Dear Sam and Sophie,
We are celebrating here in the Schlumpf-Butler household, and I'm not talking about Halloween. Today, finally, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota received their license from Vietnam. So now we are officially in the game. We are adopting a boy from Vietnam. That may sound obvious, since I've had this blog for several months, but over the past few months, I wasn't so sure. We've waited three months for LSS to get licensed, and in the meantime we investigated dozens of other agencies, applied to three, and even got started with another one. But in the end, I think we were meant to get our son from Therese, Caroline and the other good people at LSS-MS.
There have been lots of steps, dramas, ups and downs in this journey to licensure, but I've just been too darn depressed to document them all here, and I'm not going to revisit them now! I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me. I told my co-workers that I feel like a new person, but actually I feel like the old me--the one who wasn't depressed and anxiety-ridden. It feels good. (Speaking of my co-workers, those dozen roses are from them. Thank you, guys. You've been very patient, sympathic, and understanding these past months.) That goes for all my friends and family, too (and you out there in blogland), who have been praying for us, asking how it's going, and not asking, when we couldn't talk about it. We couldn't have done it without you.
So now everyone wants to know how long till we bring Sammy home. Well, that depends. Today our dossier (paperwork) went off to the Vietnamese consulate in D.C., for a process that should take a couple weeks. Then our dossier should head to Vietnam, where it also has to go through an approval process that can take up to two months or more. Then we'd be eligible for a referral (matched with a baby, get a picture, etc.) Then we would travel another 2-3 months after that to get him. I would say we're still about 6 months away from meeting him, give or take a few months. And I know waiting will be hard. But today I'm grateful just to be in line and to start waiting. Thanks be to God!