I just thought I'd write a little progress report on what we've been accomplishing so far. I actually feel like we're getting somewhere!
One of the first things we need complete is our homestudy. For this, our assigned social worker conducts a series of interviews with us, and also inspects our home to make sure it is safe for the child we are hoping to adopt. The process also involves a large collection of documents (copies of birth certificates and marriage license, personal references, medical clearances, letters from employers, background checks, etc). At the end, a large report of all the findings is written up, along with an official recommendation that we be allowed to adopt the child. We were told that the homestudy process takes about 3-6 months.
So, we had our initial interview with our social worker a few weeks ago, and today she came to our house for the home visit. She is very comfortable and easy to work with, so that really put us at ease! It made for a pleasant (rather than nerve-wracking!) visit. I was thankful for that. She focused a lot on our kids, chatting with them and asking them easy-natured questions. In return, they eagerly showed her around our house, and pointed out all the "important" things -- their toys, bunk beds, bikes in the basement, etc. Oh, and the leaky toilet (Oh joy!).
Anyway, at the end of the visit, she said that she needed to meet with Jordan and me each separately, for one more interview. After that, as long as we collected all the documents we needed to, she would be ready to write it all up and complete the homestudy! So, barring any big snags, we are looking at finishing the whole deal in about 3 weeks. That puts us at about a 6 week homestudy, from start to finish. This is a far cry from the 3-6 months we were told to expect! This makes us very happy. :) Our social worker is lovely and understands that we want to get things done as soon as we can! We are very thankful for her.
In the meantime, we're working on getting all of our documents in order. Tomorrow, we will head to the county clerk's office to get our passport applications in, and then to the police station to order our background checks and get fingerprinted.
Things we have already done:
- Obtained 47 certified copies each of our birth certificates and marriage license (okay, not quite 47...but you get the idea)
- Poured our hearts and souls out for the "autobiography" section of the homestudy paperwork. (Seriously, no stone is left unturned! There are no secrets. Haha.)
- Gone to our doctor's office to get physicals and medical forms filled out
Officially: "Ms. Bethany Whiteley and Mr. Jordan Whiteley are free of any chronic diseases that would impair their ability to care for an adopted child." YAY!
This is turning into quite a journey! :)