JOSH + SUSAN FOWLER
Adventure seekers  //  adoption advocates  //  13 years of marriage
5 kids  //  2 businesses  //  We like living life to the fullest

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Adoption Update | Personal

Back in January we shared some really big news… we fell in love with a sweet little boy and within hours started the adoption process.  You can read about it and watch our announcement video here.

We haven’t updated a ton because, well, it’s pretty standard.  Tons of paperwork and so far we haven’t had any updates from his orphanage.  We’ve absolutely busted our bottoms to get the paperwork done as fast as possible because we know every day we get something completed is a day closer to having him home with us.

Today we’re mailing out the dossier. 

Yeah, I had to look it up the first time, too!  Basically, it’s a collection of every document we’ve gathered or created so far, and we’re sending it all over to his home country.  They translate it and then all the official people look over it, make sure we have all our ducks in a row, and then invite us to visit him.  It’s looking like maybe July or August?  We know we’ll have some flexibility in travel dates, which is an incredible blessing!  Not everyone gets that luxury, and with our jobs, it’s wildly important.  It’s a little unnerving that we can’t plan that ahead of time, but we know that God brought Zane into our lives at exactly the right moment, and He has a plan.  God has shown us over and over that we don’t need to worry about anything, but just trust, especially with this adoption.  In fact, the day we found Zane was the same day I finished up the last wedding edit before our slow season.  That meant that I suddenly had 3 months of a slower schedule to fill out paperwork and get all my adoption ducks in a row before our busy wedding season!

To recap, here are some things we’ve done/gathered so far:

  • We’ve been fingerprinted three times by different entities.
  • There’s a 14 page document from a social worker explaining the past 30 years of our lives, our parenting style, a very transparent look at our finances, and a confirmation that she thinks we’re decent people, understand what we’re getting into, and would be great parents for Zane.  Yes, we basically have a license to parent!  🙂
  • Completed over 20 hours of training on a variety of topics (this was actually really helpful and interesting!).
  • Confirmations from every state we’ve lived in saying that we have never abused a child or had our parental right revoked.
  • Approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services saying that if we brought a 3 year old boy home matching Zane’s medical history, they’ll accept him.
  • Passports for everyone!
  • We’ve been cleared by the FBI.
  • We’ve been cleared by our doctor.
  • North Carolina has confirmed that we are married.
  • We’ve gathered family pictures and pictures of Zane’s future room.
  • We’ve signed a trillion papers and had them notarized.  Okay, maybe not a trillion, but it feels like it.  We are incredibly thankful for several good friends who are notaries and willing to meet us in the middle of the night or after church to sign documents.
  • Josh took last Friday and spent the day in Richmond getting all of the above documents apostilled, which is an approval that our notary is legit.

It’s a lot, I won’t lie.  But we did it.  This was all the big stuff, and today it gets mailed out!

I remember a few years back when our friends adopted from China.  We admired them but couldn’t imagine going through all that ourselves.  I specifically remember us saying to each other, “That’s so awesome for them and we support them 100% but I’m so relieved we’re not called to international special needs adoption.”  Ha!  At the time it seemed like this huge thing.  We thought we’d dip our toes in the adoption pool, take it slow, and the right situation would present itself.  We had no idea that we’d fall in love one afternoon and be 100% sure of adopting him before our heads hit the pillow that night.

Zane Everett, we can’t wait to meet you.  And today we get one step closer!

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