Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home Study or Bust

O.K.  So here's the deal for those of you who are reading this blog and haven't been privy to the international adoption world prior to this (Neither was I but I'm learning really fast!).  Here is a quick synopsis of the steps we have to take in this crazy process:

1.  Pick an adoption agency to represent us - done  (The agency is who will ultimately be referring a child to us from an Ethiopian orphanage that they work with)
2.  Pick a homestudy provider - done  (This is a sort of social worker type scenario, where the social worker has to review all kinds of records which we provide in order to assess our ability to parent an adopted child)
3.  Go on a two month paper chase for all the documents necessary to adopt a child from another country - almost done (tax forms, financial net worth statements, letters of physical health from doctors, letters of reference from friends, written autobiographical statements which took a crazy long time to complete and were over 8 pages in length for each of us upon completion!)  Yeah - you get the idea.  Lots of paperwork.
4.  Submit application to USCIS (kind of like state department clearance for adoption which includes fbi fingerprinting)
5.  Submit home study and have interview with home study provider - DONE!
A huge relief to have just one more step of the process under our belts.  After furiously cleaning all week last week, since I thought she just might check every closet and crevice in our home (which she didn't!) we met with our provider on Saturday.  She was AMAZING!  We learned so much from her and were so thankful for the time we spent with her.  She included the kids in a wonderful activity to talk about their feelings on adoption and was very relaxed.  That made me more relaxed because I was extremely nervous - what if I said the wrong thing?  What if we aren't what they are looking for?  What if, what if, what if???  But the what if's are over - she left after high fiving Trent and telling him "You're family has passed buddy!"  Woohoo!!
6.  Submit Dossier - this is the next step of paperwork that first goes to our US embassy and then on to Ethiopia.  Right now, I am waiting on a tax document and then we're all set to send that off too!
7.  Dossier accepted
8. Referral of our daugher - Once the dossier is accepted, the orphange can refer a specific little girl to us.  We receive medical history on her and a photo and possibly a video clip.
9.  Accept the referral
10.  The last steps of the process are being reviews by the Ethiopian government right now.
We may have to travel once to meet our little girl for 5 days and then make a second trip back 6-8 weeks later to go pick her up (another 5 days), we may have to only travel for the second trip, or we may have to have one of us go for the first or 2nd visit and both of us travel on the other visit.  That is all still  up in the air.  But, like a friend pointed out to me last week, none of the twists and turns is a surprise to God.  He already knows the whole process and where there are glitches.  And again, I will continue to learn trust and patience in God's sovereign plan.

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