Saturday, December 18, 2010

Swallowed By Paperwork

Or, at least that is how I feel right now.  We've been busy around here collecting, preparing, filing paperwork.  I believe that I personally have killed at least 20 trees...All of this work is either prepping for the home study (more on that later) or for our dossier.  
What we've completed so far:
-certified copies of our birth certificates 
-certified copy of our marriage license
-statement of our finances from our CPA because Peter is self-employed
-filed for our criminal checks
-photos of our family printed
-power of attorney letter drawn up
-Letter of Obligation
-copies of our passports (we'll probably have to get our renewed, though-they expire of May 2012)
-statement of non-employment, and reason, for me

What we still need to do:
-Confirm our home study agency
-notarize EVERYTHING
-Hague training (10 hours)
-Self Awareness Quiz through CHI
-Reference letters (3)
-Complete course on Adopting from African Countries through CHI
-1 million other things I'm forgetting

Seems like a lot, doesn't it?  I guess that is why they say this part of the process takes 3-6 months!  By the way, did you know that Quincy is not really part of the state of Illinois?  It may as well be its own country for all I know.  We're having such a hard time selecting our home study agency!  Our adoption agency doesn't have a license to complete home studies in Illinois anymore so we were given a list to select one for ourselves.  Man, I'm telling you it is discouraging...there are no agencies capable of completing a home study in Quincy and not many people willing to travel here.  We've been left with 3 choices, Baptist Services, Catholic Charities or Lutheran Family Services.  Our choice is largely going to come down to time to get this completed-the Baptists and Catholic Charities require you to be foster care licensed (can take between 4 and 6 months!!!) before they'll begin the home study process.  At one time, adopting from Ethiopia would have required us to become foster care licensed, but since the in-country visit rules have changed, we no longer need the license.  Lutheran Services are a lot more expensive but they don't require the license for Ethiopian adoptions and can get to us in January (hopefully).  So, in the interest of time, we're thinking of going with the Lutheran Services.  I cannot wait to have all of our portions completed and be a "waiting" family-seems like a long way off.

By the way, Peter added a "donate" button to the blog if you feel inclined to donate to the adoption.  We're still working out our t-shirt details (Peter may change his design 10 more times if I let him)-hopefully we'll have some ready to order soon!  

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