Adoption process has begun...

Last night, I took a rare moment. S agreed to take the kids out for a walk/bike ride around the neighborhood, and just let me take a relaxing shower. I have been on my knees in prayer recently regarding the decisions we have to make with our adoption, and during the shower, I just felt like God spelled the whole plan out for us. I told S about it later, and he agreed. So, we made our final decisions last night, and started the process. "Coincidentally" (God arranged?) S was off work all morning--something that only happens on occasion. So I stayed up relatively late going over all the paperwork. I spent several hours filling out what I could and marking things for S to fill out, or things that have to be signed by notaries. This morning, we hit the ground running, and decided to take advantage of S's morning off. We fed the kids, and loaded up. I am ashamed to say, we were in such a rush to get out the door that I totally forgot to brush M's hair or wash JR's face (covered in cereal and milk residue!) Oh well! We started off getting our fingerprints done. You have to have several copies in order to have state and national FBI background checks done. Those can take 2-3 months for results, so you do them ASAP. Then we had to go get criminal records (or lack thereof, I should say! I have never been caught!) from the police station. That was followed by a trip to the bank to get cashier's checks to pay for it all. Few folks accept personal checks anymore! Then we put all that together and dropped it off at an office for our social worker so he can start his process. Sound complicated? It's only the beginning!

Over the next few days/weeks, I have to make copies of all our birth certificates, our marriage certificate, different ID and insurance cards, notarize forms, and gather criminal records from the last 5 years. For us, that involves 3 states (1 down, 2 to go!). We have to continue filling out mountains of paperwork. I personally, have found the written part of the homestudy is really not as bad as people make it sound. The problem is that you have to write the same things several times in some cases. There is the official agency application, then the personal profile and/or autobiography, and, in this case, the social worker has his own forms totally seperate from our agency. So I have to write some of this stuff 3 times! No one accepts copies. Then, our agency requires statements of faith since they are a Christian agency. Thank the Lord, we have recently gotten to know one of our pastors recently so he could help with that. I have to send out reference letters. By the way, if you know us personally, there is a good chance I will e-mail or call about it soon! LOL When we get all that stuff back, I then get to load up the 3 kids I have now and make a trip to the local fedex store for shipping services. Finally, the best part is when we create and order our "profiles." This is a book we have compiled that tells the expectant mother about us. We try to answer the majority of questions she might have. She will be shown several of these profiles based on her criteria for adoptive parents, in order to help her decide who she wants to choose to adopt her baby.

It sounds intimidating, but amazingly, I am so relaxed about it this go around. It is wonderful having been through it before. God gave us the fore-sight to get extra copies of many of our certificates so we don't have to worry about that this time, and we totally know what to expect this go around. I was just telling S that I have truly come to value the sense of peace I get when I/we have made the right decision (we hope! LOL). Only God ever knows for sure, but He hasn't led me wrong yet when I pay attention to that feeling. So now, if you could just keep the whole process in your prayers once again. Pray that our fingerprints and paperwork can be processed in a timely manner so the homestudy can proceed, pray for everyone involved, and pray for the biological mother of the child God is planning for us, as well as the child him/her-self. Thanks!

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