On its way

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Six days ago when our home study was finalized, I never dreamed I’d be shipping our dossier to Washington, DC today. But it’s true!
After getting all remaining documents notarized locally yesterday, I brought the whole shebang up to St. Paul this afternoon for our Secretary of State seal (the next level of authentication). Then I checked and re-checked everything, wrote five checks and one money order, and with a lot of prayer and nerves (and maybe too much caffeine), handed the big envelope to the FedEx guy. I seriously stood there and watched him to be sure he inserted the airbill into the plastic sleeve. After I walked out, I wanted to turn around to re-check that it ended up in the right pile to go out tonight. After babysitting those papers, grooming them, signing and stamping them and making them perfect, they were harder to let go than I thought! But off they went. (And yes, I’ve got the tracking window open, so I’m following it to DC. So far: It’s been picked up!)
Tomorrow morning, our courier will get the package and start the US Department of State authentication process. After they get another set of stamps, the whole thing will go to the Rwanda Embassy for yet another round of stamps and seals, and then the courier will send it all back to us. We’ll make it even prettier, in a 3-ring binder, throw in some photos of the family and a couple other papers, and then REALLY cover it in prayer, make a thousand copies, and ship it off to Rwanda! There, it will wait to be reviewed and approved by the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, which may take up to 9 months (or more). After that, we’ll get info about a child chosen for us. Our child — the one that God chose for us long ago.
It feels like a really, really happy whirlwind. I’m excited but exhausted with all the running around and the day trips. But hang on baby, we’re (or our papers representing us, anyway, are) almost there!
All our even-prettier papers: