I felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest! I guess this moment might be similar to the way someone feels after taking a positive pregnancy test... the "oh boy, this is really happening" though that's immediately followed by the "oh boy, we still have a LOT of hurdles to overcome" thought.
We celebrated tonight by getting take-out from our favorite local Chinese restaurant. Cliche' I know, but it was all I could think of eating! :)
|(One of the fortunes from the cookies tonight read: "You will be asked to step up to the plate in new ways" I'm sure that is certainly going to prove to be true!)|
With this great news also came the reminder that our first agency fee is now due, which totals $2900. Let the fundraising officially begin!
I was so excited to come home and launch the campaign for the t-shirts that I designed a couple of months ago, but unfortunately the website I'm using is giving me troubles, and their support team is only available 9am-5pm, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. Stay tuned!
So what's next for us in this adoption process?
Well, the first thing we have to do is read through and sign the 22 page set of documents that came with the approval email from our adoption agency. Some of those forms will need to be notarized, so we will likely have to wait until Saturday morning when we can go visit a notary together (it sure is nice working for bank and having easy access to notary service!).
We also need to begin our home study process. I chose a home study agency last week, and have gotten a whole set of forms from them that also needs to be filled out. They have another fee that will need to be paid soon, but for now it's just a $350 application fee.
I have chosen to be very open about the different fees involved, not because I really want to draw attention to the costs, but mainly because I feel that if we are going to be asking others to contribute in the way of fundraising, I want to be very transparent about where those funds are going.
Some of you might be wondering what a home study is. Well, to be totally honest, we are wondering the same thing ourselves, but I have gained a little bit of an idea through some research I've done.
Because the adoption agency we are using is in Colorado, and we obviously are not, we had to choose a different agency within our state to complete our home study. A home study is the part of the application process that involves the complex "investigation" of our ability to parent, the stability of our relationship and financial situation, and the safety of our home. After a series of meetings and a lot of paperwork, the home study agency will provide our adoption agency with a report in which they "prove" our worthiness as suitable candidates for the adoption of a child from China. If I understand correctly, this report will then be translated and sent to China for review and approval from them.
This process will include in home meetings with a Social Worker, the review of our medical background, financial situation, and family history, letters of recommendations from friends, required parenting classes or online training, and loads and loads of paperwork. Thankfully, having worked in banking the past 5 years, paperwork is one thing I am totally used to and not at all overwhelmed by- but of course you can probably call my bluff on that a few months from now when I'm drowning in piles of certified, notarized, copies of every personal document known to man.
It's really starting to set in how real this is becoming, and how quickly. Just a few short months ago we were having a conversation with relatives about how we just don't feel ready to begin the parenting journey, and now here we are, as ready as I'll ever be!
I attended a baby shower last night for a dear college friend, and we were discussing how surreal it is to think about the idea that my child has likely already been born. As I was getting ready for work this morning, that thought really "set in." I began to realize how much my heart aches to know if our child is safe, if he/she is being well cared for, and if they are being shown love from their caretakers. Please join us in praying for the safety of our child, and for the preparation of all of our hearts as we begin this journey to become a family. That child certainly has no idea what kind of journey lays ahead of them, and we hope that whatever we do, we can make it as smooth as possible for them.
Thanks again for following us in this crazy voyage, and please keep me posted if you have any questions you would like to see answered here.
Stay tuned for the launch of our t-shirt fundraiser! Here's a sneak peak at the design:
|Both the Chinese and the text below say "worry less, love more" and the URL for this site is printed on the back|