Jan 2007: We completed our dossier!! This process can take anywhere from 2 months to a year, depending upon a number of factors, including the adoptive parents determination and organization. However, many factors are outside of your control (like waiting for approval from immigration, home-studies, etc...) Fortunately, we were able to get through some of the paperwork and approval processes rather quickly. For instance, often times people wait months for approval from US Immigration Office, which we only had to wait approx 3 weeks for after submitting our home-study to them. I sympathize people who have had to wait longer; it can be very frustrating to have such an important life step held up by situations out of your control. We've been talking to Reese a lot about being a big sister. Fortunately, she's had a few friends have babies added to their homes recently, and so she has real images of what this looks like. She seems pretty excited about it. I show her pictures of kids from Ethiopia and tell her: your baby brother or sister may look like one of these adorable little children! Which reminds me of another huge decision that we had to make when completing our application and dossier- boy or girl? We went back and forth about requesting a boy or a girl and finally decided that it was too big of a decision for us and we'd let God decide. We ultimately know we'd love either. We learned that if we said that we had no preference, we'd most likely get matched with a baby boy as there are more unadopted boys in most countries (except China for example). So, we thought it'd be a boy most likely. We said an infant, between the ages of 0-6 months. There - one more major major decision made. Children adopted from Ethiopia can often times be very young. They are given a list of medical test before being "matched," or referred to a prospective adoptive family---those include tests for HIV, Hepatitis A and B, and Syphilis. After we completed the mountain of paperwork, Reese and I spent a few days driving around to get our dossier documents authenticated by the county and state offices. We made it a little adventure, and had lunch together in Annapolis (with Uncle P). I hope that she'll remember how she was a huge part of the process to bring her sibling home. Our documents were sent to the Ethiopian embassy here and then off to Ethiopia. We're getting closer.