If you've been reading this blog, or if you've talked to me or Tyler in person, you know that January 2nd, 2013 was the day. The day that we would embark on our journey to become parents through adoption. We were filled with anticipation in the weeks and days leading up to the new year, because we knew that it would be a year of change.
January 2nd finally rolled around, and we had everything ready to go - we had filled out our initial application (basic personal information, statement of assets, work and residence histories, etc.). We had purchased our large manila mailing envelopes. Tyler printed the application at work, and we signed it in the car before driving to the post office.
As you can see, we were very excited to get our application in the mail. We sent it priority, so it would be delivered the next day. Then we sat back and waited for contact from the agency. The good news is they called Tyler on Friday morning. The bad news? They need ALL of our paperwork before we can go any further. Cue a flurry of writing, collecting and copying.
There are a lot of waivers and agreements that had to be signed - firearms policies, waiver of confidentiality, agreement that we are never guaranteed a placement - the list goes on and on! We also have to provide a floor plan of our house, photos of ourselves, our animals, and our house and yard. We have to have physicals with blood work, urine samples, and TB tests, as well as information from our fertility doctors about our likelihood for conceiving and any infertility diagnoses we have received. We have to provide copies of all our vital documents, including our insurance cards, driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and birth certificates.
Each of us also had to complete the home study questionnaire - the big kahuna! This is presented as a simple Word document, 7 pages (single spaced) of questions about everything under the sun - how we were nurtured as children, the personalities of our parents, how we feel about ourselves, how we handle stress, loss, and grief, how we want our children to view sex, how we plan to handle discipline. Basically any topic related to emotional development, there was a question about it. The form clearly states that one or two word answers are not acceptable, so you really have to dig deep and go into detail about every aspect of your life. In the end, I think we each ended up with a 20 page document, and that includes skipping about a page worth of the questions, which are only for those planning to adopt from foster care. It took Tyler about 6 or 7 hours total to complete his questionnaire, which he did in two sittings on one day. I worked on mine for a few hours for 3 or 4 days before reaching completion.
We have almost completed all of this paperwork - thank goodness! We still need to schedule our physicals and take a few pictures, but otherwise we are pretty much done. Once we mail in all of these materials, we will be connected with our social worker, who will get us scheduled for our two-day educational seminar and all of our home study interviews, in which we will discuss the contents of our questionnaires and anything else the social worker needs to know.
As always, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue our journey toward parenthood. It isn't an easy road, but we know it will be 110% worth it when we finally hold our baby in our arms.