This blog update is beyond late. I know that and I can only apologize. I've posted over and over in my mind and yet nothing has made it to this page. Things has been beyond challenging getting the paperwork together for the "dossier" to go down for Melissa's adoption. The dossier is basically the collection of required documents, letter,
What I did not appreciate fully or at all was how different it is state to state. Apparently, in my great state of Alabama, by the time you complete all the state level requirements for an international adoption you can also apply for sainthood I am convinced.
For example, the "homestudy". For some this may involve a meeting with the social worker and a visit to your home. Ours involved 4 meetings including detailed autobiographies, 2 hr interviews with each of us by the social worker, criminal history investigations by the FBI and ABI (Alabama Bureau of Investigation), child abuse history clearance and our home visit. Oh wait, don't forget the 4 hours of interviews by a psychologist. Alrighty then...you would think that any child abuse charges we may have had would show up in the FBI & ABI checks but no...must check that separate as well.
I have joked that our rectal probes are scheduled for next week. I'm just waiting to hear that is no joke.
We jumped into our homestudy with gusto. By the second week of March, fingerprints were submitted for our criminal history investigation. In about 2 weeks, we got Jack's clearance letter. Yay!
Then we waited...
No one I called could tell me where in process my fingerprints sat. After SIX WEEKS, finally someone was able to tell me that neither of the first 2 sets of fingerprints had ever left the FBI and a new set of prints were going to be needed.
Six weeks to tell me that? Grrrr............
So within 24hrs of that phone call, I had a 3rd and 4th sets of fingerprints overnight to the processing company. 3 days later they confirmed the receipt (again grrrrr...) and I was told they still didn't look like they'd be useable but they'd "try".
Hello?!?! I repeatedly explained that there was a child's life pending this, but it would seem that nothing stirs these people. Each day I just prayed that we would continue to get good reports regarding Melissa's stability and each day the Lord did provide.
Another 3 weeks passes and FINALLY success. I received the letter.
It is official.
I am not nor have I ever been a criminal.
Good to know. Also good to know that apparently if I decided to become a criminal my prints would not be traceable. ;)
So, all things completed and home study gets done. Yippee!!!
Let me interject at this point that the home visit was quite stressful. Imagine preparing for someone to come into your home to determine you and your family's suitability to adopt a child. In the course of that week, there was a moment when the girls' bickering led me to think the social worker may decide to take a few of our kiddos instead of bestow one to us. My husband was tickled with the brief few days of having an immaculate home until the kids returned it to our normal state of chaos.
So, the last week of April I was blessed to head back to my other home and see my baby girl. It was wonderful and I traveled with a beautifully knitted team to serve for a week in whatever capacities were deemed important.
I'll share the trip with you in the next blog but if you are interested, check out some of the team's blogs and thoughts:
For those waiting for a glimpse of our growing baby girl, here it is: