I came home from work today to find two neatly clipped packets of paperwork and a sticky note with 3 questions written on it. The writing utensil was neatly capped next to the note and the ink still had shiny pools of freshness at the beginning and end of letters. Sometime during the day our dossier paperwork had arrived and even with his busy workload, M. found the time to give it an initial once over and jot down a few thoughts.
Dossier is a tricky word. I have said it so many times now that I no longer coach myself through it. For a while, my brain would parse it out as dos-ee-ae and I would be focusing so hard on pronouncing it correctly that I often would lose my thought pattern. As I glanced through closely 60 sheets of paper that I will read and re-read compulsively, I am learning that the dossier is more than a commonly mispronounced word.
The word is obviously French with Latin origins referring to a bundle of documents labeled on the back. Hence, dos or dorsum, respectively. It is simply defined as a collection of detailed documents about one particular person or entity. In our case, the dossier contains detailed information about M. & me and will be presented to the Ethiopian government. Stress the word detailed in this situation. Over the course of the next few weeks we will repeat medical physicals, update reference letters, compose personal statements, fill out multiple forms, obtain letters from our employers and the local police sheriff, and notarize many, many things.
At this point it is kind of overwhelming. I started with packet A, which outlined everything from paperwork to the grand payment schedule and I realized my brain was turning to mush. I then picked up packet B, which is titled, “Ethiopia Program Travel Instructions” and read it loosely. My recommendation is to start with this packet and after reading it you will be willing to do anything to make this adoption happen, including confronting packet A. It was incredibly exciting as I read about making airline reservations, staying at the guesthouse, and planning for who will meet you at the airport. The last is a topic I can hardly think about without tears welling up in my eyes. When I got to the packing list suggestions about baby clothing & supplies it really hit me. In the next year we will be going over to Ethiopia to get our baby and will need formula, bottles, baby clothes, and all the other items listed on page 10 of this packet. This concept is even more real and overwhelming and justifies our trudging through forms.
Our final step before the big wait is now in our hands. One of the last things we can control in the process will soon be over and then we will only find satisfaction in proudly marking off calendar days with a large marker and a satisfying X as we wait for our hard work to lead us to our child.