Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Adoption Time Line

  • 2006 - 2007: We first begin discussing international adoption. At the time, I was most interested in adopting from Guatemala, but as that program closed and the Ethiopia program began to grow, I started heavily researching African adoption.
  • Mid-2009: We begin to pursue the adoption of a waiting child in Ghana with a small agency.
  • July of 2009: Program in Ghana through our agency is suspended and we lose our referral. Put our adoption plans on hold.
  • August 2010: Contact Forever Families of Virginia to begin a new home study for an Ethiopian adoption.
  • August 2010: Apply to Gladney's Ethiopia program.
  • August 28, 2010: First home study meeting.
  • September 15, 2010: Second home study meeting.
  • September 29, 2010: Third home study meeting.
  • October 14, 2010: Submitted completed Gladney application.
  • November 17, 2010: Gladney approved.
  • November 30, 2010: Begin dossier for Ethiopia
  • December 2010: Referrals are suspended for Gladney's Ethiopia program for three months.
  • February 14, 2011: Receive USCIS approval for a male child 0-3 from Ethiopia. 
  • April 2011: We do not send in our dossier, due to Gladney's investigation and uncertainty with ET program. We briefly consider Honduras as an alternate adoption option.
  • May 2011: Decide to continue with Ethiopia as the investigation is concluded with Gladney.
  • June 15, 2011: We are on the wait list for Gladney's Ethiopian Program.
  • June 2011 through January 2012:  Very little movement within the Gladney Ethiopia Program due to slowdown with referrals.
  • January 11, 2012: Contact A Love Beyond Borders about their very new Democratic Republic of Congo adoption program. Receive information on their current waiting toddlers and preschoolers.
  • January 20, 2012: Receive official referral of three year old boy from Lubumbashi, DRC!
  • February 18, 2012: Sent completed dossier to ALBB for JN's adoption.
  • March 27, 2012: Translated dossier is received in Lubumbashi.
  • May 11, 2012: Receive notice that our case will be submitted to court in Lubumbashi on May 21.
  • May 15, 2012: Go to Alexandria to be re-fingerprinted for our USCIS I-600A update.
  • May 21, 2012: Our case is submitted to the court system in Lubumbashi.
  • July 9, 2012: Receive personality update, pictures and news about Jonathan from Stephanie, who traveled to meet the waiting kids. Found out our case had not yet been approved.
  • August 1, 2012: Receive notice that our case has been verbally approved by the judge, but we must await final official judgement before beginning our 30 day wait.
  • August 13, 2012: OFFICIALLY PASSED COURT!
  • August 25, 2012: Our final and official court decree is received! We are now in our 30 day, non-appeal period.
  • September 12, 2012: Hear from Stephanie that Jonathan is to be moved to the transition home within the next two weeks or so.
  • October 6, 2012: Jonathan arrives in Kinshasa to begin his stay at the ALBB Transition Home.
  • November 8, 2012: All of our paperwork has finally been received to file our I600!
  • November 14, 2012: Find out that Jonathan's birth certificate has an error. His birthday is listed as 1/6/2009 on some paperwork and 1/6/2010 on other paperwork.
  • December 5, 2012: We decide to send in our I600 packet with the incorrect birth certificate, while we wait for the corrected one.
  • December 7, 2012: Our paperwork is received at the USCIS office in Missouri.
  • December 21, 2012: We find out our paperwork has been received and assigned to Officer Rivera for review.
  • January 4, 2013: We are faxed our I600 approval!!
  • January 10, 2013: We call the US Embassy in DRC to get our final visa appointment.
  • January 24, 2013: Jonathan's drop-off for Embassy paperwork.
  • January 28, 2013: Jonathan's Embassy appointment!
  • February 25, 2013: Visa is issued!
  • February 28, 2013: Kristy leaves for DRC
  • March 2, 2013: Jonathan is in Kristy's arms!
  • March 12, 2013: DGM issues exit letter and Kristy and Jonathan depart DRC
  • March 13, 2013: FAMILY DAY! We are all together for the first time. 


  1. oh my, this has been a long crazy journey for you all! So glad we "met up" today. your family is so cute

  2. Hi Kristen... Just found your blog. We have looked into A Love Beyond Borders for DRC and wanted to know if you would give us your thoughts on the agency and the process? Thank you so much! Kristin

  3. Hi Kristen,

    We too are with LBB and should be traveling in April or May to bring home our three little girls. So glad to find another LBB, DRC family. Praying you're able to travel VERY soon!


    1. Hi Audrey! Have you ever been on the ALBB Yahoo group?? Tons of great information and a great place to connect with most all of the ALBB families!

      Also, we have a group on Facebook for families with kids in the Transition Home (or whose kids will be there soon). It has been absolutely awesome, because when other parents travel, they post pics of all the kids in the house and get updates.

      Email me if you would like either link! They have been a lifesaver for us :) It's nice to have other families to check in with, etc. My email is kristen@throughtheviewfinder.com.

      Hoping everything is going well with your adoption! Three daughters! That's awesome. There is another family adopting three young boys with ALBB that might be a help to you (her boys should be home in about 6 weeks).

  4. Hi Kristen,
    My husband and I are also in the process of adopting. Due to the embassy changes in February this has needless to say set us back. We are hoping for an embassy appointment soon as all of our paperwork has been submitted by our attorney. When you contacted the embassy were you able to get through on a particular day of the week/time of day? We have heard to expect long wait times to get through but wondered if you had any advice. I would appreciate any advice you're able to offer!
    So happy to hear that you are back on US soil with your son.

    1. I was able to get through by calling around 8.15am DRC time. We got through on multiple occasions in the morning. Also, I found that the Skype app was cheaper and more reliable to call DRC than my cell phone, which could only get through maybe one out of ten calls. I also was able to get through via email, but I had to wait at least a week for a reply, sometimes longer. Good luck in your process! Hoping for a speedy investigation!