La Familia de Crawford – Adoption Update!
Our adoption journey continues and things are really heating up! We are getting so close to our time to go get our daughter that we can taste it. Last week we had a two-hour “travel talk” with our Colombian attorney, Raul Valez, and our adoption coordinator, Denise Schoborg from Dillon International. Both of these people have walked with us hand-in-hand through the whole process. They are amazing individuals and a huge blessing in our lives.
The “travel talk” was designed to give us ALL the details we will need regarding traveling to Colombia and taking custody of our daughter and the eventual finalization of her adoption. We discussed air travel, lodging, timelines, court processes, embassy procedures, immigration details, medical evaluations, etc. Wow! The meeting left us with the distinct feeling that this is really happening!
The question everybody asks and seems to want to know is: When are you going to get her?
So here is what we know as best as we can know it:
- We are waiting on what is called “I-800 Approval.” This is the official permission of the United States government to adopt our daughter. We filed our I-800 application on March 20th and it usually takes one month to get the approval. The application has to flow through the National Benefits Center, then to the National VISA Center, and finally to United States Embassy in Bogota. So there is a pretty long path it will travel.
- So…IF our application is approved “on time” (and anything can happen which is why we pray), then we can expect approval around April 20th.
- Once we get I-800 Approval we will almost immediately be issued a document called an Article 5. This is our clearance to travel. Article 5 basically says that our girl has a United States VISA with her name on it waiting in Bogota at the Embassy.
- Article 5 will also come with a date…THE DATE… that we will meet our daughter and become her official guardians! This will become our “Gotcha Day.” A day that we will celebrate each and every year as the day she became a part of our family.
- The issuing of Article 5 is also the point that our daughter will be told that she is being adopted! We have sent a photo album of our whole immediate and extended family to her, along with a DVD video. She will be given both of these and begin her own preparation to leave her foster mother and come to live us.
- “Gotcha Day” in Colombia is usually three weeks after receiving Article 5. They typically set aside Wednesdays in Colombia to present children to their adoptive families. So…if we lay this onto a calendar, we are anticipating a POSSIBLE “Gotcha Date” of May 22nd. This means we would travel to Colombia on May 20th!
Let us emphasize that the above timeline is VERY fluid and lots of things can happen along the way to slow the process down. The above is typical and we are close enough to begin plans but it could be a bit longer.
Once we arrive in Colombia, many things will happen before we can bring our daughter home:
- We will take custody of her in Medellin, Colombia, and stay in the city for one week. After one week we will have what is called a “Bonding Meeting” where we will basically check in with the local adoption officials to make sure everything is going well.
- We will then relocate an hour away to a to a smaller town where our daughter’s adoption file will be placed in a court for review and finalization of her adoption. This part can take about three weeks.
- I will return home after two weeks in-country and Julie and the kids will stay the duration of the time.
- After the adoption is finalized, Julie and the kids will travel to Bogota and spend another week finalizing details – new birth certificate, immunizations, medical evaluation, adoption decree translated, U.S. Embassy to finalize citizenship and receive VISA, etc.
- Whew! And you thought adoption was easy!
- After ALL of this…our daughter comes home! Hopefully by the end of June!
So what do we need? Very simply…PRAYER. There are many, many little things left. Our hearts’ desire is for the above timeline to play out just as it normally would. Then there’s the travel and in-country stay. Julie will be there the kids for several weeks as the only parent, and that makes her a little nervous. Please pray that it will go smoothly.
Please also pray for our new daughter. She has no idea what is coming. This is what she has hoped, and dreamed, and prayed for her whole life…a forever family of her own. But it will be scary and hard for her as well. She has been with her foster mother since she was a baby, and is very attached to her. We are forever grateful for the love and care her foster mother has showed her. She has been diligent in preparing our girl for adoption, but we know this has the potential to be extremely traumatic for her. So please pray that God will prepare her little heart.
We would also ask you to continue to pray for God’s financial provision plan to be fulfilled as it relates to this final stage of adoption. We have been amazed and humbled at the many people that have sacrificed to help us. Our Adopt Together website shows that we have hit the halfway point of our financial need for this adoption. This is a huge blessing and has helped relieve the prohibitive financial burden that adoption has become today. Now that the light is shining at the end of the tunnel, we have some very significant costs yet to come. If you would like to partner with us financially in bringing our daughter home, you can see the information below about giving a tax-deductible donation to our Adopt Together account.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us along the way of this amazing journey. We will keep you in the loop as events unfold in the coming DAYS!
You can help us bring our little girl home!
http://www.adopttogether.org/crawfordfamily/ for online giving.
If you want to send a check, just make it payable to: Adopt Together. Be sure and put our name on the envelope and the memo area and mail it to:
251 W. Central Ave #278
Springboro, OH 45066
All contributions are tax deductible