|A small fraction of our required reading.|
Honestly so far things have been pretty smooth sailing. I got a jumpstart on stuff by ordering official copies of birth certificates and our marriage license before we even applied to an agency. Ohio (where I was born) was lightning quick but we are still waiting on Pennsylvania to send our stuff. Last weekend I handed out reference letters for our friends to fill out and mail off for us. On Monday Mike had his physical and bloodwork and Pepper had her past due vaccinations. Today I'm pulling both kids out of school to get a tuberculosis test and get their well-check forms filled out. Today I also mailed off our passports for renewal. Next week is my physical. Mike and I each answered (in essay form) three hundred or so personal questions about our upbringing, marriage, personality, parenting style, etc etc etc... I've called and set up a meeting with a local psychologist so she can declare us mentally stable and I still have to pay a visit to the local sheriff for a letter saying we have no history with them.
Believe it or not, our bank has to write a personal letter vouching for us as a customer. So do each of our employers, our pastor and our doctors. All must be notarized. I had to send a dimensioned floor plan of our house...good thing it's new enough that our exact model could be found online! We have to put those stupid childproof outlet covers in EVERY. SINGLE. OUTLET. of our home, which in a house our size is about a billion. Thankfully they cancelled the requirement for the county health inspector and fire marshall to come out and inspect the home...our friends had to do that. Now just our social worker will fulfill that job when she comes for our home visit.
Then there's the required reading list and training. We each have to complete a ten hour online course all about intercountry adoption under the Hague convention. I hear it's pretty boring but I've been procrastinating on actually starting it. I have, however, started reading the nine books we are required by our agency to read...three we both have to read and three different ones each of us has to read. So every moment that I'm not actively pursuing paperwork or doing my actual day job or tending to my family, I'm reading adoption books. Seriously.
One thing I'm profoundly grateful for is our financial situation. Most adoptive couples are also worried about fundraising for the massive fees associated with an international adoption at the same time as they are dealing with this paperwork. We have enough funds saved to at least get us well down the road before we need to start actively working to gather up the rest of the money needed. We can't apply for grants until our homestudy is complete, and even then we won't qualify for most due to our income levels. This is a tough spot to be in, much like applying for financial aid for college. It's not like dropping 30-40K at once isn't going to be rough, even at our two very high incomes. Not to mention the fact that our church is going through a campaign at the moment that we feel very called to help with. So we're trusting that God will provide and that His timing for cash flow will work out, but I am so glad to not be super stressed over how to pay for the high upfront fees.
One thing I continue to see over and over through this...God is good. He's so incredibly good. I am beyond grateful and joyful for this opportunity, this adventure before us.