So, before everyone gets too excited, let me explain what comes next in the process:
It should arrive in Virginia at the main AWAA office on Monday. If everything looks good then it will be sent to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC to be Authenticated and then it's off to Ethiopia. When that happens we receive our DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) number. This number tells you where you are at in line to get a referral. With our last adoption we were family #21 which meant that we could track approx. when our referral would come by knowing who had already received their referral. When we got up to #19, we knew we were close. The Ethiopia program has grown substantially so it will be interesting to see what number we are at after 3 years.
Our agency cannot give us an exact time frame since there are tons of variables in the process. Anyone who has been to a foreign country can understand how easily things change. They have given us a estimated time for referral from DTE to be 4-8 months for a healthy child ages 0-12 months. We are requesting a child 0-12 months, either gender, and we are open to special needs. This may or may not speed up the process for us.
So in a nutshell, we are moving forward, but we still have a while to wait. It is good to be over the hurdle of completing the dossier, though. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to wait. This is by far the hardest part of the process and prayers for patience would be appreciated!