Well, being the worrying planner that I sometimes am, I emailed our case manager to ask about what would happen if we were to move before the referral. Here is her reply:
"Hey Rebekah! I hope you had a great weekend! This is a great question! Obviously, whenever a family is in the adoption process, it is best to keep life stable and minimize changes. But, sometimes, it is necessary. I would recommend that a move happen before you receive a referral for a child or after you bring your child home and not between time of referral and bringing baby home. If you were to move to another state at any point during your process, you would need to have an entirely new home study done by an agency within the new state. This means you start from scratch with all the home study paperwork, home visits, etc. It could also mean you’ll need to get new FBI checks done—I’m not sure of this and am awaiting an answer, but it’s important to know it’s a possibility. If you were to move but stay within North Carolina, you would need to have a home study addendum written as well as a home inspection of the new house. Your place would not be affected, but we could not talk with you about a child until your home study is complete, approved by AGCI, and your USCIS approval (assuming you have USCIS approval when you move) has been updated. We would basically “skip” over you until all of these things are in place. Your dossier would not be affected, as it would already be in Ethiopia. Both a new home study and a home study addendum have fees associated with them, according to the home study agency’s fees. If you move after you bring your child home and it is out of state, you would just need to find another agency to write your post placement reports."
Another AGCI-er got a similar response from her case manager:"Yes, I would say that if you are seriously considering moving it is best to do this before your little one comes home to avoid as much moving around as possible as you are cocooning when she gets home. In terms of your dossier paperwork there is nothing that we will change on that as your dossier paperwork is essentially frozen in the state it's in and they will review this as is. What we would have you do is an update to your home study that would require a new home visit and write up to reflect the change. Also, as you look at housing it would be important to consider that your new home would need to meet all the standards in terms of number of rooms/space as your current home does. For instance, it would need to have enough space for children of opposite gender to have separate bedrooms, etc."
So, who knows what will happen with our family in the next year??... wait, the Lord does! He has been the one who ordained this adoption even before we thought to do it. He is the one who continues to meet our needs, even when we doubt his provision (read story here). He is the one who loves this baby so much more than we do, and He is the one who has a plan for us, and will get glory out of whatever happens in the next year.
So don't ask me what our plan is after graduation, or where we will move, or where Will is going to work, or if I will be working when the baby comes, or when the baby will get here. We don't know. But God does. And praise the Lord! He is the God of big and small details.