This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We had a great conference call today with our family coordinator at AWAA, Ryan, and our contact at Limiar, Luciana.  There was one main question we wanted to have answered:  what will the process look like once our dossier is finally submitted to Brazil.  Here's what we've learned:
  • Once our USCIS approval finally arrives, the translation process will take about a week.
  • Our dossier will be sent to several different Brazilian states where we will be approved by the State Judiciary Commission of Adoption (CEJA) of each state.  Luciana says this step usually takes about 3 months. 
  • Then once we're approved, the courts look for a referral for us that matches our requests (a 2-child sibling group age 6 and under).  This could be a couple months or a year, depending on available children and the other families on the waiting list.  We're told that requesting siblings is favorable, and being flexible with our age range would make our application even more favorable--and make the process go quicker.  This is the most unpredictable part of the process.
  • Limiar has access to information about waiting children (most of whom are older than the range we're requesting right now.)  Luciana will share this information with us within the preferences we give her.  Meaning, if we are open to considering larger sibling groups or older children, she will pass those referrals on to us to consider.  She stressed that we are the only ones who can discern whether a a specific child is our son or daughter.  There is no pressure or obligation when we review a referral.
  • If we identified our children through Limiar prior to the court identifying them for us, the process would change a bit.  Not sure on the details there.
  • Either way we go about it, once we accept a referral, we will have to request the Brazilian court's approval with a petition to adopt our children.  We would also begin the process of applying for our travel visas.  This could be only a few weeks after accepting a referral.  
  • Limiar and AWAA will walk us through what documents need to travel with us when we go to Brazil.
One mindset has really been changed--my attitude about referrals.  I've always imagined the moment we received a referral as the magical moment when God would reveal who our children are.  It seems like, in this process, a referral is more of an opportunity to seek God's will for our family.  

There are some pros and cons about this new understanding.  On the PRO side, every time we've seen names or lists of available children, I've been driven to my knees to pray for them and their situations. On the CON side, my heart breaks every time I see the names and stories of children who have lived their lives without a family. On the 2 occasions we have seen the names of waiting sibling groups in Brazil, we have been brokenhearted, but sure that God wanted us to keep waiting for the children He's picked for us.  

Tonight we have a serious conversation about whether we want to keep waiting and let the courts send us a referral, or whether we want to flex some of our expectations and start taking a look at some of the waiting children.  


Julia said...

Wow, it is so interesting to hear how this process is all developing. It would be hard to decide whether to wait on a referral or look yourself. I think I would really really really want to look myself, but I'm not sure if that is good or bad or just neutral. Hang in there, and be at rest and at peace in the midst of all these decisions and the waiting.

Carleen said...

I agree with Julia. I had no idea you were asked to make those kinds of choices. *wince* Sounds really tedious and tricky and sort of gut-wrenching. I also am praying extra peace, hope and faith on you two right now.