I've had several people ask me what's next, and a couple people thinking that we're done with the heavy lifting and just wait now. Unfortunately, no. We still have a LONG road ahead of us. After the home study is finalized we can move forward with our adoption agency. We still owe them a good chunk of money before that can happen too- $3200. So, after we pay that we'll start working on our dossier. Basically a boatload of paperwork that will be sent to the Congo on our behalf, along with our home study. After this is reviewed by them, we'll be put on a referral waitlist. When we get up to the top (which can take a year), we'll eventually be matched with a little girl.
After we accept a referral, our case will go to court in the Congo (this takes a month or longer). After the court approval there is a 30 day wait period to make sure there is no family that wants to contest the court's decision. Next we file a I600 (more paperwork), which takes a month or so to get approved. Next we request an appointment with the Embassy in the Congo. They'll issue a visa, and I believe this is when we will travel there. While we're there, we will receive a letter from emigration allowing the child to leave the country. We'll be there 1-2 weeks, assuming nothing goes wrong.
So, like I said... long way to go. At least another year, possibly longer. Some of these things don't take long, but you have to have the money to move forward before you can do the next thing on the list. Right now we haven't paid another other than the home study fees. We're still looking at around $17,000 which does not include travel expenses.
As far as fundraising goes, we have a couple things in the works. We just hosted a yard sale, which brought in $400. We are still working on t-shirts (they'll be $20 each if you're interested!), and we are eventually going to be a featured family on a fundraising website. Now that our home study is (almost) done, there are a few grants, matching grants, and low/no interest loans we can start applying for, which we will do. Any other suggestions? :)