Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Paper Process-1st, 2nd, and 3rd time

In retrospect, our adoption process for G was incredibly easy. (I'm not saying the wait was easy, just the paper part of the process.) We were working with one agency and they handled our homestudy, the placement, travel arrangements, and our post placement. The entire process from initial application to placement was 13 months long.

At the start of our second adoption, we were using the same agency, same social worker, and most of all the same forms. There was a feeling of comfort and familiarity in putting the dossier together. That all ended with the first homestudy update. Now we were in uncharted waters and that feeling continued as we had to renew fingerprints and immigration paperwork. Come on people, do fingerprints really change?

Moving on to our second adoption, but our third dossier. It is now two years later than when we submitted our dossier to China for our second adoption and lots of things have changed in the international adoption arena. The Hague Treaty has gone into effect, countries have shut down (Vietnam, Guatemala) and/or tightened their requirements, and we've gotten a little older. The programs that are available to us seem to be pretty few and far between.

One night while reading RQ-that's Rumour Queen for all you non-adoption folk-someone made a reference to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and a quick google search provided the name of our new agency. The great thing about this program is that you can get "on the list" while you are doing your homestudy and putting your dossier together, unlike China where everything has to be completed and submitted and then you are assigned a Log-In-Date.

We actually got on "the list" and started the paperchase in January 2009. The placing agency is out of state so we had to have our homestudy done by a separate agency (also out of state) and they had a social worker that lives close to us do our home visits. So a little more confusing this time because instead of one agency doing everything, we've got two agency and several different people involved in our process. I am happy to say that after a couple of rounds of review between the placing agency and the homestudy agency, it has all worked out and the homestudy has been completed.

This time around we had to complete an additional 10 hours of adoption education and there is a lot of additional reading. I'm not sure if this is an agency requirement or if this has become the standard with agencies who are hague accredited. I remember doing a little education class that was required by the first agency while we were waiting for G but I don't actually remember much of it. These new classes were very informative and very pertinent-we got so much more out of them this time around. R and I both agreed that it was most likely because our perspectives on parenthood have changed so much since we actually became parents.

There is one piece left to complete for the dossier and that is to change the country and to renew our fingerprints (hopefully for the last time) on our immigration paperwork. Because the Marshall Islands process seems to be moving along so well, we are allowed to submit our dossier while we are waiting on the immigration update. I am happy to report that our completed dossier left yesterday and is now making it's way to the Marshall Islands.

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