Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HOME STUDY COMPLETE...ALMOST

I have wanted to write an update for some time, particularly about our adoption, but I have been so distracted by the details swirling around in my own head.  As of March 7, we have completed our home study interviews, but it will be a little while before our home study is officially complete.  For anyone wondering how the home study process went for us, well, it wasn't bad.  All in all there were four meetings we needed to complete.  The first one was in our agency's office.  And despite the fact that the heat was actually broken and we sat in a 46 degree room for two hours, it was a basic introduction about us an our home.
The rest of the meetings were all in our home.  The questions were very personal, but nothing that I wasn't comfortable talking about.  Our case worker asked us about each other, about our upbringings, about our relationships with each other's families.  She met Mason and Minnie and toured our home.  I honestly don't have a lot of thoughts about this part.  I understand that it is a necessary part of making sure we are genuine people who are cut out for adoption, and thought I wish it would go faster or involve less paperwork, it really wasn't that bad of an experience for us.  Maybe I am just plagued from the stories I hear from reading the internet and actually most people find that it isn't so bad, either?  Let me know what you think if you've been through it before.
I said we completed our home study visits, but it will actually be a little longer before our home study is complete.  Our case worker needs some time to write up her findings, first of all.  Second of all, Byron and I are required to complete 10 hours each of training.  I have actually completed all mine, but Byron still has the 10 hours to do.  (Side note - I was dreading these classes but ended up loving them.  If you need or want adoption training, talk to me!)  One of my main goals now is to make sure that he has the quality time and clean working space to focus on these and he'll hopefully complete the classes in a very short time.
Another thing that has to happen is that we all have to get physical reports from our doctors - even Mason.  Fortunately we were able to all schedule our appointments next week and it won't cause a huge delay in the process, but still, it's yet one more thing to schedule and juggle.
The last thing that gets included in our home study is yet another round of paperwork.  We have to provide proof of financial statements.  We had to get fingerprinted, and send those off for official background checks.  Because Byron lived in Arkansas for a time, we have to fill out a special form for that.  The paper trail just seems to never end.  I think that is everything that goes into a completed home study, at least to my knowledge.  I'm sure I'm missing something.  I try to maintain the attitude that if something is in our court, then we just have to keep pushing to get it done, otherwise nothing is getting done.  It has helped with my motivation through most of this, but I have gotten a little behind recently.
So what are our next steps?  Well, to my knowledge, when our home study is complete, we get to file our first official document with the Ethiopian government.  You could call it our application, I guess.  And with that, I think our clock officially starts ticking.  There are no guarantees of timing, only averages and guidelines, so I don't know how to accurately judge how long this journey will take.  In my heart, I'm praying for two years, but for now we will just wait and see and trust in God.  My small group is studying 1 Thessalonians right now, and just yesterday I found this verse:
"God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful."  1 Thessalonians 5:24
What comfort I find that through all of the unknowns that we are entering into, God holds the power in his hands and he will make this happen.  Can I get an amen?

1 comment:

jdtractr said...

I agree with you, it wasn't that bad. Maybe it was because it just felt good for SOMETHING to be happening and it felt like progress was being made. I think too it is because Bethany is just awesome and makes the whole thing enjoyable for all :) I, too, always tried to keep the ball going if it was in my court! Once you turn over the ball for the next step, it gets more difficult. Praying for you in final steps of the home study and as you move forward! God will do great things through you and your family with this process :)