My days are all starting to blend together. I guess it has been a few days since I posted any kind of adoption update, and I am actually having trouble remembering what all has happened in that time because it all runs together. I have spent just about every spare moment on gathering documents, so we are making good progress. Today was fingerprint day! The kids were so excited that we were going to the police department this morning! It was actually quite uneventful, but they did get a "Jr. Police" sticker badge that they have proudly been wearing ever since!
I got my Dossier Preparation Guide Monday night and began to look at what documents we could go ahead and begin on. Some of them are the same as what is needed for the home study, so it is nice to have some overlap. Tuesday and Wednesday I did the following items that are for either the home study or the dossier: sent for certified copies of our birth certificates, went to pick up a certified copy of our marriage license, wrote an adoption petition (stating who we are, our educational levels, why we wish to adopt from China, what type of baby we desire, and a statement that we will love and not abandon, abuse...said child), wrote a non-employment letter for me, wrote an employment letter for Jerry (actually a CPA has to write it but I had to gather the supporting documents and give her a sample of what is needed), wrote a detailed financial statement of our assets and liabilities, got fingerprinted and sent off for our police clearance reports, and got an appointment set for our first visit from the social worker for our home study. The good news is that I don't think there is very much more I can do for the time being, so I get to breathe now! Our first home visit is next Thursday, so we should have all the documents we sent for by then, which is good.
The next step is sealing our documents. All the documents I have listed have to be notarized, then sent to the Secretary of State to be certified, then sent to the Chinese Consulate to be authenticated. Since we were both born in different states and are not currently in the state either of us was born in, we have to send Jerry's birth certificate to the Secretary of State in Ohio and then to the Chinese Consulate in New York. My birth certificate has to go to the Secretary of State in Illinois, and then the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. The rest of our documents will go through the Secretary of State in Texas and the Chinese Consulate in Houston. I still have my physical with my GP tomorrow, and I will get back Jerry's employment letter Tuesday. After I have all of that, I will start sending off these documents to their appropriate locations for the sealing process. I will save everything that goes to the Chinese Consulate here in Houston for the very end, after everything has gone through immigration and take those down myself. I am going to do that in person because it goes much faster that way. That probably won't be until September.
Anyway, the good news is that we have our home study scheduled now and the social worker still thinks we can get the report finished in June! Jerry and I are going on vacation the last week in June, so when we get home, we should be able to send things off to immigration. That will be our first big hurdle in the dossier preparation crossed and the second on it's way. That will feel really good!
Because there are so many documents piling up and we are photocopying everything I had gathered quite a stack of paper. I went out and bought a 13 pocket expandable folder and have something for each pocket to keep it organized. I feel much better knowing it is all neatly filed! And of course, I bought red for China!
Well, that's the update! Lots of fun! After working non-stop on it for so long, it will actually feel a bit funny to not be spending every moment on it now. I guess I could start filling out my paperwork for immigration, though...