Thursday, November 10, 2016

Referral waiting

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

We are waiting with anticipation for the wonderful referral call.
I know that at some point our agency will probably call to just check in and I am a little bit dreading that and trying to prepare myself that just because I see the number does not mean it is our referral. I have already told the hubby to be prepared if that happens for me to be totally unproductive the rest of the day!  The excitement...the adrenaline...the let down.  

On the other hand, every single day, I think...they might call with our referral today!  No matter what is happening it is such a happy thought to think, today we might know who are daughters will be.  The day passes no call. It is so frustrating and not unlike waiting to go into labor. The baby can't stay inside forever...IT WILL COME OUT!! Similarly we will get a call but the timeline could be hours...days...months....who knows.

Thus far we have done pretty well being positive and optimistic.  With the Holidays fast approaching and being so busy it is easier to put aside adoption anxiousness and focus on other tasks.  I both appreciate and loathe when folks ask us how the adoption is going.  I first thank them for asking.  It is thoughtful.  Then, I do a quick mental debate on sarcasm, blowing it off, full on venting...the options are endless.  Nothing has happened. Our dossier is in Colombia. We were told we would not get a call after it went to Commity on Oct. 10th.  Thus not hearing it was sent back implies it is in the system waiting to be matched with OUR daughters.  The ones destined to become part of our family.  Not just any match...not just hurry up...but come together in its perfect time.

 This leaves me with the unexciting update of, 'they have our Dossier, they will match us.'  The end.  That really is it.  Getting into a hypothetical debate with someone on getting a call today vs. next Wednesday, vs.  4 months from now is not helpful. On the contrary I have found it to be frustrating.  It is easier to live in our happy bubble of optimism then have to discuss the myriad possibilities with folks (ones we have run through ourselves at least 4 dozen times), only to end with, 'so that is what is happening.  Nothing yet.'

We realize it will be nothing until BAM!!! We have a referral and life will be insane and stressful and exciting and we will be moving forward again with the entire process. Until then life continues on.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Anniversary and Commity Day!

October 10th is a Great day in my family...first and foremost because it is the day my parents got married.They had a great marriage full of love and commitment.  Even though my mom passed away I still think of this day and their love and the many silly anniversary dinners and decorations I used to make as a kid.  It will always be a good day to me.
This year...the banner day also marks the day our Dossier is reviewed IN Colombia.  Yes, that means a few things have happened and blogging the when and how makes me hope that in retrospect I will be able to remember and relate the process.

Keeping in mind we filed on January first of 2016 with all our completed paperwork for the application and homestudy...this is where we are at after ten months.

Homestudy Delay: 
Sadly, our homestudy took a lot longer than they predicted.  Not only was it not 3 to 4 months, it was almost six. Yup, six months.  This is for a lot of reasons, none of which have to do with us. First and foremost our agency did not seem to be that on top of things. They lost the referral letters somehow and retequested for them.  Several folks we asked to do them contacted us and told us they had been asked again. They were worried they had somehow done it wrong, but nope.  The agency just lost them and didn't really admit it to us or them.  Strike one.
Strike two was they failed to send the background check paperwork in a timely manner. It took them almost 8 weeks from our application to actually get those out.  Not so good when it will takes to get back from each state.
Strike 3 was our Psychology report. Our doctor was a sweetheart who also homeschooled and was just a joy to talk to.  Even now, when we see him around he asks if we have any updates on the Adoption. He is excited for us too!! Sadly, no one told us that this needed to be included in the homestudy. We would have started it sooner had we known that. We did not. That might not have been the biggest deal, but then our Doctor was taken very ill and it was delayed another couple weeks between that and changes to wording our agency wanted.
Color us frustrated. Our personal expectation was that our whole Dossier with homestudy would be submitted by June...we didn't even get the Homestudy portion until JULY!! We then had to have it apostilled for Colombia.

Dossier submission and Translation!! 
Finally, with the receipt of our Homestudy we were able to have it Apostilled and submitted the whole thing to our agency for translation in August while we applied for Immigration.  Bones and I started a Novena to pray for the progress of it all.  The day after we finished our Novena we got our Immigration approval back.  Score!!!   That was a real plus!!

