Ohhhhh the paper!! I’d read that this part involved gathering a lot of documents and boy were they spot on. We’re in the process of checking off lists of paperwork, online classes, certificates, pictures, essays, physical and psychological exams, etc. (Stay tuned for Chris’ psychological results… haha!!) But seriously, not only do you have to get papers gathered, they have to be notarized and the notary’s seal can’t expire within a year. There are all kinds of crazy things to do. AND there lists are so long and involved that it takes 4-6 months to get it done. I never imagined all of the people that I would end up dragging into this process– our bankers, our family physician, a licensed psychologist, the sheriff, our employers, amongst others. Not to mention that the documents they have to write/provide must be formatted in a very specific manner with key phrases and details listed just so. It’s something!
We have our own adoption family coordinator that works specifically with Haiti program families. She will help us with the paperwork, guidelines and requirements of the Haitian government as well as the US and International adoption requirements. Then we also have a social worker. She helps us complete a home study and handle all of the social services requirements before and after adoption. We’ll meet with the social worker 3-4 times over the next 4-6 months. She’ll interview Chris and I together, individually and then Palin and Jude as well. She’ll also come see our home. After the adoption, the Haitian government requires reports at 1, 6, 12 & 18 months as well as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 years. The social worker completes the 6, 12, 18 months and 2 year reports and Chris and I do the rest.
Chris is on the ball with the paperwork so far. He put together a 3 inch binder with checklists and dividers. Remember the 4-6 month timeline? Well, naturally, Chris has goal to get our paperwork done in 1 month. So far, we’re doing pretty well. In fact, we weren’t going to meet with our social worker for a month or so but it just happens that she is meeting with a family in the KC area in 2 weeks so she’s going to meet with us that same day. Yay!!
Currently, I’m in the middle of a required online training, Adopting the Older Child. One of 10 training courses we have to complete. Surprisingly, the information has been very helpful. It’s very interesting to learn about the brain development of institutionalized children that don’t get individual attention and have their needs met. We’ve also learned about sexual abuse, parenting techniques, how to integrate an adopted child, etc. And there is soooo much more to learn.
Back to class….