Thursday, November 15, 2012

Forms, forms and more forms

Today was my day off and so I sat down this morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to fill out all my paperwork.  I planned on finishing the background check paper work and thought I could probably move onto other home study paperwork as well.  K recommends we do the background check documents first as they can take longest to come back (6-8 weeks).  Everything else can be done at our pace and we would love to have our home study done in 6-8 weeks!!!

Boy was I wrong.

My head is spinning.  I have four states to get background checks from and B has three.  At least I think we do.  Two of the states were relatively easy with three forms and very little to confuse a person.   The other two states have forms with little itty-bitty lines and ask for a lot of the same information in different formats.  Between those two states we’re required to list every residence we’ve each had since 1974 (we we’re born yet) in consecutive order making sure there are no missed dates and every person we’ve ever lived with.   Yes I am sure that is what the form asks for, every person we have ever resided with.   Oh by the way- I have to list full names and cannot use middle initials.  I’m not making this up folks.

So I spent the better part of an hour figuring out how to get the full names, and ages of all of B and my college dorm mates as well as the people I lived with in Ireland.   Phone calls made and emails sent I started filling in forms.     Our home study provider emailed me PDFs.  My handwriting is horrendous, and I cannot spell.  I had to toss out multiple sheets….. Then I got smart and tried to find the documents online.  I found both of the documents in formats I can type in.  YAY! But only after wasting time and paper.

This evening I chatted with another DRC mama.  During our conversation it came up that I might not even need a background check from one of these states!!!!  I only went to college there.  I never had a driver license, paid taxes, worked or lived outside the dorms.   So after all the struggling sat down and emailed K all of my questions, including clarification on which states I really need to do the paperwork for.

I know this is just the beginning.  There are hundreds more forms in front of me.  Today taught me something though.  I need to get organized.  Tomorrow I’m making a binder and a checklist.  And I am finishing those freaking background check forms!!!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Next steps

We met with K, a home study provider, yesterday morning.   It was just an informational meeting, and it went pretty darn well.

For those who don’t know, a home study is the state’s evaluation of if you can adopt (you also have to do one if you want to foster).  So our state has to say “Yep- those people will make ok parents and they have an ok house. We’re fine with them adopting.”  It involves a LOT of paperwork.  Background checks from every state we have lived in since we were 18, multiple references, previous taxes, birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank statements, letters of employments, we both have to write a life store, medical exams and forms for all of us and a metric ton of forms.   Then we sit down with the home study provider and answer a lot of personal questions, as well as ones that explore our mental preparedness for international adoption.  Somewhere in there the home study provider also comes to our house and does a home safety check.

The whole thing feels very judgy to me.  I do understand that the government wants to make sure that adoptive parents are not child abusers, and that they are prepared to adopt.  It is in everyone’s best interest for adoptions to be final and to minimize disruptions.  So don’t get me wrong, I think home studies are necessary.  I just don’t like feeling like I’m being scrutinized.

So we met with K yesterday morning.  She was very nice, professional, informative and calming.   We will be using her for our home study, which should take 6-8 weeks from when we sign up and start.

One of the things we loved about K was her LACK of judgyness.  I’ve been contacting a lot of home study providers over the past 6 weeks or so.  I’ve gotten varied responses to my inquiries.   Some have just not returned my contact email or call.  Some think we are very young to adopt, others have really been discouraging about international adoption and have tried to guide us to change our minds and go foster adopt or domestic infant.  And a few were just exorbitantly expensive, as in almost double the going rate.

K is totally comfortable with our ages and our decision to adopt from DRC.  She views her job as making sure we are prepared for the possibilities and to make sure we have evaluated our options and the possibilities.   That attitude was so refreshing.   So all in all yesterday was great!  And we’ve made one more baby step forward.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-tzu

We have begun!  Tonight we filled out the first forms, signed our contract with our facilitator and sent our first payment.  Goodbye to any hesitancy and onward with boldness.

The paper chase will start once we get a list from our facilitator and we have a tentative meeting set up with a home study provider on Monday.  I will let you know how the meeting goes.  Hopefully by Monday we will decide to go with the provider we are meeting with and we will start our home study as well.

There are thousands of miles ahead of us, for now my belly is aflutter with excitement and hope! To the next steps! May we appreciate the journey as we look  forward to the reward at the end.


Shopping online this holiday season???

To help fundraise we’ve signed up as Amazon affiliates.  If you are planning on shopping online please consider shopping through our link.  Just empty your cart (or else the purchase does not count) click on the link on the blog or on my facebook page and then shop as normal.  A percentage of your purchase will go directly into our adoption fund.   Don’t worry, we can’t see who purchases what!


P.S.  The link isn't very pretty.....  I guess I'll be learning new computer skills along the way too.  I've gotta figure out how to make this blog do what I want it to...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving forward?

Sort of.  This process, and we’re not even in the thick of it folks, is not easy.  What was easy was the decision to have another child join our family.  The decision to adopt was made years ago.  The decision to adopt NOW was made over the last six months in inches, an inevitable progression to this decision.  

I’d like to share a quote B and I used in our wedding guest book. W.H. Murray wrote this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back – Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A while stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed wound have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

We are committed.  We feel it in our bones and we walk around noticing things we did not before, have conversations we did not before.  I am planning WAY ahead (I know, big surprise, right?) and very much putting the cart before the horse sometimes.

What is that final act of commitment? What is that last thing we need to do before the chase really starts? We need to commit financially.  

Can I just have a moment to admit I have a little bit of rage inside of me that it takes so much money to adopt?  That a little irrational piece of my mind thinks it is so freaking unfair that we will struggle with the finances to make this happen for us and our future child .  There I have said it.  Maybe that will be the last time I say it in this blog- maybe I can let it go.

I could detail our finances, our bills and my school debt and our mortgage, my income and B’s search for employment outside our home.  I could drag all that in here- but I don’t think it is really fair or relevant.  And honestly we make everything happen we need to each month and that is so blessed compared too many.  I do not want to complain about our situation- we are just fine.  I just wish, as I am sure many people on the adoption path (or other goals that require large amounts of money) that I had it ALL NOW and I wasn’t worried.

It looks like this is the month folks.  We’re about to send in our first check and start the paper chase as long as no emergency happens this month. I’ll tell you when we do.  Before I had some if-thens in the process.  If we had x amount in savings then, when B found a job then.  We’ve tossed all those hesitancies.  As long as we can meet our obligations we will keep moving forward.

B and I have been talking about, well a lot of things, and we are not going to be sharing the costs of this process in a public forum.  Suffice it to say it is a large amount for us.  We feel that putting a number on it implies a price tag on our future child and that to share that would be implying worth.  That just is not true and if our child ever reads this blog we never want there to be any doubt that his or her worth has NOTHING to do with money.   So please forgive us for being vague.

We are hoping and praying that Providence and hard work with start moving with this act of commitment.  So yeah, I guess we are moving forward.