Adoption Timeline

  • 2007-2008…….Began asking God to break our hearts for the “least of these”
  • 10/2008……….Began seriously praying about adoption. It was always in the back of our mind as something we would do “down the road”, but we began to wonder why we were waiting…
  • 11/2008……….Decide to move forward with international adoption. We researched agencies, read blogs, collected information and decided to go with All God’s Children International (AGCI) and adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia. We are SO VERY EXCITED!!
  • 11/2008……….Mailed application to AGCI.
  • 12/02/2008…..Orientation call with AGCI + accepted.
  • 12/2008……….Told our families the exciting news!
  • 1/2/2009………Shared the news with our friends via mass email
  • 1/14/2009……..Mailed first check and batch of completed paperwork
  • 1/22/2009……..Received Dossier packet…now the real fun begins!! Paperwork galore!
  • 1/22/2009……..Mailed Fundraising Letters to family + friends…praying many will feel led to financially partner with us to bring home our baby daughter.
  • 1/23/2009……..First Home Study meeting completed. FBI Finger printing at the police station. Not a bad way to spend Emily’s 29th birthday!
  • 1/26/2009……..Dossier orientation call.
  • 1/30/2009…..Got our first response cards back in the mail today. We are completely overwhelmed and humbled to have such amazing friends who believe in us as we chase this calling that the Lord has set before us.
  • 2/4/09…..working diligently on papers for our Dossier.
  • 2/12/09….beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. our Dossier is almost complete (after several Notary mishaps and having to have forms re-done.) We are just waiting on a few last items to be returned to us. This is a labor of love!
  • 2/18/09….Home Study and Dossier paperwork 99% complete.
  • 2/19-20/09…Bryson and I each had our individual Home Study meetings with our social work. The meetings go great!
  • 2/21/09….We have raised half of the $27,000 needed. Only $13,000 to go!
  • 3/6/09….Final Home Study meeting. Now we wait.
  • 3/21/09….Still waiting for our home study report. Learning what patience is all about! We have raised $17,000 of our funds. Only $10,000 to go!
  • 4/1/09….Frustrated that our homestudy report STILL has not arrived. The hold up is with the agency because they had some people out on vacation the past week or two and are trying to catch up on everything.
  • 4/15/09…Spent the week praying about adopting a boy or a girl. We both have a strong peace that we are supposed to wait for a girl even though the wait will be longer than we anticipated. Trusting in God’s timeline, not my own.
  • 4/20/09….Got word that our home study was approved and is on it’s way to us. Lord willing our Dossier will be turned in by the end of the week!
  • 4/22/09…The Dossier is in the mail to our agency! Whew!
  • 4/30/09…AGCI approved our Dossier and we are #30 on the waitlist for a baby girl. Praise God!
  • 5/2/09…Went to Atlanta and completed our fingerprinting for the USCIS I-600A Form at Homeland Security
  • 5/5/09…#28 on the wait list for a girl.
  • 6/15/09…Celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Still waiting.
  • 6/16/09…(Baby Opi is born…but it will be 4 more months until we get The Call about her!)
  • 7/10/09…Moved to number 16 on the wait list!!! Doing a happy dance!
  • 7/24/09…Received our “Favorable Determination Letter” saying we are fit to adopt (according to the government.) Thanks fellas! 🙂 To date we have raised $21,651.05 to cover adoption fees. Amazing.
