I've gotten a couple questions about how the adoption process is going and so I thought I'd insert a quick post here about that.
I had fully intended to get everything done for the home study before I left for South Africa. They call this part of the process the "paperchase" and better words have never been spoken! The first few documents we got completed with very little trouble. Then came the doctor forms. For China, you really have to have a full physical with lots of labs to prove you are healthy enough to adopt from there. I knew I would have no problem since I'm healthy, but Steve's garden variety of health problems could be interesting.
I mean, I knew from prior conversations with our agency that his problems shouldn't hinder us from adopting, but there's just a lot of documentation that has to go along with any surgeries or prescription medications that are being taken. Because his endocrinologist knows quite a bit about his medical history, we started there. After 3 weeks of having the form and the VERY DETAILED instructions on how to fill it out and attach the needed informational letter, we received the document back only 1/2 filled out, signed by the doctor (which is a problem because it is supposed to be notarized) and the attached letter had very little of the required information in it. When we tried to work with their office, they kind of got upset with us and acted put out. I had no idea that a person who took the pains to spend YEARS in medical school would not be able to read a form with instructions. They acted like they'd never done that before.
I had already made an appointment with my doctor and figured it would be oh-so-simple. And for the most part it was. Except that she's a doctor out on her own...just her a few staff in a new office without any way to check my eyesight or blood. The nurse tried twice to draw blood but couldn't get a vein. Thankfully, my co-worker Erica (who also goes to the same doctor) warned me about pin-cushion Patty and after 2 tries she sent me down to the actual lab downstairs where the phlebotomist (one of my favorite words to say!) managed to get a vein with the first poke. I think she could have hit me from 10 feet away she was so good.
Anyway, the form was filled out except for the vision part and the labs. The office said the labwork should be back in just a few days. I was hopeful I could have both mine and Steve's forms before leaving for South Africa.
My doctor never did call and I finally just told them that I was leaving the country for 2 weeks and I'd pick it up when I returned. Since they are a small office, there was no notary to witness the doctor's signature so I'd have to take my own. Thank God for my friend Page who has already traipsed all over creation notarizing documents for us! Surely, I thought, when I returned from Cape Town, there would be a voice mail stating the paper was ready. NOTSOMUCH. Finally, after multiple phone calls and much worry, I have the document in hand and yes, it's notarized.
In the meantime, I charged Steve with doing whatever it took to get his form taken care of while I was gone. Proudly, he made an appointment with his regular doctor, took blank forms, took the incomplete form that the other doctor filled out and the instruction sheet and today we finally got the call that his form would be ready for pick up tomorrow morning. Now, before we celebrate too much, I want to see that form with my own eyes and ensure it is filled out and notarized correctly.
You might wonder how in the world someone could mess it up, but trust me, the rules for international adoption are so strict in some cases that you could easily have to redo the entire form if you aren't careful. After I get that form in my hand (with the accompanying letter which I'm praying they did), then I will only rest easy when our family coordinator blesses those forms herself.
One the social worker finishes writing up the home study, it will go to AWAA for approval. After AWAA approves it, we will start the process of getting an appointment with the USCIS which is one of the biggest steps in the process. And since we aren't quite there yet, more information about what that entails will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, a couple prayer requests...pray that these forms will all be correct and acceptable. While I don't want anything to cause problems and want everything to be perfect, I might seriously have a mental breakdown if I find out one of these things have to be redone.
Secondly, there is the slight (VERY SLIGHT) potential of having some hefty funding for the adoption. It would be wonderfully, marvelous if that came through. But I want only God's will so pray towards that end.
Finally, the issue of Steve traveling without Katie is still out there. I know God has that all under control, but with it just kind of hanging out there and us not knowing what we will do...well, it just gives me something else to worry about.
Thanks for your prayers.
And just to end the day on a super-positive note...Jenna got her first report card of 3rd grade today. THAT GIRL MADE ALL As!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's my smart girl!!!