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!

Adoption Timeline

Our Adoption Timeline from start to finish.  It was a winding road, but one that God had planned out every step of the way.  Every time we were frustrated or surprised by one delay or another, we were reminded that none of it was surprising to the Author of our family's story.  This is the timeline that we kept as we went through the process, so we get a bit of a giggle when we read things like "the child God has chosen for us" and "our child's mural," and "the baby and his/her family."  Little did we know... how blissfully chaotic our lives would become as parents of 4!

Date Event Ponderings
Summer 2006 We began requesting information from various adoption agencies
1-Aug-06 Received info-packet from AWAA
26-Aug-06 We officially decided to take the first steps to pursue and international adoption. We chose America World Adoption Association and their El Salvador program. We don’t know if he or she is born yet or what his or her birth family’s situation is, but we pray that the baby and his or her family is in God’s arms and that He will love and protect them through whatever struggles they are dealing with. We pray that pain will be replaced with peace and that God will use this adoption process to bring others to Himself—and that that would begin today.
12-Nov-06 Submitted initial application to America World We actually had to wait to apply until we'd been married 4.5 years.
22-Nov-06 Accepted into AWAA's El Salvador program
11-Jan-07 Christi Hicks wrote to introduce herself as our Family Coordinator She also sent the packet of dossier requirements
25-Jan-07 First Homestudy appointment with Catholic Charities in Rocky Hill, CT Around this time we also began gathering all of the many documents for our international adoption dossier.
2-Feb-07 Homestudy Meeting #2
8-Feb-07 Homestudy Meeting #3
1-Mar-07 Homestudy Meeting #4
15-Mar-07 Homestudy Meeting #5
24-Mar-07 Begin psychological evaluation with Dr. Margolies in Shelton, CT
31-Mar-07 Continue psychological evaluation
19-Apr-07 Psychological testing
20-Apr-07 Physical examinations with Dr. Ellis in New Haven, CT Dr. Ellis and his wife are adoptive parents too!
6-May-07 Received letter about new $1000 international program fee from AWAA
12-May-07 Our 5th anniversary! We went to Philadelphia for the weekend to celebrate!
23-May-07 Picked up completed homestudy AND received completed psychological evaluation report
1-Jun-07 Dossier mailed to AWAA without USICS approval
2-Jun-07 Fingerprint appointments in Hartford We went the previous Saturday only to find out they were closed because of Memorial Day. Oops.
28-Jun-07 USCIS approval arrived! We also made copies of the last few documents to be apostilled.
2-Jul-07 Drove to Hartford to apostille USCIS approval and last few documents
2-Jul-07 Last pieces of dossier sent to AWAA
9-Jul-07 Dossier mailed to El Salvador to be translated This means we are officially in the "waiting period." It is only a matter of time before God unites us with the child He has chosen for us.
6-Nov-07 Karen finished our child's mural She painted a beautifully colorful world map in our child's future room!
9-Nov-07 Steven Curtis Chapman Concert SCC's organization, Shaohannah's Hope, invited us to stand on stage with him and receive a grant for our adoption expenses!
21-Dec-07 First AWAA family received referral God keeps giving us encouragement as we need it--this referral showed us that the process in El Salvador is working and gave us confidence that our child will be home soon.
1-Jun-08 God lead us to transfer to AWAA's new Brazil program We began updating all our paperwork to bring home TWO children--also God's leading.
5-Aug-08 New Physical Exams with Dr. Ellis All systems go.
6-Aug-08 We pick up our updated homestudy report ... after much frustration and delay.
9-Aug-08 We mail off our USCIS I-800A application "Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country" ... with prayer and hope for speedy approval.
16-Sep-08 Fingerprint appointments in Hartford (#2)
10-Dec-08 Homestudy Addendum submitted by social worker at the request of USCIS
17-Dec-08 We received our USCIS I800 Approval by email
18-Dec-08 I800 approval apostilled in Hartford, and dropped off at the Brazilian Consulate in NYC
19-Dec-08 Legalized approval picked up at Brazilan Consulate in NYC. Dossier mailed to AWAA to be checked
5-Jan-09 Luciana of LIMIAR received our dossier to review before translation and sent it to be translated later that same day.
12-Jan-09 This is probably the week our dossier is being translated.
14-Jan-09 Received a referral for a little girl, L. This little girl taught us a lot about ourselves and what it will be like to accept a referral. She taught us that our hearts are indeed set on adopting a sibling group. She is part of our story and part of our hearts. We thank her for that.
20-Jan-09 Dossier was shipped to Brazil
29-Jan-09 Lino from LIMIAR submitted our dossier to CEJA On this same day, another AWAA family returned home from Brazil with their 3 children.
27-Feb-09 Kim visited with Gram to learn about quilting During the previous 2 months, friends and family members from around the world sent us fabric squares and prayers to be made into a Quilt of 1000 Prayers and a scrapbook for the children. The rest of the week was spent piecing them together.
27-Mar-09 Received first email about Brayan, Abraao Lucas, Luana Vitoria and Maynara
13-Apr-09 Submitted Petition to adopt Brayan, Abraao Lucas, Luana Vitoria and Maynara This means we made the decision to adopt FOUR children! Abundant blessings beyond our wildest imagination!
11-Aug-09 Received the BIG NEWS that the judge in Curitiba granted our petition! They are ours! For the longest time the judge had concerns about us, our age, our finances, etc., but in the end she saw a family and said YES!! We called everyone we know and praised God for His immeasurable gift!
9-Sep-09 Mailed off our I-800 application to USCIS
14-Sep-09 Went to the consulate in NYC to request our visas The photocopy of the visa letter was not sufficient and we requested an original be sent up from Brazil.
21-Oct-09 Received Provisional USCIS Approval
23-Sep-09 Back to the consulate in NYC to pick up our visas
30-Sep-09 Waiting to hear how to pay the US Consulate in Rio for a form called DS-230.
26-Oct-09 Consulate paperwork and payment settled, time to get plane tickets!
1-Nov-09 FLEW TO BRAZIL!!! We stayed a couple days with some friends in Rio before connecting through to Curitiba.
3-Nov-09 Arrived in Curitiba
4-Nov-09 FAMILY DAY!!! We met our children at 9am. At last!!!
25-Nov-09 HSBC Christmas Spectacular in Curitiba! Our children had been practicing to participate in this special annual event. We went and saw their friends perform
3-Dec-09 Went to court to finalize the adoption. The DA was not in the office. We waited a while and then left.
5-Dec-09 Went back to court to meet with the DA Didn't actually get to meet him. Guess we're final anyway!
21-Dec-09 Home for the Holidays! We arrived home and met our parents (the new, proud grandparents) at the airport.