We finally had our home visit with our social worker this past Saturday! It went really well and I’m relieved to have that part completed. When we first started this process, the plan was to complete all the paperwork as quickly as possible. Things changed a bit when I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of this year. It’s exciting / overwhelming / crazy / amazing to be planning for two babies at once. The revised plan is to get Baby #1 ( a boy) birthed in August, and then Baby #2 will join us in late 2014 or early 2015. We’ll have to update our home study after #1 is born, and again after we move in May / June of next year, when ND gets his residency assignment. There are lots of changes coming our way!
One of the reasons we decided to work with our placement agency is because of their policies regarding pregnancy. As I’ve mentioned, once we send our completed dossier to Ethiopia, and get on the waiting list, we’ll continue to move up the list, even while our status is “inactive”, due to me being pregnant or having a newborn at home. We want the arrival of each of our children to be different and special, and I think having them at least a year apart gives us a better chance of achieving that goal. We do have to make one change to our paperwork now, because our apartment only has two bedrooms. The state of California does not allow two children of opposite sexes to share a bedroom, so for now, our paperwork will say that we’re adopting a boy. We will be amending that later, to reflect our desire to have a little girl.
So what happens now? We have a few things to complete on our end before our home study can be completed. I need to take an infant CPR class, and we both need to complete an online course on Hague compliance. (Ethiopia is not a Hague country, but all adoptive parents are still required to take this class) After that, we submit our I-600A and home study to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for approval. Then, we get fingerprinted… again. After receiving USCIS approval, we can submit all remaining forms (our dossier) to our placement agency in Utah. I am hoping to have a spot on the waiting list by June, but that might be overly optimistic. Realistically, I’ll be satisfied if we’re on the list by the time #1 is born.
If you’re thinking, ‘Man, all of this paperwork, these appointments, this bureaucracy! That can’t be fun’, you’d be correct. It’s time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating. But these are the rules, and this is how it’s done. I choose to believe that this system is in place to protect orphans from trafficking and exploitation. You have to *really* want to do this, it’s not for the faint of heart. And I’m 100% sure that it’s worth it. It’s so exciting to think of our two children together. A big brother and a little sister. Each coming in their own time, just as it should be.