Isn't this the most beautiful stack of papers you have ever seen!?
After months and months of paperwork and unofficial waiting, we can finally say that we are ALMOST on that real waiting list! I know, it seems anticlimactic, right? But today we reached an important step in our process!
Today we carefully followed the 50 step (that's only a tiny exaggeration), partially bolded, multi-bulleted, sometimes italics and underlined, outline to ensure that we got our dossier in the correct order with the correct items bundled together. Today we carefully made 2 copies of all 40 official documents that have taken us almost 6 months to compile. Today we carefully wrote a check that drained our accounts for the 3rd time this year as we continued to remember God's gracious provision throughout this entire process. Today we prayed over a stack of papers that represent so much more to us. It may have taken us a little longer than expected to get to this point (due to the government shutdown and various other circumstances), but we know that each setback and delay is part of God's perfect timing. Today, we cannot contain our excitement!
Everything is now packaged up and ready to be mailed to McLean, Virginia tomorrow! Once it arrives there, it will be checked and rechecked by our agency for accuracy (as if my OCD tendencies haven't forced me to check it enough already)! It will then be taken to the State Department and Ethiopian Embassy for additional authentication. (Yep, all of our stuff will be EXTRA authentic since original copies and notarizations are not quite enough!)
Then...drumroll please...within 1 to 3 weeks, it will finally venture across the sea to Ethiopia! Once it is processed in Addis, we will be officially waiting! (Cue girly squeal and giggles.) Little by little, our wait will actually begin getting us somewhere! We've never been so excited to wait in our entire lives. It's like we are finally tall enough to ride the biggest, baddest roller coaster, and now all we have to do is wait in line...for many, many, many months!
Stay tuned: the next update will mean that our wait is OFFICIAL!