Adoption Journey — Day 4
I’ve been on a fact-finding mission these past few days. My job has been to find out as much as I can about all the paperwork we have to get done before we will be able to send a file to Ethiopia that will get matched with a baby that we can then adopt. And there is a LOT of paperwork to be done. Some, we can do now, and some must wait.
So, we prioritized. What can we do now? Well, first, we had to apply to the adoption agency and hope for them to accept us. They did. So now, we must sign the agreement, which is full of legalese and made for good suppertime reading and discussion, that authorizes them to act on our behalf, and send them a retainer fee. That seems easy enough. I can do that right away.
The next and probably most important thing we had to do immediately was find a licensed adoption practitioner to do our homestudy. This is the “hurry up and wait” bit. Adoption practitioners have a waiting list, somewhere between 3 and 6 months, but you MUST have a homestudy done in order to adopt. So we had to call and find one we liked, and get on the wait list. Finding one you like is important, because the homestudy can be fairly intrusive, so it makes it easier if you get along with your practitioner. They ask lots of personal questions, they look around your home — they decide if you are suitable to be parents, essentially. But it’s an important and necessary process, so you try to get through it with as much good humour and patience as possible. So I spoke with Ms. Adoption Practitioner, the first one I called, and she had a very gentle and friendly demeanour, so we decided to go for it. And so, likely in May, we will have the first of 5 or so meetings with her.
Another thing we can do right away, if it’s available, is take an adoption preparation course. It’s not required, but highly recommended. And it looks really good. And starting January 1, 2008, it will be MANDATORY, and also 5 TIMES more expensive. So, DUH, we’re signing up for it tomorrow. It happens in March, so more hurry up and wait.
Next on the list: Passports. You have to hold a passport for 6 months before you can adopt from Ethiopia. So we have to get on that immediately. And besides the passports, we need to get security clearance: a clean police report, fingerprints sent to the RCMP, and police reports from all the countries you have lived in since the age of 18. (Yikes. I’ve got a couple of embassies to visit.)
There’s more. Lots more. But my brain is beginning to bend.
I am going to need to come up with a mantra to keep me focused and patient. Something to help me see the child in the middle of all the paper.