January 31, 2012

Update on Process

Many of you have asked Chris and I recently where we are currently in our adoption.  We want to give you an update:

We are DEFINITELY adopting two children (siblings!)   (We also need to change our profile pic soon to include 2 sets of shoes!!!)

We do not know who these children are as of yet and will probably not know until the Fall or Winter 2012 sometime.  

For the past 2 months, we have been working on compiling paperwork that will get submitted with what they call a "Home Study" to the USCIS (Immigration office) for approval to adopt.  We had to get fingerprinted at our good ole' local police, fill out child abuse records in VA and PA, get papers notarized, go to the local bank for certified checks, and some other papers as well.  The PA Child Abuse check was the most time consuming because we had to list past people we have lived with (middle names included and ages) since we were born and every address we have lived at (I've lived at over 12 addresses- some of which I couldn't even remember!!).

Some of these documents required more time than others, such as our 56 question autobiography (completed individually) that we finally finished a few weeks ago!!! (Ugg!)

Chris working on Home Study and USCIS paperwork
However, even though we were dreading the autobiographies, it definitely helped us to slow down and process some important things such as our marriage, family, and relationships with God.  There were insightful questions such as "What is your greatest failure to date?" or "How do you and your spouse handle conflicts?"  Although this took some time, we were able to really reflect on some wonderful things that Chris and I have been able to accomplish the last few years and certain aspects of our marriage.

On December 2nd, we had our first home visit, where we met our Home Study caseworker, Dan Petruso.  He was wonderful and made us feel so comfortable with this entire process!  He interviewed us, and jotted down notes that he will include in our actual official "Home Study" document. 

Most recently, we had our 2nd Home Study visit last night!!!!  This was where our caseworker had to tour our home to make sure it was fit for children.  So I frantically made Chris help me clean the night before (even after Jenn Tucker told me not to stress out and that it was not really a big deal). I discovered how over-paranoid I was.  The visit was a breeze and again we realized that our caseworker was not trying to "find" anything.  His job is merely to make sure that our home is adequate enough to raise children and that we are fit to be parents. He said we are! ;)

We also met with our financial advisor, Greg Lohr, to go over all of our finances and start preparing for our children!!! (AGHHHHH!!!)  It was a great meeting and exciting to plan out how to start saving.  If you need an amazing financial adviser, we HIGHLY recommend Greg!

So what's to come:

We will continue with our online Parent training (10 hours) and wait for our Home Study document to be completed in the next 2-3 weeks.

Once that is completed, then we can submit all of our paperwork into USCIS (Immigration) to get approval to adopt overseas.  After we get the approval, we go on a WAITLIST for 7-8 months with our Adoption Agency and wait until we receive a match with a sibling group. From there, we would accept the match and then get a court date set in Uganda to travel and officially adopt our children.  
WE WANT TO THANK EVERYONE for your encouragement, prayers, and financial support!!! It is hard to believe that we have been able to save and raise so much money already in the process.   We are constantly reminded of how much God desires for HIS children to be loved and to have a family.  THANK YOU for being that family to our children.  It is amazing to see so many people loving on our children without even personally knowing them. 

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me".
Matthew 18:5


April & Chris