Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The BIG visit

I'm thinking this might be a great time to put our house on the market. The house has never been cleaner, more organized, and certainly never been more "set-up". What I mean by setup is that each room is now totally defined. We've got 4 bedrooms, plus a family room and den just for the 2 of us - so previously we've always had at least 1 room as a complete mess with the door closed, and another room not really setup for anything useful - often just a storage area. Now, we've got all the rooms actually defined for a specific use. We've also got the new sidewalk referenced here, and I also recently finished replacing the last of the old windows (only took me 6 years!).

But, alas, it was all a big preparation for our home visit - the last truly scary portion of the home study. This to me was the part of the process that worried me the most. For some reason to visit someones office and agree to be interviewed is a more intentional step, thus - not nearly as worrisome. But for someone with so much control over our pending adoption to visit our home and judge it worthy or not for raising kids seems like an intrusion.

Let me tell you - not only do I have further confirmation that our social worker from Bethany is simply the best, not the least intrusive. For anyone out there considering this process, there really isn't anything to be scared of. It's not easy, but it's not as scary as it seems either. Jessica arrived just a few minutes early, and we introduced her to Penny, our mutt of a pooch. Then we gave her what amounted to a 15 minute tour of our house. Yup - just 15 minutes. No peaking in cabinets, no checking behind shower curtains, didn't even care to see the furnace or really inspect anything for safety. The main purpose literally was to determine if our home was large enough to support a family. Geez what a load off, but as some of our friends and blog-readers have recently confirmed - big re-organization, painting, and cleaning projects are more than worth it in the long run.

Once the tour was over, we spent some time talking about what the area and neighborhood are like. We discussed educational and cultural opportunities, as well as locations of shopping, fire departments, and parks. The required readings were discuss during this chat as well - I'll post more commentary on that later - but Jessica really seemed to value our opinion. We also discussed ways in which we plan to incorporate Guatemalan and Latino culture into CJ's life. More on that later on as well. {side note - I'm really hoping the waiting period is short - but it will provide me with time to ponder these topics}

Finally, Jessica reviewed our paperwork, provided some guidance on next steps, and pretty much declared the process in her court as we've done all of our paperwork at this point, and now that the home visit is in the bag, she can work on our home study report. She was unable to stay for lunch - but gladly accepted a "to go" order of Melissa's tasty quiche and lemon bars.

So, what are the next steps you might ask? Well..

1) Get fingerprinted by the department of homeland security. This is part of our approval for bringing a foreign born orphan into the country. that process will wrap up about a month after the fingerprinting.

2) Take our homestudy to Harrisburg for authentication. Yup, now that we have all the official documents - we have to take them to the state so they can tell us that they are official - yet again. The difference is, then they become like gold. No messing around - these are the documents that will be passed around between our agency, the Guatemalan government, and the American embassy in Guatemala City.

3) Wait for "final approval" from Bethany, who will then put us on the waiting list for a little girl. Yah, it's getting close, but still probably about 6-8 weeks before we're on that list.

That's it for now folks - there are more tiny updates, but I'm hitting the sack now after a long couple of days. Thanks so much for all your support and prayers. We welcome any words of encouragement as we get prepared to wrestle with more bureaucrats!

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At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You folks have a lovely home and yard to raise a child!


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