Throughout the process of adoption I find it very easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done. There are Doctor’s appointments to be made, financial statements, reference letters and the list goes on. So when I get some “good news” that our process just got easier and faster there is much reason to rejoice!
AWAA (our adoption agency) heard from the Department of State yesterday, that for the Ethiopian Embassy each document NO longer needs to be individually notarized and certified. One dossier cover sheet can be notarized stating the authenticity of all of the documents in our dossier. Our dossier can now be apostiled and bundled under one certification. Meaning ONE certification from OUR state can cover the entire bundle of documents!!!
To people not adopting this might not make a lot of sense but essentially what used to have to happen was I would have Jane Doe who lives in Maine write me a reference letter. Jane would have to have this notarized in her state to verify the authenticity of her signature,and then send it to me to place in my dossier (official paperwork on our family that will be sent to Ethiopia). But how does the Ethiopian government know that Jane’s notary was real??? Well, I have to take that letter and send it to the Secretary of the State of Maine to be authenticated (mucho money$$$). The state of Maine authenticates that the notary was a real one and in good standing and gives the document an official gold seal and sends this back to me. BUT. . . how does the Ethiopian government know that the State of Maine’s gold seal is legitimate and not just some fancy sticker I found??? Well, then I take that document and send it to the US Department of States for a seal attesting to the authenticity of the state seal (more mulla $$$). BUT. . . lets say it together. . . . “How does the Ethiopian government know that the seal of the US Department of States is real???” They don’t, so the final step is for me to send Jane’s one page reference letter that now has multiple stamps and stickers attached to the Ethiopian Embassy here in the United states to authenticate the US Departmant of State’s seal. The reference letter is then returned to me with a trail of authentication to prove to the Ethiopian government that Jane Doe in Maine really does think we should adopt and would highly recommend us. Now, think about doing this for 2 other reference letters, mine and Joshua’s medical forms, our employment letters, our chosen gaurdians paperwork, our financial statements, and multiple other documents. Not having to certify and authenticate each individual piece of paper is sounding better and better all the time!!!!!!
So, this was the good news we received about our adoption process. However as Joshua and I read this morning we were reminded of the truly “Good News” that we have received as Christians. We recently began going through a book entitled, “A Gospel Primer for Christians” by: Milton Vincent. I highly recommend it for every believer.
A section on having a gospel perspective in trials reads as follows:
“More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in the light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ. Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in the way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God’s good work in me.”
So. . . whether or not we get anymore breaks in the adoption process or if we have a long and bumpy road ahead I am reminded that the gospel is at work in my life and can rest assured that God is working His perfect purposes in everything that comes my way!