We have gotten a few things done this week.
Our 2nd of 4 home study visits got done this week. Our social worker came to the house and we had spent all afternoon cleaning. I realize that it doesn't have to be spotless, which our house never is, but it is a good excuse to clean up a little. So she got here around 6:30pm and stayed until around 8pm. This was the interview with Aaron and I together. There wasn't enough time to interview the kids, or do the house walkthrough (all that cleaning for nothing!) She will be back in about 1 1/2 weeks to do visit number 3, the kids' interviews, and the house inspection. After that, we will have one more visit, which we are planning on doing in B'ham where will we go over the rough draft of the home study and make sure everything looks good. Turn in the rest of our paperwork if we haven't done it, and then she will finish it and make any changes that need to be made and mail it to us!
Once our home study is done, we will apply to USCIS, who will give us permission to bring a child into the US. Once our permission comes back (normally 6-10 weeks) then we will send our completed dossier(stack of paperwork) to China to be translated. Once that is send off, our agency states that we should travel 3-6 months from that time..
So here is our predicted timeline...
1. get home study back by first week in May and immediately apply for USCIS
2. get USCIS approval back anywhere between the middle of June to the end of July.
3. have dossier ready to send as soon as USCIS approval is received.
4. get dossier authenticated with the state as soon as done
5. send off dossier to China the first week of August
6. wait for the go ahead to head to China to pick up our girl, sometime between Nov. and Feb.
Of course, nothing is certain with international adoption. Just trying to get it in my mind how things will go down.
Aaron and I also got our fingerprints done. Up until this adoption, we would have to go to a local jail to get them done, but now that has changed. You apply online, through a specific website that the home study agency uses. You pay online, print out your receipt, then you take that to one of the fingerprint sites in the state. Unfortunately, there were none in our county, so we had about a 40 min. drive. Mom watched the kids, so Aaron and I got a little "date" in. Of course, we just went and got our fingerprints and headed straight home, but uninterrupted talking is wonderful. And I like it much better than going to the jail. This fingerprint site was in a non US postal service post office.
In addition to normal adoption expenses, there will be other things come up... such as needing another bed for another child. I have been thinking for a couple of months at least that we will need another bed for our new girl, unless we wanted to throw her in the same bed with Hannah who sleeps in a double. Which we really didn't want to do, but that was months in the future. I have really wanted bunk beds, which will save us some space. I think I have even prayed about it a few times, but I am not 100% sure. Anyway, had a couple at church ask us the other night if we wanted some bunk beds they were getting rid of. So, I am excited to get those and thankful that God saw our need and provided before I started begging Him for it.