Sunday, January 8, 2012

Home Study Visit and Our First Dossier Paperwork!

I suppose I should start with a brief explanation for my friends who don't know much about the adoption process. I'll summarize here, but I'll try to go into more detail later, and if you have any questions, please ask! The first thing we need to do to bring our little girl home is to get a home study, which involves gathering a bunch of paperwork and then having a social worker visit your home and interview you. This home study is then sent to USCIS to get approval from the US government to adopt. Then we have to compile a lot more paperwork to send to our daughter's country to show them how we are able to care for her so that they will eventually give us permission to adopt. That said...

We had our home study visit yesterday, and I think it went pretty well. At least, our social worker made it sound like she was going to recommend we be able to adopt rather than shutting down our plans right now. (Honestly, I knew that was unlikely, but that didn't keep me from worrying about it. After all, I've never had to get permission from someone else to be able to parent my other children, so this is all new (and kind of scary) territory for me.) I have a total of 4 things left to do and send to our social worker to be all done with what we need for that part of the process, and none should take long. I have to finish up 2 adoption training classes (online, and hopefully I can finish them tonight), I need to measure the rooms upstairs and finish drawing up our floor plan, Jacob needs to write his autobiography, and we still need one letter of reference. But hopefully all of that will be done by the end of the week! Then I just have to wait for our social worker to write it all up so I can send it to USCIS! (I think she'll be fast.)

I'm also starting (slowly) on the paperwork for our dossier. The first thing I did was order marriage certificates, because they were the only thing I had to do by mail, and I didn't know how long that would end up taking. The answer: not long! I ordered them and they came just a couple of days later, and then I sent them back to the East Coast to be apostilled (apostilling basically means a state official putting a pretty gold seal on the paper to say that the official who notarized the paper was, in fact, a valid notary). Less than 2 weeks later and they're back in my hands with pretty gold seals all ready to be sent to Eastern Europe! One paper down and only 30 or 40 more to go...

I promise I really will do a blog redesign so you can see our little girl's cute face all the time sometime soon, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with another picture of it here:


  1. very exciting to have get things accomplished. It always feels good to check things off the to do list. So excited for you. She is such a cutey.

    Carlene's soon to be momma :)

  2. I always think about how scary it must be for the families I visit for home visits because I would feel very uncomfortable with someone in my home asking me a bunch of personal questions and inspecting each room. So, from a social worker (not yours, but ya know) I deeply sympathize with you. I hope the process goes quickly and smoothly for you guys and your little girl will be in your home soon!

  3. She's precious! And she will fit right in with your gorgeous boys! I can't remember if you started following my blog from the beginning...but I was so nervous about the home study that I decided I had to completely restore our hardwood myself! It was just the beginning of how much harder I have made this whole adoptive process on myself, lol! I'm excited to be part of your whole experience from beginning to end. Maybe I will even get a chance to help you since we will be traveling at the end of the month and hopefully our finances will recover before you need to travel! Excited for you!