I like to think of it in three phases:
The Homestudy is the part where we are determined to be acceptible parents for children. Every aspect of our life is evaluated. The goal isn't to find every thing that could be wrong; but rather to understand our strengths and weaknesses and how we handle them and would handle them with children. So, it ends up being a lot less scary than what the "paper" makes it out to be. (The checklists and so on)
The Dossier is a compilation of all the legal paperwork. There is a lot! The homestudy write up is included as well as pictures of us and our house and family and friends. It's all official. This dossier is what Colombia will look at and use to match us to children. (They match us to children; not children to us.)
The waiting is just that. :) Waiting to hear back from Colombia if we've been approved, and then who our children will be! As soon as we get a referral, we will make arrangements to travel to Colombia (about a month later). We will then be in Colombia for about 4 weeks and be with the children from about day 2 in the country.
So that's it in a nutshell. All tidied up like that, it looks pretty easy, huh!? This paperwork is pretty straightforward, but there can be some hitches since we're dealing with protocol and all. But Colombia has a stable program, and our agency is excellent.
But in reality, our lives will radically change at the end of this process. For that will be when these children, become our own precious sons and daughters. Our home will ring with laughter and tears, swell with love and hope, and embrace risk and trust. We greatly look forward to that day!