September 15, 2009

Approved Again!

We FINALLY received our approval letter from USCIS in the mail today! What's interesting though is that I wasn't nervous whatsoever before opening it. No "what if we didn't get approved" thoughts or anything.

If you've ever been to college, you remember that feeling of getting your college packet in the mail. It's nerve wracking opening the beautifully, embossed envelope and pulling out that first sheet of paper, looking for the words that (at the time) were going to change your life. I supposed it wouldn't be sent with the uber-nice envelope though if you were being denied.

Case in point, our approval letter came in a normal, boring envelope. CIS must be up to their ears in immigration paperwork, they don't care to make anything special of what they sent to residents.

Our application is good until March 2011 and our fingerprints are good until November 2010. Of course if we make any changes, then we're subject to having to resubmit to have them reconsider our application. Hopefully that's not necessary.

So after this Saturday, which consists of a trip to the bank to get our letter notarized, we will officially be done with our journey through adoption paperwork! And we wait.....

September 01, 2009


I had my first "adoption dream" the other night. Sounds silly to say that we've been in this process for about 7 months and it's the first one that I've had. Rather, it's more like the first dream that made our process feel real.

There wasn't much to it really. I was traveling without John and I just happened to be walking along and found my "son". I don't recall where specifically I was but I remember that he was from Nepal and he was about 2-3 years old. We made our way through his little village - and then I woke up.

Like I said, not much to it. But I'm holding onto that dream until we actually do bring our kid home.

And no, we don't qualify yet to adopt from Nepal. In case you were wondering...

June 18, 2009


Long time since my last post....I know. I kind of fell into this writing slump since nothing was really happening for a while. Which the next chapter of the adoption process is going to be a whole lot more waiting.

It's sad but true that when nothing is happening you almost forget that you're going through this process. I guess in some ways that's good b/c it means we're not overtly anxious and frustrated that nothing is going on, but at the same time we're still passionate about what we're trying to accomplish.

All that to say....WE'RE GLADNEY APPROVED!

We got the email last week and they sent us our official approval packet. So many people have been telling me that Gladney is the most difficult agency to get approved through. To be honest, I don't know what they're talking about. Not once have I felt that we wouldn't be approved. Whether that's God or just straight up confidence (or probably a little bit of both), I'm glad to finally get the news!

So now what this means is that we have one more "entity" to be approved by and that's CIS - Immigration. A copy of our homestudy was sent to them for approval and now all we do is wait for them to tell us when we go get fingerprinted. In the meantime, we do have a few more items to get straightened out with our dossier ppwk. Early last week we sent in all of our ppwk to Kate and there were a few pieces that needed tweaking. Not too bad, if I must say.

Looking at the "finish line", everyone still says that we're looking at anywhere from 1-2 years until placement, but God knows where our boy is and I'm comfortable waiting for when he shows up. Meanwhile, John and I booked a cruise this year for our vacation since we're sure we won't be needing to travel to adopt until at least 2010. Our first stop on the cruise - Honduras! And yes, we did choose the cruise because of it. I found an independent tour agency that is highly recommended for the area that we're docking at. One thing that is special about it is that they give you a tour guide for the full day and should you wish, they'll take you to an orphanage/school to see the local children. I am ready to do it in a heartbeat when John gives the "OK". He's still not sure whether he wants to do it or not mainly b/c he doesn't think he can take the heartbreak of leaving them once we've visited. I just think the visit will make our trip and our upcoming adoption that more special b/c of the experience getting to connect with some people in Honduras.

April 21, 2009

Getting Organized Again

I'll be honest, I've been a little lazy this past week with our paperwork. But again, to be honest, it's been a nice mental break. Every piece of mail that's come in has been set aside all week until last night. I haven't made copies or faxed anything and I certainly haven't been making appointments or checking up on things like I should have been. So after a week of no paperwork, it's time to get back on track.

When I was looking over our dossier ppwk we're gathering, I was actually surprised by how little we actually have to do (for now). We both have our medical forms and also our state background checks came in the mail. Two of our three references have told me that they've written their letters and had them notarized - still waiting to hear from #3. I emailed a psychiatrist (recommended by Gladney) and I'm waiting to hear from him. Other than that, we need to get our employment letters done again and send in pics and that should be in for the first round of dossier papers.

Maybe because we're not trying to gather ppwk for three different sources (Dossier, Gladney and CIS), I feel like we're on the easy side of the beginning.

April 14, 2009

Homestudy Complete and Approved!

We had absolutely no reason to be nervous. I would say it took us less than 5 minutes to get comfortable talking to our social worker.

Bethany arrived just after 9 and we all went and sat in the living room across from the kitchen and got right to work. She looked like she was my age, something John said he wasn't prepared for. I guess when you think of a social worker some people imagine an old, uptight woman judging you for every little opinion or thing you say...just like in the movies. :) My minor in college was sociology so I had some friends going for their degree in social work - so I guess she turned out to be what I expected.

She started off asking us basic questions like why do we want to adopt, why Honduras, and our expectations of the age of the child we wanted. Then she went through our history together: How we met, things we do together, things we struggle with in our marriage, how our relationship was with family, how do we respond to stress, explain a crisis we had experienced or been thru and how we dealt with that and then sharing about some great times we've had together. From there we talked about everything from our 'support group' of friends and family to the realities (positive and negative aspects) of adopting a toddler.

We split up and she interviewed us separately - I went first. The majority of the questions I could have answered in front of John: Explain my personality and hobbies, happy and sad moments from my childhood, relationships with my dad/mom/siblings, describing my dad and mom's personalities, how am I like them and how will I be like them or not like them regarding parenting. Then she had me talk about John; what I loved about him and something I didn't love about him. That was it basically aside from a few technical questions like whether I'd been married before, etc...

John took his turn and once we were done, she just went over a couple more things and then we showed her the house. The 'tour' took maybe 5 mins...and I had cleaned my house for 2 days. :)

At the end she basically told us that she was going to approve us to Gladney! She still has to write up her report - which she said takes on average 30 days to complete. Once the first draft is done, she sends it to Gladney and they get back with her on any changes or things she left out. So all in all, it could be two months before the homestudy is officially written up and complete. I'm just glad to have the interview over!

As she was leaving we were shaking hands and I told her, "I feel like I should hug you b/c you know so much about me now!". :)

Thankfully, we had both taken the full day off from work b/c I was exhausted. John and I went and had lunch and then dropped by my doctor's office to finally pick up my notarized papers. FINALLY!

So that's it for Gladney - now we just wait!