We had our first home study appointment/visit/interview this week and it went very well.
Just to be transparent and help others understand exactly what all of this entails, here is what our journey has looked like thus far:
- Choose an agency. There are many out there and much to consider but we believe we have found in ours, Lifeline Children's Services, a perfect fit for our family.
- Apply to the agency.
- Receive approval and packet of information regarding the Ethiopia program. This packet includes lots of information about our child's birth country as well as many, many forms that will be completed, oftentimes notarized, etc. In addition, there are educational requirements and did I mention forms?
- Because our agency is out-of-state, we needed to find and apply with a Home Study Agency as well. We chose Adoption Assistance, Inc. and applied with them. They also require lots of paperwork (some of the paperwork is the same as the agency's and, thankfully, we are able in some instances to kill two birds with one stone).
- Next, we had lots of signing and initialing to do to make our agreement with Lifeline official.
- We began reading two required books, "The Connected Child" and "Adoption Parenting".
- We had our first (of two) home study appointments with Adoption Assistance. Our Social Worker met with us here in our home and spoke with us collectively as a family and independently. She also toured our home and made sure that we met some basic safety/security requirements for our future addition.
And in case you're wondering just what kind of forms I'm talking about, there are things like letters from your employers and your bank, health forms from your doctors, recommendation letters, copies of utility bills, birth certificates, marriage licenses....I even had to prove that the dogs are up to date on their shots. Then there are things like questionnaire's, family trees, community trees, autobiographies, written testimonies, etc. It's a long but necessary list and it felt really good to get the first installment of those out the door.
And now we're working on installments number 2 (for Lifeline) and 3 (for our dossier) side by side.
I'll keep you posted.
Oh...and t-shirts will be on sale by week's end. Exciting!