La Familia Crawford: Adoption Update!
It’s happening! It’s really happening! Last Friday morning we got the call from our adoption rep at Dillon International. On Tuesday morning, May 21st at 10:30 am, we will finally meet and become the official guardians of Colombian princess! And we will officially become a family of six. Our Encuentro Day (Meeting Day) was set by the Colombian government last week. This means the ball is rolling. Our new daughter either has been or any day now will be told that she is being adopted by us. She will be presented the photo album and video we prepared for her and sent to Colombia. On our end we have MUCH to do in the next three weeks:
- Purchase plane tickets.
- Obtain travel VISAs from the Colombian Consulate here in the United States.
- Get our new daughter’s bedroom ready.
- Finish getting clothes and other items she will need. She will come to us with only the clothes she is wearing.
- Get Garrett graduated on May 16th. Remember this was a big prayer request for us – that the timing would allow us all to be here for this important event. Thank you God.
- Pack for a lengthy stay in Colombia. Jeff will stay in-country for two weeks, but Julie and the kids, will stay until the adoption decree is signed. This will be an additional two weeks for sure but could be three to four additional weeks.
Right now our plans are to travel to Medellin, Colombia, on May 19th. Once we are in-country much will happen:
- We will meet with adoption officials the day before we get our daughter to review procedures.
- As parents, we have to undergo a physical and have more blood drawn!
- The day we get our daughter will begin a one week “bonding period.” After the bonding period, we will have a bonding review meeting with government officials. After this meeting, we will be cleared to file our daughter’s adoption petition into the court system in order to have her case reviewed by a judge who will then sign the adoption decree.
- We will move to the town of Rionegro (about an hour from Medellin) where our daughter’s file will be filed in the local court. This is where we will stay the bulk of our time in Colombia.
- It should take the judge two to three weeks (prayerfully no more) to sign the adoption decree making everything official.
- Then Julie and the kids will travel to Bogota for a week’s worth of final items: Physical exam for girl, obtain new birth certificate, get a temporary passport for her and a VISA to enter the United States, etc.
Finally, after all of this, Julie and the kids will come HOME! Hopefully by the end of June.
We want you all to know how grateful we are to each and every one of you for sharing our adoption journey with us. It has been an amazing road we have traveled and we have learned so much about ourselves and about God’s love for us, His adopted children. Of course, in so many ways, our adoption journey is now just beginning, as we are just weeks away from welcoming a new child into our family…her forever family.
Our plans right now will be for Jeff to keep everyone updated on happenings in Colombia through his blog and Twitter account. We invite you to continue to follow along.
Of course, there is still much to pray for. We are convinced that our specific and consistent prayers and those of you, our friends and family, have sustained us and helped get us to this point. So please note these continued prayer items:
- Pray for Colombian Princess. Her world is about to radically change forever. She will have to say good-bye to her foster mother of six years. This will be hard on both of them, so please pray. Pray that our daughter’s heart will be prepared to join us.
- Pray for the logistics of travel to Colombia for all of us. Pray for safety and good health for us all.
- Pray for cheap plane tickets:)
- Pray for all the “minor” but important in-country matters to flow smoothly. Basically everything mentioned above.
- VERY IMPORANT: Please pray for the adoption decree to be signed quickly. This is the one part that can draw everything out many weeks. Please pray that God would move the paperwork through the system quickly and grant us favor with the judge who will review our daughter’s file.
We are almost to the finish line! We can’t wait to introduce you more formally to our new daughter in the weeks ahead!