On January 13 I finally made my announcement. Only a few of my closest friends and my family knew about the adoption prior to that. I was waiting for my home study approval before spilling the news. When I finally got the letter, I could hardly contain my excitement and took to Facebook to share it. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful support and notes of congratulations I got. It took most people by surprise but everyone was so positive and happy. It means so much to me.
I've had many people ask what's going on and what step I'm in, so I thought it would be easiest to just explain it all here.
So from start to finish- I picked my country and agency and submitted my initial application. Once that was approved, there was an agency contract to sign and return. My agency is based in Texas, but also licensed in Florida, so they assigned me a social worker to do my Home Study. She was AMAZING!!!
So, next began what is known as "the paper chase". Wow. Piles and piles of paper. Licenses, certificates, statements, multiple background checks, photocopies, originals, doctor appointments, letters, references... It was a headache. Some of the forms had to be in duplicate (or even triplicate)- one for the home study and one for the dossier. Then there was meeting the social worker in our house for an interview. After that, she completed and approved my home study.
While all of that was going on, I was also gathering the same forms (and more!) for my Dossier- my official packet that will be sent to B. That includes more contracts, licenses, background checks, family photos, my home study, and plenty more. It also will have my approval from USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration). I have to have pre-approval from them since as soon as the adoption is finalized, my child will be a US citizen. Right now, that is all I'm waiting for. The dossier is complete and ready to be sent to my agency as soon as I receive my approval from USCIS. I did my fingerprints today for that and should hopefully get my approval forms in the next two week!
After that, my dossier goes to my agency. They spend some time authenticating the paperwork (it has to go to different branches of the US government to prove that it is real) and then the papers will be sent to B. There, they will be translated and gone through again, and I will have to be approved by them to adopt one of their children. Once that happens, I wait. And wait some more. They say the wait could be upwards of three years. But B, is starting to move a little faster. So fingers crossed that it won't be that long.
And for those that are wondering, we have not specified male or female and have requested a child between the ages of 2 and 5.
I want to say thank you, once again, for the continued support. It means the world to me. This is a long and difficult process. Not a day goes by that I don't think and wonder about my child. But I know things will happen when the time is right, so I'm trying to take it day by day.