Last week our adoption agency called to let us know our homestudy was ready. Woohoo!! This paper pregnancy stage of adoption is daunting. Imagine yourself in your first months of pregnancy when you have little to show for your growing family. No growing belly or pregnancy glow. You unwillingly hop onto a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. There are moments throughout the day where you question the success of your pregnancy and the health of your baby. The early process of adoption is very similar in many ways. Like a physical pregnancy, you unwillingly hop on that emotional rollercoaster, but the difference is that this emotional ride doesn't have an exit date. Your adoption could take 12-24 months from start to finish, and that is simply a guess. You see, with pregnancy you will be snuggling that sweet baby in your arms in 9 months. Loving her. Keeping her safe. Caring for her. I do not know when I will hold my girl in my arms- this is a hard truth. It sends my heart into my stomach to know that my girl is not with her forever family. She is in an institution or at best she is with a foster family. It is likely that she is fed limited times a day, not consoled when she cries, and has never known the physical love of a mama. When your paperwork is sitting on a desk for weeks on end waiting for a stamp of approval these are the things that we think of at night. These are the things that give us an indescribable sense of urgency.
Today, we recieved our homestudy paperwork in the mail. One copy of our homestudy needed to be sent to Texas to begin approval with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. We had an envelope ready and zipped it down to the post office to get it on its way.
In a nutshell, a homestudy is your family's biography in writing. Think details about your childhood, adulthood, marriage, and children along with financial statements, employment letters, and psychological evaluations. Not to mention letters from the veterinarian, well water testing, physicals for adults and children, insurance verification, marriage certificates, ect.
You are assigned a social worker who interviews you for a minimum of six hours. In our case, one 2 hour interview was at our house. She inspecited our house, interviewed our children individually, and interviewed Brian and I. The night before our homestudy my awesome from Lyndsay came over to help me get the house ship shape.
Our second interview was near her hometown of Bothel. Brian and I stopped for milkshakes to celebrate on the way home. Our third and final interview was back in Cashmere again. After our inerviews our social worker spent a couple weeks writing our homestudy and getting it approved by our adoption agency.
So here we are, with the ball in the court of the a government agency at this point. We wait for approval from the USCIS and an invitation for another set of fingerprints. I am guessing this process will take a couple of months, then our dossier will be off to China to be logged into their system and begin the wait to be matched with our daughter.
And these summer nights continue to pass.
I am so grateful to have the summer months to focus solely on my 4 beautiful children but my heart is also aching for my daughter in china.
This process could easily be described as hoop jumping. With each hoop we are one step closer to our sweet girl and that certainly makes each jump worth it a million times over.
I will not leave you as an orphan, I will come for you. John 14:18