Well, a month has passed since we last posted and we’ve completed another step in the process. Becky and I just got home from a trip to Charlotte to meet the folks who work at our agency. It was a bit of a haul, but we’re glad it was something we had to do.
You see, we’ve spoken with the owners of the agency over the phone, through email and once over Skype but we have only ever met our social worker. It was very nice to meet them, shake their hand and know who it is that is helping to make this whole process happen. Everyone was very nice and they approached it with warmth but also a professionalism that is truly impressive and appreciative.
Most of the time was spent with our social worker going over the home study and helping her fill in some blanks. You might have seen the binder that we have compiled, well, most of that was stuff we needed for this meeting and the lion’s share stayed in Charlotte with them (we’ll get it back after the document is completed). It was one of the few times that I felt like I actually had my act together. The social worker would ask if we had a bit of information and we were, usually, able to pull it out and hand it over to her. In case you’re wondering what all is needed at this stage of the journey:
- Certified copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate
- A certified copy of our deed
- Copies of our monthly bills
- Letters with proof of employment
- Medical forms
- Proof of health, life, home and car insurance
- Property tax information
- Information on our mortgage
- Copies from our three references (you all rock, by the way)
- This year’s tax return
Add to that, the massive forms of social and family information, background checks in every state that we’ve lived in since we were 18 (so, NC, SC, VA, CT, and CA), proof that we have completed our adoption parenting classes and a few other things and you get an idea of how thorough this all is. In the end, this document is going to be around 22 pages, along with the documentation, and certificates that our agency has to tack on. It’s no joke.
We also left with some more homework. I have to get proof that I’m paying into the State’s retirement plan (done!). We have to hound the states of California and Connecticut to get their results from our background checks. Because of Becky’s DM and my Tourette’s, we both have to get letters from our doctors explaining our condition, its history and treatment and that we do not have shortened life expectancy and be good adoptive parents. Becky also has to get her TB shot and another copy of one of her employment letters since they didn’t type out the notary oath. Also, we have to get our fingerprints redone by the FBI since those are apparently only good for a year and, therefore, will be defunct in June. While that last little bit is a little disappointing, it really is no big deal and we’re happy to know what needs to be done. Like I said before, I like having a list to check off.
What happens after all of that? When we turn in all our homework, the home study will be submitted to the owner of the agency, when she proofs it and passes it off, it will be sent to Becky and I for our edits (things like deciding medical conditions we don’t feel we could handle, etc.). When we agree to it all, (and I could be misunderstanding some of this) we have to mail off a smorgasbord of documents to get apostilled, get our fingerprints done by USCIS (meaning a trip to Raleigh/Durham), and then I think we’ll be ready to ship our dossier off to Poland (with perhaps a stop by USCIS for their approval). Then we’re in the waiting game. On the upside of that, we’ll have a completed home study and that means we can start applying for some grants. There are some grants that prefer you to have a referral and so we’d have to wait for those but it will be nice to have something else to do as opposed to just sitting on our hands.
As always, thank you all for your continued support. We got our first check from Just Love Coffee today and every little bit helps! We’re so glad that all of you are rooting us on. We know that we are loved and that PK is going to have quite the fan base when they finally do get here!
Until next time!