  • 8/6/09…Moved one spot this month to #15 on the waitlist.
  • 8/12/09….Total funds raised: $23,651. Praise God!
  • 9/1/09….When we asked Nash what he wanted to pray for or what he was grateful to God for tonight he said out of the blue, “Baby girl Opi” (our nickname for our baby girl). My heart soared, so grateful for Nash and what an amazing big brother he will be.
  • 9/3/09…#10 on the wait list for baby Opi!
  • 10/5/09…Phone consult with Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic
  • 10/7/09…#5 on the wait list! Single digits baby!!
  • 10/14/09…WE GOT THE CALL!!!! A beautiful 4 month old baby girl awaits us in Ethiopia!
  • 10/16/09…Baby Opi turns 4 months old today. Got the “green light” from our international doctor to move forward with the adoption! One step closer! BV is working on the papers while I am at a Passion2010 planning weekend.
  • 10/20/09…AGCI recieved all of our post-referral paperwork. Now we wait…again! This time for a court date.
  • 10/29/09…Found out our Court Date will be November 24th! Praying that we pass court and travel soon after to pick up our baby girl!
  • 11/6/09…Sent a care package to Baby Opi with a lovey, photo album and a letter for her birth family. That was a difficult and humbling letter to write.
  • 11/24/09…COURT DATE!
  • 11/26/09…WE PASSED COURT! What an amazing Thanksgiving Day blessing!
  • 11/30/09…Told the world our daughter’s new name: Evyn Olivia
  • 12/7/09…Confirmed travel dates + booked our tickets. We fly out on Christmas Day and back home on New Years Day! What a fun holiday we will have!
  • 12/25/09…Christmas in the air as we fly to Ethiopia to pick up Evyn Olivia.
  • 12/27/09…Gotcha Day!
  • 1/1/10…Arrive home with our daughter and head straight to Passion2010 in Atlanta.
  • 1/3/10…Nash meets his sister and loves her to pieces!
  • 1/6/10…Arrive home to Athens…now our real journey begins!
  • 1/13/10…Evyn’s first doctor visit. She has wheezing in her chest and needs to be on simple breathing treatments. Nash has an ear infection.
  • 1/17/10…Evyn is getting into the groove of napping and sleeping. She took a 3 hour nap AND slept through the night (12 hours!) without waking up for a bottle! Yay!
  • 1/18/10…Evyn’s first tooth (bottom middle left) is starting to break through!
  • 1/20/10…Evyn’s first shots at the doctor.
  • 1/28/10…1st post adoption meeting with our social worker. 1 month check up.
  • 2/3/10…Evyn offically has 2 teeth popping through.
  • 2/10/10…Evyn received her green card in the mail.
  • 3/1/10…mailed Evyn’s announcements
  • 3/10/10…Ethiopia adds some extra steps in the adoption process. Praying for my friends who are on the waitlist.
  • 5/6/10…Evyn got her blood work done. 5 viles! Ouch! All test came back great. She’s a healthy girl!
  • 5/9/10…Shared Evyn’s Gotcha Video + Adoption Story.
  • 6/16/10…Happy 1st Birthday Evyn!
  • 6/29/10…Evyn’s legal re-adoption is final in the USA!! Her name is legally changed and can apply for Social Security.
  • 8/11/10…Evyn takes her first steps!!
  • 8/27/10…Evyn to the hospital because of breathing issues. We think it is asthma.
  • 9/5/10…Evyn’s last bottle.
  • 11/4/10…Last meeting with our social worker! Now we send yearly reports on our own…for the next 18 years!
  • 11/18/10…mailed in the FINAL piece of paper work (famous last words!) the N-600 for Evyn’s citizenship.
  • 11/25/10…Evyn’s first Thanksgiving dinner!
  • 11/26/10…Baby girl Meyer is born. Evyn is a big sister and Nash is a big brother again!!
  • 6/10/11…Evyn recieves her US Citizenship certificate!

