents submitted to the S.D.A. and approved to receive an appointment to adopt in Ukraine.
The goal of our appointment at the S.D.A. is to receive the Referral Document that will allow us to begin our process in Poltava. This official document will be taken to the Regional Inspector in Poltava Region.
The Inspector must give us permission to proceed to the Poltava Orphanage. There is no way to schedule this in advance so we hope that the Inspector will be available on the Monday after our Friday appointment in Kiev.
A meeting with the Director of the orphanage and the lawyer is the next step. The files on the children are located in the care of the orphanage and there is work to do to prepare these documents for the adoption process. The orphanage has up to 10 days to complete this process.
Once these documents are assembled and prepared, they must be sent to the National Adoption Center in Kiev for "official approval." We do not have to go to Kiev. Our facilitator takes the documents.
The National Adoption Center can take up to five days to process the documents and produce a document that gives "official permission to adopt". This document is required to set a Court Date in Poltava.
In the Court Session, the judge hears our petition to adopt. The local prosecutor represents the rights of the children and family. In order for a child to be registered and available for adoption, the parents rights must be terminated. A successful experience in court requires that the judge decides what everyone knows.....these children have no family or parents. The goal of the court session is that the judge decrees that we are the parents of the children (at the end of a required 10 day waiting period.)
At the end of the 10 day waiting period, we pick up the official court decree. Great News. We are parents. Other News. We can't get our children out of Ukraine and into the U.S.A. until we get passports and Visas.
The children's original birth certificates are required to complete the remainder of the process. This requires that we travel to the town or village where they were born.
Even though the children have traveled to the U.S. before, new Ukrainian Passports are required that will allow for a permanent Visa required to enter the U.S.
The U.S. Embassy grants visas stamped in the children's new passports that will allow them to leave Ukraine. All of the paperwork done in the U.S. has reserved the opportunity for the children to receive these visas which allow them to leave Ukraine and travel to the U.S. and enter the United States. As soon as the children pass through customs in the United States, they become United States Citizens, immediately.
- Fly to
- Arrive in
- S.D.A. Appointment 1/29
- Receive Official Referral from the S.D.A. to adopt child(ren) 1/30
- First Visit to Inspector's Office 2/02
- Get Permission from the Inspector to go to Orphanage 2/02
- Go to Orphanage and begin official adoption process 2/02
- Official Documents Collected and put together 2/03
- Official Visit to Inspector of Region 2/05
- Documents taken to
to be "officially approved" by S.D.A. 2/05 Kiev
- Documents "Officially Approved" by S.D.A. 2/10
- Court Date 2/12
- Ten Day Waiting Period Begins 2/12
- Pick up official Court Decree 2/23
- Go to orphanage and move child(ren) out 2/23
- Birth Certificates from original place of birth for child(ren) 2/24
- Tax Papers 2/25
- Begin Process of Scanning Documents for Passports. 2/25
- Get Passports 3/2
Appointments for Child(ren) 3/3 Medical Center Embassy for Request Visas to Enter United States 3/4 U.S.
- Pick up Passports with Visas at U.S. Embassy 3/5
- Flights Home 3/8
- Clear Customs in
new child(ren) are U.S. Citizens. 3/8 U.S.
- Arrive at
around 8 P.M. 3/8 Jackson
So...that's what we are expecting right now, but the only thing you know for sure in international adoption is that nothing is for sure.
There have been several other questions that lots of folks have asked, so I thought it might be helpful to try and answer them here:
Q - How many kids are you adopting?
A - Tell us and we'll both know. Seriously, we have been approved by the US immigration service to bring up to 3 kids home. Right now, our plan is to bring 1 child home. We are open to 2 if they are biological siblings. We'll consider three, but God would really have to write that on the wall!!!
Q - Do you know the age or gender of your child?
A - No. We have requested a child under 8 years old. We have no preference for a boy or a girl. Pre-identification of children in Ukraine is illegal. At our appointment with the SDA (national adoption center) on January 29th, a government psychologist will match us with a child. We will then travel to meet the child and pursue the adoption.
Q - What can we do to help you at home while you are gone?
A - I can barely count the people who have inquired about how they can help us while we are gone or to help us get ready to get home. For sure, we will need some help as we get ready to come home, but right now, we just don't have a clue. Once we travel on January 26th, we will update this blog daily. We would love to count on you to check here periodically and pray for us as we move along. For more tangible help, we'll post needs here and communicate them with the TBC staff. Chad Lynn has offered to serve as a "go-to-guy" in helping us on the homefront as we prepare for our return home.
We are so thankful for the way our church family have come alongside us, and we really appreciate all of the support, love, and offers of help that we have received. We can't wait to get home with the new addition(s) and to them with you and you with them!!!