Saturday, August 15, 2009

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork!

I cannot believe all of the paperwork we have to go through in the next 3 months. Sabrina has spent HOURS every single night filling out paperwork.

We have so much financial history documents that have to go to the home study agency and the adoption agency. We are trying to get a CPA to verify our income; gather our bills/expense info, tax returns, etc; and fill out our declarations to show our assets/liabilities and income/debt.

We have so many medical documents to complete. Adam and I both went to the doctor this week, and she had to fill out a two page form on our history and our ability to adopt. She also has to type a letter on our behalf to include in our dossier. Adam and I have been tested for TB, diabetes, HIV, etc., and we are waiting on all of those results before the doctor can finish this paperwork. In addition to our doctor, the boys have to go to their doctor later this month for the exact same thing!

We have so much government paperwork to fill out. We have to get our local and federal criminal history information, and we also have to go through Child Services databases to confirm we haven’t had any complaints against us. We have had our fingerprints taken, and the State will run our prints in the next few weeks. Next month, we will have our fingerprints taken again for the US Immigration Services. We have submitted adoption applications to both the state and federal courts. Once they get our fingerprint, criminal history, and home study information they will then approve or deny our applications.

If that weren’t enough, we still have so much paperwork to fill out for the adoption agency and our home study agency. Our social worker wanted us to type a 10 page autobiography - EACH! It took us 5 hours to answer all of the questions. We have also filled out a 6 page document addressing race/cultural issues and how we will/have handle(d) situations. We have a 32 page workbook that we have to go through regarding interracial adoption, and we have to answer questions on different scenarios presented.

We are waiting on our social worker to review our autobiographies and set up our initial visit. We have to spend a minimum of four hours with her, over at least two visits, before she will write our report. Once the report, and all of the other documents are in, we then have to get everything notarized --- even the page that contains photographs of our house. The notarized documents then go to the Secretary of State’s office to confirm that the notaries are valid. Then we have to ship them off to our adoption agency to be bundled and packaged into our dossier. From there they go to Washington D.C. for approval at our embassy and Ethiopia’s embassy. Once that is done, the documents FINALLY go to Ethiopia -- and then we wait for 6-12 months (closer to a 12 month wait right now) for our child referral.

Getting everything together has been quite stressful for me, but it won’t be long before the paperwork is done and the waiting begins.

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