Wednesday, September 26, 2012


For those in the adoption world, you'll know that the title of this post is a big deal. For the rest of you, I'll just make it clear - it's a big deal.  :)

About a month ago, we found out that the ICBF, the Colombian agency in charge of adoptable children, had approved us to be adoptive parents. Wahoo!

The next step was regional approval. Since we have been pursuing a specific child from the beginning, our application was sent to the regional office where he lives. Here, the regional committee needed to approve us for JS specifically. Now, I admit, I wasn't terribly nervous. There was no major reason we would not be approved.  Yet, we knew there was not a 100% guaranty that we would be approved for JS.  So, after our ICBF approval, we calmly waited for the next round of approvals, which would be followed by our official referral (medical/social records for JS, giving us more info about him and where we could officially officially say, yes, we want to move forward to adopt him).

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes. Patiently waiting.  

For about a day. 

No, that's not true. I was better than that. I didn't get back to the agency for over a week! There was no update but they were going to be heading to Colombia and they would look into it. So I patiently waited some more.  

Until last week. 

I broke down and emailed our agency rep AGAIN. Somewhat surprisingly, she called me right back with good news!  We had officially been matched with JS!  However, she couldn't send me any of the documents (with which we could move forward) because she did not yet have the English translations.  And she wasn't sure when we'd get them.  If we got them "soon" we could hopefully travel yet this year. If not, looking at January/February.

Oh my stinking heck. Talk about pins and needles! We didn't even really tell anyone about this match. We decided to wait until we had the paperwork in hand. But Friday came and went and nothing. :(  I spent part of my long run on Sunday trying to pysch myself up for the real possibility that JS would not be home for Christmas. Just too much left to fall into place.

Monday, I was a wreck. I couldn't even figure out WHY at first until I realized I was compulsivly checking my email and waiting for news. I even emailed Mark that I was struggling and he admitted he was too. Just thinking about him. Wondering...

Not 10 minutes after that email exchange I get a phone call.

This is it!  We got our referral!!!  And even though we already knew "who" the child was, our agency rep still made a point to get Mark and I both on the line at the same time and discuss things with us. It was very exciting!  Since all our adoptions have been for specific children, this was sort of our first time getting "the call", as some prospective adoptive parents call it. I can see why people freak out. Very exhilarating. :)  And we got a new picture. Oh, the cuteness.

Long story short, there was nothing in the referral paperwork that we didn't really expect to see. We claimed him as our son long ago in our hearts and today we were able to make our intent official. I sent out our acceptance paperwork and our I800 to USCIS for immigration preapproval:

[That's our paperwork, ready to be sent to MN!]

If the US government does its work - quickly - we could be in Colombia in November!  Admittedly, there are still more than a couple of pieces to fall into place.  But we are so very hopeful he'll be with us in 2012. We appreciate all your prayers on this front - every little bit helps! 



  1. Woohooo! I'm so excited for you to have made it over this hurdle! Very excited!

  2. Congratulations, Brainerd family! We're really excited for you! I really hope you get to travel soon, that would be wonderful!