Adopting has been a slow going process, but we continually have something to be working on, whether it be paperwork, gathering documents or training. We recently had our first home-study interview which was a breeze. When you find yourself facing your first home-study interview, do not freak out. It will be painless. It will make everything feel tangible. You will feel supported. I was nervous about it just like most people are when they are doing something new and out of their comfort zone, but it was a binding experience. It solidified our journey. It was our marital interview so we were asked questions like:
What first attracted you to your spouse?
How long did you date before you were married?
How long were you engaged?
What is your spouses best quality?
What is one thing you would change about your spouse?
Do you feel like one person wants to adopt more than the other?
Is Steven going to take a leave of absence from work when our child comes home?
There were more, but I remember those. See? Painless and there might have actually been a few giggles. From me of course.
In the next three weeks we have two more interviews. The last of which will have our case worker at our house inspecting it for safety. After that our home-study process will be complete and if we are approved we move on to the dossier process. Apparently the dossier is 50+ pages of detailed instructions on how to get passports, visas and several other forms, I know nothing about yet, completed and turned in to the proper countries expecting them.
In the mean time we are working on reading articles and watching DVDs from our training manual. We have to complete and pass several online tests before we can pass the training part. The training includes information on forming attachments with your child and how to handle your child's grieving process among a ton of other information. Even though it is time consuming, I'm grateful for this information and eager to learn about it. And is the little girl on the cover of the DVD not totally presh? I want to kiss and squeeze her cheeks.
We are also working on getting originals of every one's birth certificates, social security cards, our marriage license, physicals for everyone, fingerprints and passports for the kids. These are all part of the dossier process, but our case worker told us to go ahead and get started.
I know some of you are curious about the financial side as well so I thought I'd do an update on where we are with that. Just a side note though. All of those little things we are working on like originals of documents and passports were included in our total of fees. Even though they aren't large lump sum payments they still add up quickly! As of today we have payed $3,648.00 towards bringing our child home from Haiti. Some of those are lump sum fees and some are little fees. From fundraising and donations we have funded $3,008.00 of that amount! Praise God for generous people willing to support us in this! $640.00 has come from us personally. We are just focusing on one payment at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by how far we have to go.
You know, all of this is a lot of work, and we realize we have a lot to go, but I asked Steven what we would be willing to do if Kinley or Harper were in an orphanage (or creche, in Creole) in Haiti. Would any amount of paperwork or money keep us from getting them home? Absolutely not. We would work tirelessly until we had them in our arms. This shouldn't be any different. Those sweet babies in Haiti need and deserve hugs, kisses, safety, education, nutrition, spiritual guidance and everything else Kinley and Harper need and have. When we look at it that way, we aren't sacrificing anything. We are just doing what is needed of us.
There are few things on earth that really show us what God has done for us in Christ other than fostering and adopting. To give freely out of your abundance to someone who doesn't have much of a chance outside of your intervention is one of the most beautiful pictures of God's saving grace that we have this side of Heaven. - Matt Chandler