Ok, so I am processing everything and we got our adoption agreement in the mail today, along with the paperwork for our dossier. Also coming to us in the mail is our application for our home study. Basically, if you are unfamiliar with international adoption, our initial application is kind of like being accepted into college. They let you in, but you have to work and earn that degree and it takes alot of time and money and prayer. So, that being said, we got all this paperwork, which includes everything under the sun, such as employer, medical, financial verification, parenting classes, references, biography for each parent, home study checklist, including fire safety stuff, how we were raised as children, how we will raise our child, how much we know about Ethiopian culture, passports, papers to the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia and other places explaining our reason for adopting, specific photographs, forms for Citizenship and Immigration Servies.... and the list goes on. Most of that, if not all of it, makes sense, although it is very time consuming.
Requirements that may be surprising include not taking staples out of your Dossier (BIG paperwork to go to Ethiopia) because they will deny you and we would lose $3,500 just for taking staples out to make a copy. Obviously, I won't be taking staples out... Culturally concerns were interesting as well, including past issues Ethiopia has had with Americans. Because of past issues, parents are not allowed to take their newly adopted child out in public where there are a lot of people. Also, in Ethiopian culture, babies are usually tightly wrapped and covered and it is a cultural norm for someone to tell you to cover the baby or just do it for you. The advice was to accept this help with grace. Their social customs are quite modest, upholding dignity, and very polite. I'm really looking forward to visiting and meeting people.
I am enjoying reading about the culture and customs. Their calendar is not the same as ours. They did not adjust when the Pope changed to the Gregorian calendar to make sure Easter always fell around the same time it did in the Bible. I found that interesting.
Their holidays are mostly based in Christian events, although some that I had not heard of.
Teskel celebrates the discovery of the cross of Christ, according to a 4th century story. Another holiday celebrates the Baptism of John the Baptist.
I ordered a book about Ethiopian culture and one about raising children in a bi-racial family, so I will definitely be learning a lot more soon.
Financially, I am stressed out. I know God will provide, and I really need to trust Him, but I had a meltdown earlier this evening. Please pray that the finances will come together.