We then of course had to go though the lovely process of getting a statement from us notarized saying the Government form is what we say it is. Then send that to the Government for an apostille to validate that we validated that what they sent us is real.   SERIOUSLY YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!! It's mind boggling the money and time wasted to say what the GOVERNMENT sent us is real and we say it is and they agree.

I do fully understand the need to protect children and the legalities involved in adoption.  The forms and notaries and apostilles get old.  I understand why they exist.  The last one, however, seems like the most extreme example of overkill in the whole process thus far.  You have to laugh at the redundancy your you'd go insane.

Submission to Colombia:
We finally know our full Dossier with translation and immigration approval was sent to Colombia

Nov 2015-  Officially decide to go for International Adoption in Colombia and finalize our Agency choice.
Jan 1st 2016- Contract with both our Homestudy Agency and Our adoption Agency.  We sent them all paperwork at the same time and started compiling Documents.
Jan- April  A whole lot of fingerprints and responding to extra questions or getting apostilles.
July -1st- Finally Receive Notarized Homestudy and turn it around in mail to get apostilled.
July 13th- Mail Immigration Paperwork,
August 15th - Immigration Approval Received
September 16th-  Dossier and Translation Officially Shipped to Colombia
October 10th- Our Dossier is scheduled to be reviewed by the Commity in Colombia  (last update was we would not hear anything after this for at least a couple weeks)

Baring any problems...We now wait for our Referral!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

California Homestudy for International Adoption and Group Projects

We are in the final phase of our homestudy...getting it approved!  Eeck!

I thought I would not be a basket case about paperwork. In fact, we totally rock the paperwork. We had appointments and our own paperwork scheduled and done in no time!  It was waiting on everyone else that is super frustrating.

Scheduling a social worker, waiting for those days to come, waiting on the write up etc. Ugh.  It feels like one giant group project where I was so excited and did my portion quickly and now am waiting on everyone else. THIS is the kind of reason people hate group projects. None the less I need those letters reports etc. I did my part and we are trying to be patient. To remember each day is it's own wonderful new day and things will happen with time.

On a plus side, each time we got a referral letter back it was a joy to read and a bit humbling as well. People said so many amazing things about us and our family I felt like I was getting one of those warm fuzzies back in school.  I'd be all stressed out and then I'd get a breathe of fresh air as a new one would come back in the  mail. I asked them this favor and got such a huge reward of a beautiful recommendation in return.  I know they were all happy to do it but it did feel a teensy bit selfish...come on folks write how awesome we are are~!

We now are down to literally just the homestudy write up and the Apostilles to come back.
Our CA homestudy was easy peasy. The only recommendation I read online was a very good detailed approach from a lady doing one for Foster care. We are not doing Foster Adoption (and no we asked but the county won't work with us BECAUSE we are military. True story. We asked!  Many of our friends were told the same.)  Anyway, her posts on it were super informative and I was pretty worried because we were given ZERO guidelines for the first appointment.
How do you prepare with no guidelines. Come on folks...where is my grading rubric!! My inner teacher was freaking out.

I didn't have to worry. I keep a very clean and organized house. Due to the fact we have a specific age range and no match, nor the need to be matched via the Foster Care system we were all good. Our house passed first visit.  HOORAY!!

What are we waiting for now. Well, we had additional visits for interviews with us and the kids.  The kids didn't really have to say much.  They hung around us the whole time anyway so I think he got a good feel for them already, then just asked them a few basic questions about how they felt about adoption and about themselves.

Bones and I had more detailed questions but for the most part we were just chatting with a friend.  Nothing to worry about, just like they tell you.

What's the hold up..  They tell us now we wait for the whole report to be written up. We expect news any minute (  We will get to see the report and the homestudy company as well as our adoption agency will both have to approve it before it gets that final signature and notary.  Ugh.  Apparently, sending it person to person could take weeks, plus I need the Apostille. I am praying that the last few weeks of meticulousness to finish the report will mean we pass the Colombian seal of approval first look. No additional changes needed.

I'm not sure how I will feel about waiting once the dossier is submitted. I'd like to think more positive since we all will have  done are part and will hopefully be contacted with a match, but maybe I'm kdding myself and I'll be just as anxious.  I suspect, despite my optimism, that I'm kidding myself and I'll be just as anxious.