29 thoughts on “Adoption Timeline

  1. Emily,

    It is great to see your website. We are in almost the exact same spot. We will turn in our last item for our homestudy on Friday and then have a few other items for our Dossier to complete. Our next step is to begin raising money for the remaining adoption expenses. Any ideas? It is so great that you have been able to raise so much so early. I would love any tips on how you have done this. I will keep checking your website for updates.


  2. you are SO GREAT at updating this and helping me remember all the steps of the journey. Thanks for being our in house historian….love it!

  3. I stumbled on your blog while researching ideas for “big boy room” (google search led me to your site). Anyway – saw your beautiful baby girl and clicked on the adoption tab to see if she was from Ethiopia (a certain beauty about those babies!). My brother and his wife just brought their son home a couple weeks ago from Addis Ababa. Just wanted to say Congrats! What a blessing!!!

  4. Wow, your blog is inspiring to me!! My husand & I have started the adoption process and are praying for a sibling group of 2! How did you raise all the money?!! That is amazing!!!

    • Angela! Thanks for stopping by. I am so excited to hear that you are beginning the process. A sibling group! How awesome!! You guys need to start a blog if you don’t have one already. The adoption “blog community” is amazing and such a great support during the process. Plus it makes for a great scrapbook to look at once you are home with you babies.

      God was gracious and we raised all the money from family and friends. we sent out a support letter inviting friends into the process. Some people feel weird about “raising support” for an adoption, but we loved the idea. We know that not everyone is called to adopt, but as believers we are all called to care for the orphan. Allowing people to financially partner gives an opportunity for people to be a part of “caring for orphans” in a very tangible way. We have some amazing stories of how God led people we barely knew to partner with us on this adoption journey. It was such a faith stretcher for us and I am so so glad we invited people into the process. We had no way of paying for the adoption alone. The people who gave are forever a part of our daughter’s story. What an amazing story to tell her one day!

  5. Emily. This is Doug Hunt. I did a bunch Passion stuff around the Boston partnership. You may remember me.

    My wife and I are in the very early stages of adoption. Love your story!

    Why did you choose AGCI over all the other options?

    I hope you are all doing well.


    • Hey Doug!! Great to hear from you and so excited you are beginning the process of adopting! Where are you hoping to adopt from. We narrowed it down to 3 agencies then chose AGCI for a few different reasons:
      – Financially, they were not the most expensive or the cheapest. Right in the middle.
      -They are Hague International certified
      -We loved that they were Christ centered.
      -We loved that they have their own children’s home called Hannah’s Hope that does a beautiful job caring for the children.
      -They do a great job keeping you updated about your progress.
      -They really walk with you hand in hard through the whole process.
      -There is a great online community of families who have adopted or are in the process of adopting. This was an unexpected blessing.

      hope that helps! would love to talk to you more if you have further questions about our journey. just send me an email.


      • My husband and I are also in the very beginning process of adopting from Ethiopia. We’re so excited about what God has in store for us through this journey. Your information was great and encouraging. Can you please send a copy of your “support letter”… ? Thank you and my God bless your family.

      • Cheri:
        You can view a copy of the text on our FAQ page. There is a link to it there…
        hope that helps!

  6. Hi there, Vogeltanz Family! My husband and I just started the adoption process for Ethiopia through AGCI, and I have found your blog to be an excellent source of first-hand knowledge! I was wondering if you would mind sharing your financial support letter that you sent to friends/family. I think this is a great idea, especially now that we will be travelling twice. I just don’t know quite what to say… Thank you so much!

  7. Hi Emily –

    My husband and I loved your gotcha day video and would like to use it during our dinner/silent auction fundraiser for our adoption.

    We were wondering if we could get a better quality copy of the video versus the youtube version. If you need – we could provide an ftp server for you to upload it. Would that be possible & would you be willing?


  8. Hi:

    Laurie C. gave me your blog address, we live in Oconee County, and I have 3 adopted biological siblings from Haiti, home in 2009 and 2010. Laurie met my son in his kindergarten class, and that is how we connected!

    Anyway, I always like to ‘meet’ other adoptive families, especially in the area. Love reading about your family!

  9. Y’all’s amazing story of Evyn Olivia is such an inspiration. I have been looking into adoption and reading and watching this story brought tears to my eyes. I’m praying for y’all that all continues to go well and that y’all can bless her life as much as she is blessing y’all.

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