Joel and I have sensed a calling to international adoption for many years. In May, 2009 God made it abundantly clear that it was time. After much prayer, research and wise counsel we began the process to adopt a daughter from China. God directed us to an incredible agency that was founded by a family with an amazing testimony. This blog is a chronicle of our journey, to inform our friends and family and as a record of events for our daughter to read one day. Join us in the journey... it is sure to be an adventure!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Whirlwind is Subsiding :)

Wow, what a crazy summer! We have been on mission in Mississippi, to the SBC, through VBS, and so much more. During all the insanity we have managed, by God's grace, to finish our homestudy paperwork and move forward. Tomorrow morning we leave on a much-needed family vacation to Disney. (shhh...the boys still don't know!)

During the third week of July we had home inspections by the Health Dept. and the Fire Marshall. The sanitary inspection included a test of our well water which revealed bacteria in our well. We have learned that this is a fairly common issue and how to sanitize it. The Health Dept. will be returning on August 31 to re-test. Hopefully, the bacteria will be gone. Other than that we passed both inspections with flying colors (whew).

Upon passing those and compiling the final documents, we were ready to contact our social worker so that we could move forward with interviews. About a week ago we had individual biographical interviews that lasted nearly 2 hours each. We set a date for August 25 to have our final interview. Our SW said that she would be contacting our references over the next few weeks and asked us to complete Parent Training before our final interview.

Now, a word about Parent Training. Any one who adopts a child from a Hague country is required by law to take 10 hours of Hague-accredited Parent Training. I must admit that I was a little taken aback by this. I mean...we do have two healthy boys. But, thankfully, the wonderful agency that we are working with, CCAI, has designed a program specific to China adoption. Joel and I both completed this training this week online. I must say, it really is fabulous. It includes information about grief and loss experienced by adoptees, developmental delays that should be expected, behaviors that encourage attachment, what to expect as a racially diverse family, and information about Chinese history, language, festivals and culture. I really did benefit greatly from it. I will add that not all agencies have country-specific training. CCAI makes this training available to families adopting from other agencies for a fee. If you have a choice in training and are adopting from China, I highly reccomend CCAI.

So with training completed, primary and biographical interviews done, and homestudy documents mailed, we are very near being finished with this step in the process. After that final interview on the 25th, our social worker will compile all of the information that she has gathered into a narrative about our family with recommendation that we be allowed to adopt. This narrative document will be included in the Dossier that we will eventually send to China. She expects to have the narrative completed by the third week in September. Then it will be sent to CCAI for approval. Sometimes the wording needs to be tweaked a bit.

In the midst of all of this, I have also been collecting documents for our Dossier. Official birth certificates for Joel and myself and our marriage license had to be ordered from South Carolina. Then, I had to mail them back to the Secretary of State in SC to be authenticated. I overnighted them and was very surprised when they were back at my door within 36 hours...all the way to SC and back in 36 hours...WOW!

I met with our pediatrician a couple of weaks ago to discuss the possible health concerns with the many possible disorders among Waiting Children.

I will share more about what the Dossier entails later. I will also write another time about Waiting Children. The good news is....we are moving forward!

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