Monday, August 30, 2004

Adoption Update

Well, here it is... a whole lot of facts and a little bit of feelings. First, the facts:

We are in the process of completing our homestudy. We are held up right now because we are trying to find one more hour of educational something that we can use to complete the required 12 hours. In addition to this educational component, the homestudy consisted of a safety inspection and two interviews by the social worker. It also included state level fingerprinting, 5 letters of reference, a fire inspection, physicals for the entire family, financial statements, biographical sketches for me and Paul, as well as a cultural heritage plan. We still have the heritage plan and my biography to write. I'm sure I missed something, but that is the jist of it.

We have also filed an adoption petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS - formerly the INS.) We just received a letter from them stating that we are to report for our biometric fingerprinting during the week of September 20. This is in Cincinnati.

In the mean time, we have begun to collect the paperwork that is required by the Chinese government. Birth and marriage certificates, letter of request to adopt, financial statements, guardian statement, physicals, employer statements, letter of clearance from local law enforcement agency, the list goes on. Each of these, of course, must be notarized and authenticated by the Secretary of State. In Ohio, authentication cannot be performed unless the documents are first county-certified. So, this will be a long and drawn out process. We also have to complete an orientation through the adoption agency.

I have no idea when all of this paperwork will be completed. When it is, it will be translated and reviewed in China. Our agency tells us that once the paperwork is sent to China, assuming we are approved, we should receive a referral in about 7 months. (Though I have heard from 2 people who would know that it has been more like 5 months.) The referral is basically a picture of the child and a report of her medical history. If we accept the referral, we would travel to China approximately 6 weeks later and stay there for 2 weeks completing the adoption.

Now, these are the basics of what we are doing. I find it funny when people ask "how's the adoption going?" I don't know if they expect us to just say "fine" (which we often do when we can tell that people don't want to give us much time for an answer.) For people who have never taken the time to listen, there is just no easy way to answer that question even on a factual basis, let alone an emotional one.

Suffice to say that there are very few people who REALLY know what is going on with us in this process - even those reading this blog. That's because the emotional aspect of all of this cannot be captured here, and I'm not so sure I would post about it all even if it could. My heart has been on a complete roller coaster in the last few months. I haven't shared it much, because, as I mentioned before, most folks seem to want the "short version" when they ask.

So, that's the update, factually speaking. I'm totally willing to share more with anyone who asks... and is willing to listen.



Post a Comment

<< Home