This is an update I typed up to family - figured I would post it here...
We are just in the process of scheduling our social worker home visit. That is the FINAL step to completing the home study. Once the home study is complete, we can move on to getting the international portion of the work done. This involves another set of FBI fingerprints/backgrounds checks, more medical forms, copies of important documents - like birth certificates, etc. This process will most likely take 2 months. We have been told that our timeline would put us traveling sometime in November or January. Our agency wouldn't want us to travel in December, due to the holiday and the fact that the important people in her country might not be working during this time.
As far as travel time goes, we are looking at about 4 weeks in her country. This sounds very overwhelming at first, however with MOST international adoptions the travel is at least that long...just broken into 2-3 trips. With her country, the process is combined into a single trip. This is VERY nice considering once we get to her country, she gets to be with US!!! The entire time we are there, will be time to bond and learn about her and her culture.
In the past few days, we have learned a lot about her past medical history. It's difficult to read how her first years of life were. She had heart surgery, breathing issues, she was malnourished, and even battled pneumonia. Her story reminds us of some of the struggles that Christopher went through as a premature child. Of course, she has been diagnosed as having Down syndrome - but we feel that this is NOT WHO SHE IS. She has it, but it does not define her as a human. She is loving, sweet, playful, shy and absolutely gorgeous. Reading her likes and dislikes sounds SO much like our boys! Curious George is one of her favorite tv shows! She likes to eat spaghetti! Um?! Typical 4 yr old, right?! We can see her playing with Christopher and all of her cousins - fitting in just perfectly!
God has moved mountains in our lives to make this happen. We have seen miracle after miracle concerning this process. We give credit to all of our loved ones in Heaven that have been praying for this. We know our guardian angels have been pushing us in the right direction. And we feel that St. Therese and St. Rose have especially played a roll here. Just as the birth of a biological child is a gift from God, we feel that Rose is meant to be a part of our lives and that she has great gifts to offer our family.
And - in case you might have forgotten...One more week to enter!