Many have asked me about the timeline so far, so I will attempt to summarize this briefly, here:
6/08 Made up my mind to adopt.
8/14/08 Mailed the initial application to AAI
9/22/08 Completed the subsequent packet of required information for AAI
9/25/08 AAIs response-- another packet to read
10/6 Received (yet another) packet with Dossier instructions
10/22 Schedule 1st Homestudy Interview
11/9 Second Homestudy Interview
11/24 Sent completed Dossier to AAI
11/26 Dossier received! I start inquiring about waiting children.
12/4 Homestudy Approved! I immediately ask for the file on Mareshet.
12/11 I commit to adopting Mareshet! My Dossier travels to Ethiopia.
1/5 Welcome Bag received at AAI.
1/6 My documents are submitted to court with several other families and we are henceforth referred to as "Group G."
1/26 I am finally given a court date of April 7.
1/27 I receive confirmation that my Orphan Petition (I600A) has been approved by the US.
1/28 Welcome Bag travels over to Ethiopia with our director
2/2 I go to the USCIS office to be fingerprinted
2/8 I receive the first photos of Mareshet from other parents (thank you Allie and Kari!)
2/9 I receive the news that Mareshet has received her Welcome Bag--and a photo!
2/16 I finish painting her room; her bed comes next week. This is starting to feel real. Still trying to complete the final visa paperwork however...
Ironically enough, when typed up in this way, it doesn't seem like this has taken that long at all. Except that about 12 of my friends have had babies since I began this process, making it all feel so much longer...