We started our adoption process in October, 2006. It took about 6 months to get our home study and dossier completed. It then took the month of April for our dossier to get translated into Russian and processed at the Kazakhstan Consulate in NY.
We got word last week that our dossier has made it out of the Kazakhstan embassy in NY and arrived in Kazakhstan on April 30. Our adoption coordinator told us that is usually takes 3 months from the time our dossier reaches Kazakhstan until we will get our Letter of Invitation (LOI) to travel. However, since many people in Kazakhstan go on vacation in August we probably won't travel until the end of August or September.
I had hoped we would travel in July or August, but since I am starting a new job next week it probably works better for me to get settled in the job before I take a month off. Gary, however, was hoping we would travel in August when work is slow.
When we arrive in Kazakhstan, the government requires that we spend 14 days bonding with the child we adopt and then we have to wait another week to go to court for the adoption proceedings, so we know that our trip will take a least 3 weeks. Since it takes 2 days to travel to Kazakhstan and 2 days to return, the trip will probably take close to 4 weeks. After we go to court we will retun home. Then there is a 15 waiting period before the adoption is finalized. At that time we plan to have an escort from the baby house in which our child will be living to escort the baby to DC. However, the plan may change and I may travel back to Kazakhstan for about 6 days to pick him up. We'll just see what plan feels right after we know what child we are adopting.
The preferred method of choosing a child to adopt in Kazakhstan is to travel "blind" and choose a child while we are in-country. This process sounds very scary, but it seems like it works well for most families. The whole adoption process is so unpredictable and out of your control, so you just have to have the attitude that you will find the child you were meant to have and everything will work out in the end. Gary and I both like to be in control so this "go with the flow" attitude is a challenge. Luckily life is busy, so we aren't spending a lot time counting the minutes until we travel. Also, since we don't have a referral for a particular child, we aren't spending time fantasizing about what that child will be like. It is strange to think that we will be traveling to Kazakhstan not having any idea what child we will end up with and will return home 3 weeks later with a child that is legally ours. We do know that we will be adopting a boy and he will be 15 months or younger. We hope that he will be around 7-8 months since that seems to be the the youngest age at which children are available for adoption in Kazakhstan these days.
The next step in the process is to be assigned by one of the Ministry's in Almaty a region of Kazakhstan to travel to and then our Dossier will be sent to that region. We will hopefully get news in a few weeks.