Our Adoption Journey

Location: Kokomo, Indiana, United States

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yesterday we had our homestudy. IF you haven't read our previous posts, this is a home visit and interview by a licensed adoption social worker to make sure we are good candidates for adoption and that our home is safe and child-friendly.
Alisha was very anxious about having the house inspected, so she had her mom come over and help clean the house from top to bottom, and I got to spend much of my Saturday giving my office a much-needed cleaning. Real estate creates a huge amount of paperwork, so I put my new file cabinet to good use.
We didn't know what to expect from the homestudy, but it turned out to be a recap of the questions we had already answered when we typed up our autobiographies. We ended up with a very friendly social worker, so that made us both more relaxed. We first met Jenny when we went to an adoption seminar in Columbus, OH. We will meet with her two times after we adopt as well. She helped make the process seem painless, and she told us that we had passed before she left so we wouldn't have to worry about it. She spent about three hours at our house, and then we rushed off to church.
Now we are in a holding pattern as we need the completed homestudy evaluation to turn into Citizen and Immigration Services (CIS). They will give us an appointment to be fingerprinted, and then it will take a month or so to get our document giving us permission to adopt internationally. After that our adoption agency mails our documents all over the place to get them notarized, authenticated, and copied so we can submit the completed package (the Dossier) to China. Once we do that, we will be looking at 8-12 months before we get the girls.
Most of what we have to do now is wait. I think that will be much harder, as for the first couple of months we have been kept busy running around town, making calls, faxing and emailing, and mailing documents.
Keep us in prayer as we finish the last few steps.
Gary and Alisha

Friday, March 10, 2006

Short Update

Last week we finished our three page autobiographies, and now we have scheduled our official homestudy. Our social worker, Jenny, is coming to our home Tuesday, March 14 for our three hour meeting. We are trying to get everything done as quickly as possible, but some things are beyond our control. We will keep you posted about the homestudy.

Gary and Alisha

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wednesday's Adventure

March 1st was a busy day. After teaching two periods in the morning, I took the afternoon off to go to the Citizenship and Immigration offices in Indianapolis. I arrived there at 1:30, and after being searched and "wanded" by security, I was allowed in. While waiting I saw about 25 police cars and motorcycles converging on the same building down the road. Not sure what was going on there, but it made the wait to speak with someone less monotonous.

As you can imagine, submitting this government form (a thorough background check to make sure we are good candidates for adoption) required much hoop jumping. It seemed like everyone I spoke with had a different opinion about what forms we needed, if copies were ok, and when we should submit the forms. Everything seemed to go smoothly when I turned everything in. We are waiting for our homestudy (social workers visit us to make sure we are good candidates for adoption and that our home is not a health hazard) to be completed, and that leads us to the second part of our day.

Before the home study can be completed, we had to meet with the social workers who are completing it. Their offices are north of Fort Wayne, about a two hour drive from us. After leaving the Immigration offices at 1:50, I drove home to pick up Alisha so we could get to Fort Wayne by 5PM. We made it, although we were a little late due to missing a turn. Everything went smoothly, and they gave us some homework to do before they come and meet with us at our home. We have to answer about 70 questions about our personalities, childhood, education, church involvement, married life, and how we interact with children. It's pretty extensive.

Hopefully we will get those assignments turned in this week so we can schedule our home study for next week. Once we get that done and they get their report finished, we have to submit the homestudy to Immigration, then they set up a fingerprinting appointment, and then they process our application to adopt a foreign child. Phew! Most of the process is a patience-testing waiting game.

Well, we need to get our homework done, so we'll talk to you soon.

Gary and Alisha