December 8, 2011 - After spending several months discussing parenting options, we have decided to start our family through International Adoption and contacted an adoption agency.
December 9, 2011 - We scheduled our first meeting with our adoption agency and picked up the preliminary application and paperwork. The first meeting was scheduled for January 27, 2012
December 11, 2011 - We informed our parents of our intentions to adopt.
December 12, 2011 - We started gathering all the paperwork necessary for the initial application, which included the following:
* Application Forms (Includes References, Family Background, Essay Questions, and Family Planning)
* Structured Analysis Family Evaluation Questionnaire* Copies of our Birth Certificates* Copy of our Marriage Certificate (We must be married for more than 2 years to adopt from Ethiopia. They do not allow for adoptions to couples who are common-law.)* Intervention Record Checks* Criminal Record Checks* Medical Records from our Family Physician (We have a new family doctor and are doing our physical examinations, which started last week and will continue in to January).* T4 slips from our most recent tax year* Family budget analysis (We have hired a new accountant and financial planner to help us manage our money).
December 22, 2011 - We completed all of our paperwork and spoke with our agency. We moved our first meeting up to January 11, 2012.
December 24, 2011 - We handed in our completed paperwork to our agency.
December 29, 2011 - We paid our application fee and picked up our Self Study Binder.
January 8, 2012 - We had completed the Self Study Binder and were anticipating our meeting with our Agency in Calgary.
January 11, 2012 - We had our first meeting with our Agency and the meeting did not go well. First, the Director of the Agency we had our meeting with did not show up. We met with a social worker instead who lectured us on our intentions to adopt internationally and informed us that our adoption would not go through, as we originally intended on adopting from Ethiopia and they closed the doors to Ethiopian adoptions to Canada on January 10, 2012. We were very disheartened. That afternoon, I got on the phone with Alberta Children's Services and she discussed options for international adoption and what were the successful cases. We were also referred to two other agencies. I contacted our existing agency and asked to be refunded, based on how were were treated when we showed up for the meeting. They agreed to the refund. I then spoke with another agency and they were very helpful and gave us good advice.
January 21, 2012 - We were enrolled in an International Adoption Course with the second agency, which was a full day course on a Saturday. The course was for parents just starting the adoption journey and we were able to meet other parents in Calgary. This was a good experience for us.
January 23, 2012 - We completed and submitted the paperwork to the second agency.
January 27, 2012 - We were approved for our Home Study.
February 10, 2012 - Our Social Worker came to our home for the first meeting of our Home Study.
February 21, 2012 - We had our 1:1s with our Social Worker at the Agency Office for our Home Study.
April 21, 2012 - Our Home Study was complete and submitted to our Provincial Government for approval.
July 9, 2012 - We passed our Home Study and are able to move forward with our adoption.
July 2012 - We spent most of July collecting the paperwork for our Dossier with our US Agency that owns the orphanage in DRC.
August 30, 2012 - We submitted our Dossier (with the exception of Part 1 of Immigration from Customs and Immigration Canada). There is an 8 week wait time to have this returned. We paid the first part of our Dossier Fees and submitted everything required and let our Agency know this is missing, but we will forward it when it is received, so we can move forward and receive our referral.
October 30, 2012 - I called Customs and Immigration to inquire on our application, because this form is missing from our Dossier - they said the wait time moved from 8 weeks to 16 weeks and we should have it by the end of November - I let our agency know.
November 5, 2012 - We paid the final portion of our Dossier Fee, so we can move forward and receive our match.
November 6, 2012 - Once the Dossier Fees were paid in full, we were required to complete 3 online courses (transracial adoption, attachment, and grief, loss, and separation) and receive these certificates. We completed these courses that night and submitted the certificates. We are not being moved forward for our referral (even though we're still waiting for Part 1 back). Our agency is certain that we will have this form before we receive our referral.
November 30, 2012 - Received Part 1 back from Citizen and Immigration Canada. It was completed by the Citizenship Officer on November 19, 2012 and just arrived in the mail.
February 10, 2013 - Contacted our agency, because we were no longer receiving weekly updates or any correspondence at all. As it turned out, they were forgetting to send the information to us and they put us back on the mailing list. We were advised we were "next in line" and the match would come shortly.
April, 2013 - Received a letter from our agency asking us to sign it as acknowledgement that, due to issues with the Government of Saskatchewan and Customs & Immigration Canada (they were mixing this up in the letter), should there be delays in the program, or should the program be terminated for Canadians, we would not be reimbursed and acknowledge that we understand this is possible.
May & June 2013 - Delays in the DRC program where exit letters were not being issued, as the DRC Government investigated the adoptions in progress to determine whether they were legitimate.
July 2013 - Some families are receiving exit letters again. It appears the program is resuming once again.
September 20, 2013 - Received via email our potential match (sibling pair).
September 27, 2013 - Received an email that went to all families in the DRC program advising that the program has been suspended/terminated for at least 12 months.
October 2, 2013 - Attended information session for local adoptions through the Wednesday's Child Program.
October 4, 2013 - handed in application for adoption in the Province of Alberta
November 6, 2013 - Attended information session the second time with Bob, as he was away for the first session.
January 10, 2014 - We met with Alberta Children's Services to begin the process for our new Home Study. We've had to submit the request for Criminal Record Check and Child Intervention Check again.
February 6 - March 15, 2014 - Attended courses for our adoption program. This included a Tuesday Evening Session, two Saturday Sessions, and a full weekend session. The course subjects were: Grief & Loss, Special Needs, FASD, Aboriginal Adoptions, Multi-Cultural Adoptions