There is a ton that has to take place. But I'll try my best to outline the basics. Keeping in mind that time frames are extremely flexible in the adoption world (it's totally best to expect things to take a really long time so that if they don't you can be pleasantly surprised.).
So, at this point, I try to keep my phone with me (and ideally charged) at all times. And when our home phone rings I run to find it (sometimes this can be a bit of a challenge) and then I rush to see the caller ID (which is a much appreciated, newly-added feature in our house.).
1. Because, sometime in the next day, week or month(s) we will get our referral phone call (Ahhhh!). Our case manager at AGCI will call us to let us know about a little girl within our age parameters. She'll email us all of the available information about her (her medical records and history--if anything is available). And pictures!
Unfortunately, we won't be able to share those pictures online until the adoption is official. But, trust me, if you see us in person you can definitely get a peek!
2. Okay, so then we have 10 days to complete the referral paperwork--including a report from an international pediatrician that we will contact and send all of her medical information to.
3. Our paperwork is then sent to Ethiopia to be translated and we wait for a court date there. Right now the families that received recent referrals have their first court dates near the end of January. So for sure our court date would, at the earliest, be in ~February.
4. J and I will fly to Ethiopia for the court date and we will meet our little girl. We'll be there for about a week. Then we will come home. Without her.
5. We'll be waiting for an embassy date where she will get a visa to come into the US. That process takes at least a month. Once we have that date, we'll fly back (again for about a week) to bring her home.
6. That's when our life as a family of 5 just gets started...
Kind-of a complicated process. M and T are definitely a bit confused about how this will all go down, so we spend a lot of time explaining that while we'll see her picture soon, she won't be living here until after St. Patrick's Day. At this moment they can not wait to share a room with her and they argue about where she will sleep. T is convinced that we need to rush order bunk beds (Which is a very sweet idea, but definitely not wise given his climbing history.).
So can not wait to start celebrating!