July 10th, 2011
Miss Mouse is napping, Buggie is cheerfully entertaining himself with his fabric stash, and I just finished up an adoption-related email so it seemed like a good time for a quick State of the Adoption update.
We are currently in the “home study” phase of the adoption process. Basically, there are three levels of approval that you have to get to adopt. First, you have to convince a social worker that you’ll be a good parent. Then, based in part on said social worker’s recommendation, you submit paperwork to convince the US government that they should let you adopt a child. And finally, you submit more paperwork to the government of your country of choice to convince them that they should let you adopt one of their children.
We have submitted 51 pieces of paperwork to our adoption agency thus far, with another five pending (including birth certificates and child abuse clearances from the UK because I studied abroad there when I was in college!). We met last week with our social worker for the first of three formal visits that will comprise the home study.
The first was in her office and the next two will be at our home. A lot of prospective parents get really worked up about the home study and go into mad cleaning and improving binges, but I’m not that worried. We already have two healthy, happy kids — how bad could our house be?
A lot of the home study process for international adoption revolves around the issue of support networks. This is especially true for transracial adoption. So we talked about how we plan to broaden our world, how we’ll find opportunities for our child to interact with other kids who look like him/her, what resources are available to provide help to adoptive parents, etc.
It’s one of those times when I’m really happy we live in the ‘Burgh. There are so many supports in this town! From a support group of other parents who have adopted from Ethiopia to two Ethiopian restaurants to non-profits that provide free developmental screenings and therapies as needed, there’s a lot of help out there!
We’ll finish up the home study at the beginning of August so it will probably be late September or early October when we get our US approval, if I’m understanding the timeline right. Onward and upward!