I have been enjoying too much sunshine to have energy for any sort of emotional post this week. 🙂 Sorry, Washingtonians, for mentioning the sun, but please know our door is always open! I’ve HAVE been thinking a lot about my middle boy, in all his sweetness, so I’ll be stewing on the best way to word that soon.
I figured every so often I would post a WWA (Where We’re At) summary to give you an idea of what has been completed and what is still to come.
We are still in the process of completing our home study. Our social worker has done her part and is now just waiting on us to supply the remaining documentation. We only have two forms left that we can provide, and we hope to have those done by the end of this week. Per usual, they both require a notary, so that was the hang up with one. The other form we need to finish is just an Employment form, which is just a little complicated because of my Reserve job and figuring out who can actually verify my employment, and who is willing to do that over at the legal office (on a base I don’t actually work at). 🙂
Once those get to our home study agency, they will just be waiting for our reference letters and background checks to come in. We are required to have a background check from every state we’ve lived in since the age of 18, so as you can imagine, that’s no small feat with a dual military couple. Although I think all of that should be knocked out by the end of next week also. Of course, I just got one of my requests returned today because I filled out the form incorrectly.
After that, I’m guessing it will take at least a week to finalize the home study report. So, best guess, our home study is done by the first week in May. And that’s a HUGE step!
From there, we apply to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) for approval to adopt (officially called the 1-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country). From what I can tell, that takes about 4 weeks from the time they receive your application. Once they receive your paperwork, they schedule you for your fingerprints (about 2 weeks out), and then it takes another two weeks or so to officially approve you after your biometrics are complete.
Once we have our USCIS approval, we can send in our dossier to Boo’s country. Our dossier (official adoption application) will include our home study and USCIS approval, but also a numbers of other things like medical examinations, financial statements, birth/marriage certificates, etc. Once the dossier arrives IN country, it has to be thoroughly translated before being presented to the Central Authority. If the central authority is satisfied (sometimes they request further documents), then we are officially matched to our guy.
After match, we wait for a court date and invitation to travel. I think this timing is a little more variable. It could be four months from match to travel, or it could be six, or maybe eight. Who knows? So, he’ll be home any day now! Ha!
On the plus side, the UPS girls know our family pretty well now, and greet our children by name. So at least we are building relationships in the process! And we’ve been learning a lot through some online training, as well as a couple of great books we have started. I am definintely starting to feel like we are going into this with our eyes wide open now. Not that I was naively idealistic before, but I just didn’t know or even think about so many of the issues we are learning about. I’m so thankful for the knowledge, and it’s helping me be a better Mama to my beautiful babes home now.
Sorry for the boring update! We are slowly working toward the finish line. Thanks for caring about us!!