Saturday, December 02, 2006

An open book - totally open

Good grief, I never want to hear another one of you complain about the amount of paperwork you had to endure for some task. We've just completed the first round on paperwork for the Home Study. The idea behind the home study is for us to work with us to document as much as possible about our home. And I mean as much as possible. It's clear that this particular round is meant to lead us into examining ourselves with great detail.

Included are 15 separate instructions. Some are release forms, some are proof of insurance, and some are "studies". Additionally, we had to complete a will - along with a declaration of guardians should anything happen to us. My brother and sister-in-law have graciously accepted this responsibility, as we have for their son our nephew.

I want to spend a post later this weekend discussing the self-studies because these by far consumed a majority of our time to this point. We estimate that we spent 20-25 hours each on the self study, adoption assessment, and family budget. Add to that some other leg work to get a will done, have some paper's signed by my employer, and scan various documents so we have a backup; and now we're talking a total of 50 hours total.

Talk about an open book. The family budget alone reveals information that I don't remember telling even our mortgage company. It was actually quite useful once we got down to it. We've been using MS Money for a while, and have a nifty budget setup in there, but not with the kind of details in the home study budget. We had to list all of our assets and liabilities, categorize every penny we spend each month, and even print out a credit report. This thing is so detailed, it even has a line item for hair care. Yup, hair care - do you know anyone that actually includes that in their monthly budget? Good grief.

One good this is that we really do have a better handle on where we stand financially. We're responsible people, and like I said - we've got a basic budget plan going - but this self examination actually made us feel better about the financial leap we're about to make.

Just one more note. The Bethany docs also require a credit report. Their recommendation is to use take advantage of your right to obtain this report on your own. I'm glad the law is there, but it seems odd that we only have the right to check our own credit once for free. You may have noticed that those web sights like are not really free. The only one that's truly free is M just ran this for both of us this evening. Very interesting info. I had completely forgotten about some store credit cards that we've had for many years. I'm not even sure we actually have the plastic anymore!!!

More updates to come. Class on Monday - so please pray for us.


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