The beginning of December our adoption agency contacted us and said that the orphanage had approved our dossier (which had been submitted on Nov 11). This was fantastic news, but not the final step. Now the dossier was going to be sent to the Adoption Committee of Colombia for approval.
The agency said that the Committee was scheduled to meet on December 14. We were anxiously waiting, only to learn on the 15th that they did not meet as some of the committee had been out of town. Then they said they were going to meet on the 21st of December.
It is well known that everything shuts down for the holidays across Latin America, so, we did not expect them to meet on the 21st. We expected it to get delayed again, and that we would hear back sometime in January. And, in January, they may ask for more documents and other evidence. So we realized we had no idea what to expect, or when. We were bummed, but that is how international adoption is.
When we did not hear back on the 22nd, 23rd, or 24th, we assumed that is what happened.
But, then our case manager called us on the phone on December 29th to say that the Adoption Committee had met on the 21st, and had approved us, and that she had a message on the 23rd, but was out of the office on vacation and then sick, so did not get it until the 29th.
So, what a great xmas gift!!!
We officially accepted the referral on the 30th, and then on January 5th CHSFS (our adoption agency) sent us the translated documents we need for the next steps.
So, here is what happens now, and timelines are unsure, as always:
- We submit our I800 application to USCIS. That can take from 2-5 weeks for them to approve.
- We apply for a special VISA to travel to Colombia (normal tourists do not need one).
Once those two things are done and approved, then we can get our plane tickets!!!
It is estimated that we might travel to Colombia the end of February or in early March... but again... TBD depending on how long USCIS and the Colombian consulate takes...
In the meantime, we can apparently start to have SKYPE calls with J, which is really exciting as we have not yet been able to speak with her.
So, we are very excited... our adoption plans are finally, finally, moving forward...