When we chose adoption, we also had to come to peace with the fact that we would be doing a lot of waiting. (This is more of a truce than peace.) Waiting to hear back on our application and our home study, waiting to hear that our dossier got to South Africa, waiting to get matched with a little person, and then waiting to get our court date for travel. And none of that list has a date attached to it up front.
Now, generally, I am the person who has to schedule everything out in our family. I like to know what the weekends plans are. If we are getting groceries, I like to have that placed in my schedule somewhere. Not necessarily a specific hour and minute, but are we going in the morning? What day? I plan ahead. A lot. Drives D nuts sometimes. But even D got a little apprehensive with not really knowing when we can except to be bringing our child home. Just how long can we except to be waiting was always one of our top questions when agency and program hunting.
No timeline is a guarantee, and we know that. However, we were sort of able to break it down into the following sections:
- Turn in our applications with both agencies.
- Collect documentation and prepare for the homestudy. 1-2 months
- Homestudy with local agency. 3 months
- Complete dossier with international agency and send to South Africa. 1 month
- Wait for a match. 12-18 months
- Receive a match and go over the profile with both agencies. 2-3 weeks
- Receive a court date for South Africa and prepare to travel. 3-4 months
- Travel to South Africa and finalize adoption. 2-6 weeks
All in all, our adoption could have us waiting almost two and a half years. Both agencies have said that the waiting period for the South Africa program has been two years at the most. One of the most recent families was matched at five months, rather than at a year, so we may also need to prepare to hear back earlier than excepted. Not prepare hearts, but prepare to need to arrange family leave at work, informing folks who will be watching our house and pets, etc.
Some of the timeline also depends on how quickly we can get information to our agencies. From other prospective adoptive parents, I have heard that it is important to always have your paperwork together quickly and to follow up with our social worker on a consistent basis so we don’t get set aside and forgotten about.
This blog will be the best transcript of our long our adoption took. That is part of the reason for writing it, to see how far we have come along in the process and to inform other adopting folks who may have questions or want to compare programs. So, yeah, the first step is to turn in our application meaning we haven’t officially started yet. Just waiting on a couple more things that need doing around the townhouse so that everything is done before the home study. Off to go work on the basement.