I found out pretty early on in our adoption journey that there is a definite lingo to adoption talk. There are I-600s and I-171Hs, referrals and Dossiers...but one of the most exciting adoption lingo terms is DTE. DTE stands for Dossier to Ethiopia. A Dossier is a culmination of a TON of paperwork that you have to gather and collect to send to the country of choice. You have to have everything from family scrapbooked picture pages to your home study to your clearance from homeland security. A lot of hard work and time goes into the Dossier so that it can go represent your family in an effort to bring your child home.
Our agency posted that Dossiers usually take 4-7 months to complete. The organized and anal-retentive person that I am knew there was NO WAY it was going to take 7 months - if I had any say in the matter! We were blessed with swift and efficient people who helped us complete our forms in a timely and accurate manner! We are so thankful for people fitting us into their schedule, writing letters on our behalf at a moments notice, and for all the notaries that we visited!
Before I even had the Dossier check sheet or even knew what it entailed - my goal was to have the Dossier done and submitted by my birthday - the last day in August. I'm not sure why I chose then for my goal - I knew that it would be nice to have it submitted before school started back up so I didn't have to worry about it. When I set that goal - the mental calculations of $ needed was not going to add up - there was NO WAY we were going to have the $$ we needed to send with the Dossier by the end of August. Well, God is AMAZING and His plan always prevails. As you know, our yard sale covered the rest of the $$ that we needed to submit with our Dossier. We got our form that we were waiting for to submit our Dossier the week before I had to report for work. We were able to ship off our Dossier to our agency right away and today - August 19th - is our official DTE - a mere 3 1/2 months from when we started!!!
Now the wait begins and I know this leg of the race will be more difficult than the last. During the "paper chase" process I had control over how quickly we got things completed. I made the phone calls, set up appointments, and nagged with reminders to ensure we got what we needed done quickly and efficiently. Watching the young lady at the UPS store take our Dossier, place it in an envelope and drop it in a bin made me so nervous - there is so much future in that little package, so much hope and promise, so much represented. As I passed our Dossier into her hands I experienced the stark realization that it is no longer in my hands...it never really was! It has always been in God's hands - He knew long before we did that our family is not complete, and that He is not done with us yet. Even though we were comfortable - He loved us enough not to leave us in our comfort but chose to open our eyes to see His people in a way that we never have before. I await the day that I can SEE my sweet daughters face and look into her eyes and tell her everything is going to be ok - her mama is here. Until then I know and trust that God has her in His care and protection. He is preparing her heart just as He has been preparing ours, to become a forever family united together in love.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~
~ Kristi Larson ~
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~