“Take a deep breath…”
That is what the directions said for our homestudy paperwork.
Six weeks ago, B and I received this packet with a 40-item checklist of documents we’d need to collect, essays we’d need to write, and references we’d need to obtain. This weekend, Bryson was taking a lovely nap that I happened to photograph.
He hates it when I photograph him while he is sleeping. I keep telling him that someday he will be happy I did. He doesn’t believe me.
Anyways, my giggle woke him up from the nap.
I saw this as the perfect opportunity to tell him, “Today is the day that we are going to finish that homestudy paperwork. Nothing moves forward in this adoption until it is finished.” And just like that, we sat for hours finishing the last few documents we needed to check off the list. B said, “Can we make copies of the paperwork tomorrow?” and like a nesting mom, I said, “Nope, let’s finish this tonight!”
And we copied, and scanned, and collated and labeled until 1 AM.
Even though it was a lot, we were cheerful and happy to have the privilege of doing it.
So in the late hours that evening, I sent our social worker at our placement agency an email that read, “Get ready! Copies of our homestudy documents are headed your way!” To which she immediately replied, “Oh. My. Goodness. That just made my day!! Haha! I’m excited!!”
But then I forgot that yesterday was a holiday, and the post office was closed.
But, we had to go to the big city, our hometown, one hour away to get tons and tons of lab work done. Everyone in that town had the flu and was visiting the doctor’s office…but we were oblivious because all we could think about was that we. are. making. progress. people.
After getting our blood drawn, B and I ran copies of all of our paperwork to our homestudy agency.
By this point, B and I were HANGRY (hungry plus angry) because we had been without food and caffeine–two major necessities. Upon arriving to Starbucks, we realized the doctor’s office forgot to give us the TB skin tests. Their office did not re-open until 2:00, so we called my mom and sister for a celebratory Ch!n3se lunch at PF Changs. My niece, excited at the possibility of a new cousin to play with showed us her enthusiasm by wearing her chopsticks on her face.
And then my niece wanted to tell me congratulations.
But really, she wanted to wear my sunglasses.
And my mom and sister gave us an adorable “Adoption is..” painting that basically summarized the Candlelight homily I gave at the university where I work. My sister told us about how when she saw it in the store, she started boohooing, and could not even read it to my mom she was crying so hard. They wanted to congratulate us on finishing the homestudy paperwork.
My mom had a routine procedure at a doctor’s office yesterday, and the nurse assisting told my mom about her newly adopted granddaughter from Ch!n@. The granddaughter just had surgery last week to begin to correct her medical need. I think the “grandma to grandma” talk probably gave my mom a lot of comfort.
After lunch, B and I went back to the doctor for our TB skin tests. And then finally back to work.
OKAY…so now today, to the big day…
I sent off our homestudy paperwork to our placement agency. For those of you who are in process or who have adopted, you know what a big milestone this is! Because B was at a corporate video shoot, he couldn’t go with me today. So instead of B, one of my dear colleagues went with me to take the obligatory photo of me with our homestudy package. Maybe you think it’s dorky, but for us, it is one step closer to being a mom and a dad…it’s one step closer for a little girl to have a mom and dad FOREVER. And that is exciting.
And when Ashleigh and I got in the car, the song “Home” was playing. “Just know you are not alone, because I am going to make this place your home!”
So today, I paid all $6,000 of our homestudy payment–all but $300 was donated by our family, friends, former students, parents of students, and people we’ve never met. My heart wants to burst. (By the way, to those of you who helped, you will receive a small gift from us next week…all of the way from Ch!n@). Jehovah Jireh.
Today, we also found out that our background clearances for the state were delivered to our homestudy agency! These can take up to six weeks, but they already got them! Phew.
The only thing that stands between us and scheduling our visit with the social worker in our home is a couple more reference letters.
Today was a big day and we are making big progress…
Lydia Grace, wherever you are, there is a couple working hard to make our way to you. We are praying for you in every step…no matter the amount of paperwork, we do it with joyful anticipation.