Monday, May 10, 2010

Step One

If you watched your children take this much joy in making mud and digging in it, you too might encourage their grandparents to buy a sandbox for your son's birthday.Atticus is a little bit obsessed with car washes right now. They simultaneously terrify and delight him. Here he reenacts the sublime in our own kitchen sink. We took the first step toward adding more children to our family tonight. (After reviewing that last sentence, I hope everyone who reads this blog will assume that I'm talking about adopting again. Otherwise, this would be a very strange thing for me to blog about.) Our new social worker (SW2) came to visit to begin updating our homestudy. Even though we've been through this process before, I still found the idea of someone coming to evaluate our home and family to be incredibly intimidating. Just like last time, I made sure the whole house was presentable and clean. Of course, our definitions of "presentable" and "clean" have changed a lot in the years since we became parents. The last time I worried because the baseboards in our unused spare bedrooms hadn't been dusted in a while. This time, I fretted a little bit about not having time to wash the sheets before the SW got here - just on the off chance that she decided to stick her hands under the comforters and discovered the havoc our new sandbox has wrought on our bedding.
At any rate, this new social worker was very friendly and chatty. She was enthusiastic and seems motivated to help us get our homestudy done quickly. She received an emergency call from another client the moment she walked in our door and by the time she was done calming down that family, half an hour later, Atticus and Norah had removed every single toy from their toy boxes, run around like crazy people playing "monster hands", and moved onto their crabby pre-dinner phase. Still, they kept all their clothing on, which I read as a minor triumph.
The visit went just fine. Perhaps because our first homestudy document contains just about all the information there is to know about us, she didn't really ask us any personal questions. She didn't even go upstairs to see our bedrooms. There were no white gloves run across our furniture, tests of our smoke alarms, or peeks inside our medicine cabinets. In fact, there was very little to write about. I didn't start this blog until we were well underway with our last adoption, however, and I've always regretted that we don't have more recorded memories of that process. So, for the sake of better documentation, here it is: She came. She saw. She didn't declare us to be unsuitable as parents. She gave us more paperwork to fill out. She left.
In answer to the most common questions, I'll say that we're hoping to adopt two more children between the ages of 0-24 months and then we will be done adding to our family. We don't know whether we'll be asked to adopt boys, girls, or one of each. Our hope is to have our dossier ready to turn in by early this fall and then we're currently being told that it will take about four to eight months for us to receive referrals (when you find out who your kids are). The Ethiopian government is currently in the process of moving to require adoptive parents to travel twice (once for the Ethiopian court date when the children are legally adopted and once for the American embassy date). Nobody knows yet how that will affect the speed of the process or the time that elapses between the referral and when the children can go home. Paul and I would like very much to be able to take Atticus and Norah to Ethiopia with us for the court date and then stay there until the embassy date, but we'll have to see how events unfold for other families before assessing how feasible that will be for us.
Fasten your seatbelts, everybody. We're in for an exciting ride!


Sean and Jaime said...

Congratulations on starting the adoption process again!

You don't know me, but I've followed your blog for some time now (I saw a link to it on someone else's blog from the yahoo groups).

My wife and I are in process (since February '09) of adopting 2 from Ethiopia (0-4 y/o). We have been officially awaiting the referral for 6 1/2 months and are hoping for "the call" soon.

Hope the process goes smoothly and quickly for you guys!

Have a good one.


Ed said...

Hurrah and we are off and running.
Good luck and God spead the process.

Christina said...

Yay! :)