We finished the first, easiest step of our paperwork today. I spent the past three days, ignoring a head cold and body malaise, getting things ready. That includes a basic contract, fingerprints, and the applications for criminal clearance from Oregon. First-class postage for the envelope was just under $3, so that's a pretty fat envelope.
The numbers from here:
2-3 months to complete home study
indefinite period to get US and Ethiopian approval of dossier
up to 5 months until referral (that's when they officially identify a specific child for us)
2 months until travel to Ethiopia for court
6-8 weeks for US embassy approval before travel to come back with baby
That adds up to roughly a year. That's if all the official agencies operate according to predicted timetable, which is never a given; and if we don't need to resubmit anything; and nothing else goes wrong. I'd be uncomfortable with anything under 9 months- that would be a preemie, and everyone knows that isn't good. But every piece of paperwork I mail in is one less thing for me to lie awake thinking about.
For now, I'm going to take a rest for a few days. I think I'd like some nachos with cheese and refried beans.