Mountain of Paperwork: The Next 5-6 Months
Right now, Andrew and I are climbing the "mountain of paperwork." This includes the following documents (most of which have to be notarized) which we will be compiling over the next several months:
- a homestudy ( about a six week process)
- an inspection of our home by a fireman
- documents showing we have had parenting and adoption training
- blood work and forms signed by a medical doctor to show we are physically healthy and capable of parenting
- a mental exam and forms signed by a psychiatrist to show we are mentally healthy and capable of parenting
- documentation of our finances
- birth certificates and marriage license in triplicate
- power of attorney for our adoption agency
- FBI Criminal History Clearance
- Child Abuse Clearance
- Photos of our family and home
- USCIS form i800a (approval from immigration to adopt so that our children will become US citizens)
- and more...
Plateau of Waiting
Next Andrew and I will travel a vast "Plateau of Waiting." To me, this will be even harder than the all paperwork. There will be nothing I can do to speed up our adoption, only wait. I confess, I am not very good at waiting.
During this phase, we will be on a waiting list of people requesting to adopt from Bulgaria. Orphans are matched up to families, based on what type of child the family requested (gender, age, special needs, siblings or single child, etc.) Our adoption agency tells us that we can expect a wait from 6 -18 months to be matched with a healthy sibling group age 5 and under. (The more open families are to a broad range of characteristics in a child, the shorter there wait will be. The wait for special needs, older children, and boys is shorter because more children with these characteristics are available for adoption. The wait is longer for healthy children, very young children, and girls because more people are requesting children with these characteristics.)
The Final Part of the Journey: Traveling by Emotional Roller Coaster!
This part of the journey will begin once we receive our referral matching us to our children. I think the last part of our adoption journey will feel like we are traveling by roller coaster! There will be emotional highs and lows.
We will travel to Bulgaria twice. First, to meet our children and officially accept their referral. Then we will come back home while the Bulgarian government processes our adoption. This part of the journey will be so hard, I now. We will meet our children and then have to leave them in the orphanage, just to wait again.
After the paperwork is processed, we will travel to Bulgaria a second time - this time to bring our children home! On this trip, we will officially become parents. We will have reached out destination!
How I Feel About All This...
I am loving it and not loving it.
Loving it because, we are going to be parents and give two children a home! That is so exciting to me! Part of me wants to savor and remember every step along the way to parenthood!
And I am not loving it because, this will be such a long journey. Sure, I know there will be times when it will feel like we are really traveling quickly. But other times it will feel like we are trying to wade though a mile of quick sand. Sometimes, I just wish we could arrive at the destination without having to make the long journey. I wish we could receive a referral for our children today and fly to Bulgaria next week to meet our kids.