Friday, February 19, 2010

The baby B Update

Baby B 2

Whew - it's totally been awhile since I've mentioned this crazy, hairy process we're in. But I get asked about it all the time, and I figure that you all might be curious, too.

And by the way, THANK YOU for asking. And for your excitement. And for your prayers. No, there's no "belly proof" that we're bringing a baby into our family. There's no specific timeline. No one can buy itty bitty outfits, because no one knows how big he'll be. And his looks? Who knows? He could look Scandinavian, Chinese, Gypsy, or anywhere in between. Oh, and we don't even know for sure that he is a he.

But it warms my heart to think that our friends and family are so thoughtful and supportive. We're really excited about this baby around here, and are thankful that the community around us is, too.

Okay, back to the update.

1. Paperwork.

Yes, there is an overwhelming amount of paperwork. Everyone warned us about that. But I was under the impression that we would just sit down, fill out a zillion forms, and send them in. And that then we'd be done.

Not so much.

For some forms, we did just fill in a bunch of [highly personal] information regarding our income, assets, health, and family history. But for others, it was much more of a process. Like applying with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. We sent in an application, got verification that it was received a week later, and then a week after that received a date and time for a fingerprinting appointment. Then two weeks after that headed downtown on a Wednesday morning to get fingerprinted. And now we're still waiting on our final "OK" which will officially say that the U.S. government will allow us to adopt a foreign orphan.

2. The Homestudy

Here in Ohio we have two homestudy visits. I think in other states you just have one. Not sure why different states have different rules.

In any case, our two social worker visits are now complete.

As much as I'm irked by some of the hoops we have to jump through for this process to be complete, the homestudy visit part was actually quite nice. Our social worker was sweet, goodnatured, and understanding. And it was obvious from the first that she wasn't there to look for reasons to "fail" us. No white glove treatment to the house - thank goodness! No expectations of flawless parenting - whew!

Basically, she was an ally in all of this.

She simply collected all kinds of information about us and our home. Yes, she did verify that we take out our trash - and mentioned just how ridiculous she feels that question is, too!

It was a breath of fresh air.

She has recently typed up a big document that includes all of the information she collected while meeting with us in addition to what was in our [you guessed it] homestudy paperowrk. The final homestudy will be sent with a bunch of other information to the Russian government. This is called the dossier. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

3. The Fire Department Inspection

Um, we failed our first one.

Prior to visit #1 we went through the checklist. We put up smoke alarms on the two floors otherwise missing them. We covered up all of our outlets. Yes, even though we won't have a child living here for many months. We bought a fire extinguisher. And we wrote out an evacuation plan. As in, "if upstairs in the bedroom, walk down stairs and out front door."

And why did we fail? Well, the evacuation plan needed to be a floor plan diagram. Instead of a written plan. Because the 14-month old child will be able to read a floor plan better than a written plan, right? *sigh*

Thankfully we passed on round #2.

So where does that leave us?

I think the end is in sight. I'm hopeful that we can submit our dossier to Russia by the end of March. Sooner would be great. We have more paperwork to fill out. More doctor sign-off's to get. More documents to get notarized. But we're close. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And then?

Who knows? We could wait 6 months for our referral. We could wait 18. We're hoping for the former. But that is 100% out of our hands.

And 100% in the Lord's.

Remind us of that, okay?

So there we have it. Once that dossier is submitted we're going to A) celebrate and B) start working on the baby's room. You know how we love home projects!


Marcia said...

Yay and Wow and Amazing, and we'll be waiting alongside of you :)

Phillip said...

did Josh have to mention he is a Lions fan? I can imagine that hurts the chances at least a little... In seriousness, glad things are at least moving forward and that spirits are high.

Mike and Rebecca said...

Thanks for the update! Praying for your patience over the next months.

Erika said...

Hang in there, Josh. One day this will all be worth it :)

Erika said...

Whoops, I wrote Josh for some reason, I meant Jess :)

amy and kevin said...

Finishing up the homestudy is huge progress - congrats! I'm not sure if it was a state requirement or just the way our SW liked to do it, but we had 3 meetings (one for me, one for my husband, and one together). Hopefully your adoption will be completed without having to get the homestudy updated - we needed the update in between trips since our process took so long. Hopefully y'all will be registered in Russia SOON!

Lynn said...

Glad you are now fire ready. Who makes up these crazy rules anyway?!? If you had plastic arrows on your floor pointing out the exit route, a 14 mo would pick them up to chew.

Congratulations on these next steps!