Our Timeline for #1, #2, and #3
May 11, 2005 Matt and Kelly attend a Casting Crowns/Steven Curtis Chapman concert. SCC talks about the adoption of his daughters, and Kelly thinks, “maybe we should do that someday.”
October 2007 Begin trying to start a family.
December 2007 Meeting with Kelly’s doctor, try some stuff for a little while; it doesn’t work. All the while, Matt and Kelly pray about adoption.
May 4, 2009 Informational Meeting with Agency.
October 27, 2009 First Home Study Meeting
November 10, 2009 Second Home Study Meeting
December 1, 2009 Third Home Study Meeting
December 15, 2009 Final Home Study Visit
January 19, 2010 Home Study and Dossier are completed.
January 22, 2010 USCIS immigration paperwork is mailed.
January 25, 2010 Home Study and Dossier documents are sealed and mailed to Ethiopia.
February 5, 2010 Dossier arrives in Ethiopia
February 10, 2010 Notification of USCIS appointment
February 17, 2010 USCIS appointment for fingerprinting.
March 15, 2010 Beware the ides of March. Learned that Ethiopia now requires two trips and U.S. citizenship for our child before we can bring our baby home.
March 17, 2010 Receive a call from the agency about a baby, but we are unsure if he is eligible for referral. We ask everyone to pray.
March 19, 2010 Referral of 3 month old Mente whose name means “God can do anything.” God is so good.
May 24, 2010 We learn that Mente is not “paper ready,” which means he is not available for adoption at this time. God is still good. We tell the agency that we would like to adopt Mente, but we will accept another referral as well. We wait.
June 17, 2010 Referral of 6 month old Lulu, a tiny baby girl. Hoping very much to be able to adopt both children and bring them home.
July 12, 2010 Receive notification of Lulu’s court date on September 28, 2010. We begin making travel arrangements. Still no news on M.
September 27, 2010 Meet Lulu for the first time.
September 28, 2010 Appear in court for Lulu. The judge says “She is yours.” We praise God. We meet Mente for the first time.
October 3, 2010 Arrive back in the U.S. to await an Embassy appointment for Lulu and court for Mente.
October 15, 2010 Notification of November 4th Embassy Appointment for Lulu.
November 1, 2010 Lulu is placed in our custody.
November 4, 2010 Lulu has her Embassy appointment where we receive her immigration visa.
November 6, 2010 Lulu becomes an American citizen when she arrives in Washington D.C.
November 7, 2010 Lulu is home.
November 23, 2010 We are notified that Mente is paper ready and his case has been submitted to Ethiopian court.
January 17, 2011 Notification of Mente’s court date on February 14th.
February 14, 2011 Appear in court for Mente. We do not pass. We do not know why. We praise God anyway because we know he is good. We have a new court date on March 1st.
February 25, 2011 We learn that Mente may not be adoptable because extended family has been identified.
March 1, 2011 Mente’s birth mother has decided to parent him. We are happy for him and sad for our loss. We know God will do great things.
March 4, 2011 We learn that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Ethiopia plans to cut processing of international adoption cases by 90% by March 10th.
March 8, 2011 We are told that a referral has been set aside for us, a 6 month old boy, but we aren’t given any information because we are waiting for all of his paperwork to be in order. We wait.
April 24, 2011 We learn little Mente is still living at the orphanage awaiting his birth family.
May 4, 2011 Referral of 8-month-old Teme whose name means “Thanks to God” or “Blessing of God.” We rejoice but know that things in Ethiopia are still moving very slowly.
May 26, 2011 We learn we have a court date for Teme on June 17.
June 17, 2011 Court for Teme. We do not pass. Awaiting recommendation from MOWA.
July 12, 2011 Apply for re-fingerprinting. Also begin process to update home study and extend our I-600A application.
July 18, 2011 Re-fingerprinting appointment received. Home study update visit.
July 21, 2011 We are told our MOWA letter has arrived at court but has not been reviewed by the judge.
July 28, 2011 Repeat medical exams for home study update.
