We are days away from getting word that our home study is approved and finished.
Our home study includes copies of our birth certificates, lists of all of our previous addresses, background checks from every state we lived in or had utilities or bank accounts, autobiographies, several applications, several forms and agreements, doctor letter for me saying I am capable of being a parent with a minor health issue,doctrine statements, four referrals, medical reports on all of us, vaccine reports on our animals, insurance reports, life insurance, guardian letter from my sister, home inspection, personality evaluation, certificates for 10 hours of Hague training, 9 hours of International Adopt Clinic training, and about 5-6 hours of online reading/research that included talking to the International Adopt Clinic here for fees on reviewing a child file (which were um..choke..$400) and research on school systems and what our health insurance will cover and won't (for PT/OT/Speech Therapy, surgery, if necessary) DSS clearance, FBI clearance, reports from our meetings with our social worker, details on every family member,etc. I think that might be all of it.
For my friends who are still in "praying about this phase". If you are like me, once I was ready and sure, I wanted to get things moving. So, if you want to collect some of that info, I can fill you in on what you might need.
I thought it could not possibly take this long; but now I understand why. So, we are now grateful for the people who are going over the actual document with a fine tooth comb. One more person at our home study agency and then one more person at our Lifeline, our placing agency. And we will be sending another $2000 to our agency.
As soon as it is finished it will go with an I-800A request to Immigration with a fee of $900. They take 60-90 days to process this form. They will also call us in the process and send us for a biometric hand scan. We have heard the average is 65 right now, so we want to hustle!
So, right now, I'm making sure the I800A form is filled out correctly. I think it's 9 pages and has 11 pages of instructions.
We are also finalizing our Medical Openness form. I realized that I may not have officially told everyone this and hadn't even told some of our close friends merely from getting lost in my own world. In Ch**a right now, the wait for a "healthy" child is years. Right now, the greatest need in Ch**a is for children who are older (3-14) and could age out of the system (at age 14) or are considered Special Needs. Now, SN by Ch**a standards, and US definition are very different. So, we are requesting a little girl that will have some type of mild correctable "special need".
We know we are open to Cleft Lip/Palate, Extra Digit, Club Foot/Feet, ASD/VSD, etc. But, we have to be sure we fill out all the details on the form correctly so they can best match us. Right now, we are also hoping to be matched with a little girl who would be 9-12 months at referrral date (when we get matched) and then she'd be around 13-16 months when she comes home. The chances of this are slim and we will put down up to 2 years old. We also will continually evaluate this based on how long we wait, etc
However, we are going to just keep praying through this entire process and asking God to clearly show us who our daughter is. I hesitate to say exactly what we are doing because I've heard from so many people that during their adoption journey, God just re-routed them, etc. He's leading. We are following. So, we very cautiously want tell anyone what direction we think we are going in; but it's subject to change.
I do have a few secret wishes, for instance, I'd love to be matched with a child from Maio Ming orphanage, since that is Lifeline's main orphanage. I've seen videos of the kids and program there. I know that David Platt just adopted from there, etc. So, I feel connected to it. My other sort of random wish would be that we could be matched with a child who was cared for by Love Without Boundaries. Again, I know it sounds silly; but I just stare at the pictures posted on Facebook everyday and wonder if that could be our daughter. I look at the Nannies faces and the child's expression. I pray for the kids, etc. That's just my emotional side. Again, we don't want to stop listening to God during this journey: ever. But, I want to look at every face, especially the little ones and wonder if that's our daughter. I don't want to miss seeing her and knowing more about how to pray.
Back to Reality:
So, as the I800A is off, we will be doing a little more paperwork and getting ready for our Dossier to go to Ch**a. We also will be paying out portions of the other random fees (that they estimate will reach $3000-$4000 by the end of this process).
We will also be doing:
More Journey Together meetings, etc
More Journey Together meetings, etc
After our immigration comes back, we can send all of Dossier to China and another $2000 to Lifeline. The Dossier will include our immigration approval, homestudy, and more papers, etc. When it is sent to Ch**a and approved, we will be giving a lock in date (LID).
Once we are LID approved, we are ready for referrals...So, when are yelling: LID! LID! You will now know why.
And then the real waiting begins.....but at least we are a step closer.
Oh, and to date, in all of our fees and expenses and fundraising costs, we've paid out about $6600. We also have $4400 in our accounts right now (some of it came through Journey Together and some is coming directly to us). I can not believe it; but we've raised and covered $11000. Again, humbled by this. I can not tell you how much God is teaching us on giving and generosity.