We are extremely excited that the biggest paperwork hurdle – the “dossier” – is finally complete! Our dossier is basically a thick stack of paperwork that gives the Nigerian adoption organization a look into our lives. It includes:
- Original copy of our home study (we will do a more detailed post later about what is all involved in a home study)
- Both of our birth certificates
- Our marriage certificate
- A health statement for each of us from our doctors certifying we are healthy enough to adopt
- A letter from our employers that give details about our jobs
- 3 months of utility statements
- 3 months of pay stubs
- 6 months of bank statements
- 3 years of tax returns
- Color copies of our passports
- Passport-sized photos of both of us
- Photos of our family and home
All of these documents need to be either official copies with seals and signatures or be notarized. We need at least two sets of originals and two copies – this equals a lot of paper! None of these documents were actually hard to get – it was just very tedious and time-consuming. Just the sorting alone took hours!
Barring any mistakes (which there may very well be a few), we are hoping that our adoption agency can get our dossier off to Nigeria by the end of next week. Then we wait for a match…and keep ourselves busy applying for grants. 🙂
We are adopting from Nigeria!
For those who haven’t yet heard the news – we are in the process of international adoption from the country of Nigeria!
We always knew adoption was something we were interested in. We have several friends and family that have adopted or been adopted, and in this we have seen how God uses adoption to expand and bless families. Adoption here on earth, even through difficulties, is a beautiful and powerful picture of how we are adopted into the family of God through Christ. We knew this and believed this, but initially thought that the possibility of adoption was something we would look into sometime in the future.
However, as we were open to biological children and continued to think and pray about adoption, we became convinced that this is what God is calling us to – not sometime in the future, but here and now. We may or may not be able to have biological children in the future, but we also realize that adoption doesn’t have to be a last resort – it is an important way God calls his people to grow their families. For some people adoption may be the only way that they are able to have kids, and this is often how God calls people into adoption. But this doesn’t have to be the only path – all believers are called to care for the most vulnerable among us. Considering adoption is an important part of this call, whether or not a couple can have biological children.
So, as of August 11th, 2017, we have officially declared our intent to adopt from the country of Nigeria. Recently, we were excited to find out that our home study was finalized the day after Thanksgiving. If things go as planned (which they often do not), we will travel to Nigeria sometime in the fall of 2018 to meet and officially adopt our child or children.
There are many unknowns. We don’t know the exact time frame. We don’t know when we will be matched. We don’t know if we will be matched with one or two children, or what sex he/she/they will be. We don’t know what needs, hurts, and challenges our future child or children will come home with. We don’t know for sure that everything will work out to enable us to adopt. The one thing we do know is this: we serve a great, powerful, loving, and good God, and he will use this process for our ultimate good and his glory. It’s this, more than anything else, that allows us to move forward with confidence and excitement to see what He has in store.
Photo Credit: Natika Nichols