August 2, 2011 WE PASSED COURT!
August 11, 2011 Repeat fingerprinting
September 15, 2011 Paperwork submitted to Embassy
September 21, 2011 Notified that birth mother interview is required
September 30, 2011 Notified that birth mother interview will take place on October 13th
October 12, 2011 Birth mother interview cancelled because birth mother has not been located.
October 18, 2011 Notified that the Embassy would like to interview the birth mother’s father.
November 18, 2011 We are told that Mente has gone home with his birth family. We are delighted for him.
November 28, 2011 Interview with birth mother’s father is scheduled for December 5th.
December 5, 2011 Interview with birth mother’s father rescheduled as grandpa arrived late.
December 7th, 2011 Interview rescheduled again.
December 12, 2011 Interview completed.
December 13, 2011 Travel Clearance!
December 14, 2011 Receive December 20th Embassy Date.
December 15, 2011 We leave home, Ethiopia-bound.
December 17, 2011 Arrive in Ethiopia and receive custody of Teme.
December 19, 2011 We find little Mente living in the orphanage. We are told by the new orphanage director that the agency’s story about his family coming for him is “all lies.” We state that our intentions are still to adopt him if that is possible. His paperwork is not complete. Orphanage director promises his full support in assisting us with this.
December 20, 2011 Cleared Embassy, Teme’s Visa issued.
December 22, 2011 Teme arrives in the United States.
December 23, 2011 We arrive in our hometown and celebrate Christmas with family.
December 24, 2011 We request information from EthioStork about looking into Mente’s case.
December 26, 2011 Teme is home.
March 12, 2012 News from the orphanage via EthioStork. Maybe Mente’s adoption is possible?
April 4, 2012 Formal contract with EthioStork to complete Mente’s background investigation and obtain clearance for his adoption. Obtaining clearance is expected to require some appeals and potentially hiring an attorney to advocate for M.
April 13, 2012 Appeal to Addis Ababa City Women’s and Youth Affairs to request Mente’s clearance. Interview with Mente’s grandmother completed, so clearance will be issued, but unsure to whom. Clearance will be issued to an orphanage, but the orphanage where he lives currently is under some investigation, so in order to complete the adoption he will need to be transferred elsewhere. More details to work out.
May 6, 2012 Complete paperwork for Mente has been submitted to the local government in Addis Ababa.
May 8, 2012 Mente’s clearance is on the director’s desk awaiting his signature. We don’t know yet where he will go, and we may not be able to guarantee that he is referred to us. Praying for God to place this sweet boy with us.
May 10, 2012 Formal application with AWAA.
May 11, 2012 I phone AWAA, and I get a call back from the director within an hour. Fantastic. I’ve never had such good service from an agency before. Our application will be expedited because of our situation. They will do everything that they can to help get our boy home.
May 16, 2012 Accepted into AWAA’s Ethiopia Program
May 23, 2012 Mente’s clearance is issued.
May 26, 2012 Home Study visit #1
May 31, 2012 Home Study visit #2
June 1, 2012 Notified that Mente was moved to the AWAA transition home.
June 5, 2012 Home Study visit #3
June 18, 2012 Home Study completed
June 19, 2012 I-600A mailed to USCIS, Dossier authenticated and mailed to AWAA
June 26, 2012 Mente officially referred to us by AWAA
June 29, 2012 DTE!
June 30, 2012 Fingerprinting appointment received for July 26.
July 5, 2012 Fingerprinting for the third time; Dossier arrives in Ethiopia
July 9, 2012 I-171H received
July 18, 2012 Notified of August 6th court date.
August 6, 2012 Court in Ethiopia to adopt Mente. He is ours.
September 5, 2012 Submitted to Embassy.
September 18, 2012 Travel clearance.
September 23, 2012 Mente is placed in our custody.
September 26, 2012 Embassy interview, visa issued.
September 28, 2012 Mente becomes a U.S. citizen on arrival to Washington D.C.
September 29, 2012 Mente is home!