First of all... HAPPY EASTER! Christ is Risen and that's the best news I've heard. period.
My update for this week is actually pretty big! I have some more details about what we're likely to expect over the next year or so!
On Thursday we had our first phone conference call with our caseworker at Gladney. We had listened to the monthly conference call the night before so we didn't really have too many questions - we've got a handle on what it will look like to take two trips to Ethiopia now. But the cool part is that our caseworker mentioned that she didn't think it will take CIS (Citizenship & Immigration) 3 whole months to finish processing our application! She said usually once they get the homestudy they take about 6 weeks to send out their clearance! And their clearance is the last thing we're waiting for to go on the waiting list! (after I get a new employer letter with a rectangle on it, of course... ha ha) Very exciting! Watch out wait list, here we come!!!!
The other big detail that's coming into focus is the age of our child. As of right now, our paperwork says that we can take a child from 6-18 months at the time of referral. We didn't know how long the process would take and we really just would like a year or so between Allyn and the next child so we were guessing when we said 18 months. After talking with our caseworker, we learned that we can actually write on our paperwork that we'd like a child whose birthdate is after 8/2009 (A was born 8/08). It is so awesome to see how our adoption agency really has the best interests of the child and the family at heart. They also encourage 1 year between the youngest child and the new child and said they are happy to work with us on that. I had been thinking that you either fell into the "0-12 months" or "13 months plus" camp and it's nice to know that you don't have to fit into a particular check box!
Another aspect of this that we have learned is that because we are open to a child with a correctable medical condition, we may be approached earlier with a potential referral. That means they'll call us and tell us about the medical condition but with no other info about the child and we can talk with our pediatrician and decide if it's a condition we can handle. If it is, then that can turn into a real referral where we get to see a name and a face!
So here's how my prayers are shaping up this week: Praising Him for pushing my focus away from paperwork toward the thought of a real child at the end of this journey, asking for persistence & strength once we're on that loooooong, no-news waiting period, and prayers for this child, who was born after August of last year, that he'll come to our family as quickly and smoothly as possible.
And, of course, for mercy for my remaining major appliances! :)