The answer is...I'm not sure! LOL! Just like we really had no idea how long it might take for the actual adoption, we only have a very vague "official" time frame from the US Embassy on Ghana. They will take "one week to six months" to process Bright's immigration paperwork. Nice, eh? Not!
According to Lois the next steps are to get Bright's new birth certificate and his Ghanaian passport. She anticipates this to take a few weeks. While Edward is taking care of that in Ghana, Eric and I will be sending Lois our signed I-600 and a Power of Attorney for Edward. She'll then send those docs to Edward, who will submit our paperwork to the US Embassy. From there we wait for the I-600 approval. The embassy told me previously that children with known living parents usually undergo a field investigation. This is where the "1 week to 6 months" comes in. Lois estimates the entire process from adoption decree to travel to be 6-12 weeks. I could see it being as little as 4 weeks if everything went perfect and there was no field investigation. That means we could be traveling anytime between mid-March and mid-May to pic up our baby! [Hopefully no later than that.]
Do you want to know something sad? I'm having a hard time believing that this has actually happened--that we actually have an adoption decree. I keep going through scenarios in my mind where there could have been a miscommunication and Edward was actually telling Lois that our paperwork was submitted. But Edward is better at communicating than that. I know this. I guess I have guarded my heart to such an extreme degree--wanting to be prepared that we could get an interim adoption order--that I'm having a hard time letting my guard down. I feel kind of bad that (as Eric pointed out to me) last night on the phone through my tears I kept saying to Lois, "I just can't believe this has actually happened! I didn't know if it was really going to happen!" Note to self--make sure that didn't hurt Lois. =-)
This weekend we'll be heading up to my mom's house in Wichita to celebrate my B-day, her B-day and now the addition of a new grandson! Shopping wasn't on the to do list before but surprise, surprise it's on the top of the list now!!