Monday, February 11, 2013

What's Next?

Now that we have our referral, lots of people have asked about travel and when do we get to go get Emma Claire?

We don't know.

It takes a lot of paperwork to complete an international adoption. In addition to compiling a dossier of your marital and family history, finances and health, etc., you also have to have background searches and U.S. government approval to bring home your child.

Once we saw that things were getting slower with China adoptions, we decided to let our paperwork expire and not renewing it each year. That meant we had to file under the new, Hague adoption guidelines and update once under the "new" i800 process. We began the process in November with our home study agency (not affiliated with our referral agency, GWCA). Our homestudy agency wrote our homestudy for Oliver's adoption and all of our post-placement reports for him as well. They know us, BUT they still insisted on the four homestudy visits. During holiday times. Then there are the child abuse clearances, fingerprinting for the state clearances, your local clearances, etc.

To summarize, it has been over 3 months and our homestudy agency is not complete with our homestudy. They sent our child abuse clearances to our previous states of residence only two weeks ago and we have nothing back yet. Texas says they can take up to a month to give clearance. A month. Our homestudy agency was completely surprised by this. Perhaps they should have sent it way back in November?!

So, we haven't filed our i800. After we file that, we have to get fingerprinted and then we get our i797 and then we file that and then we get travel approval and can make travel plans. This filing and fingerprinting and filing again can and will take months. How many months, we don't know.

Our placement agency has been great and have really tried their best to light a fire under our homestudy agency but there isn't a lot we can do now than just wait for the final clearance to come and hope everything moves along smoothly after that.

Its really frustrating that our homestudy agency has been so lack in some areas (like the clearances) and so strict on others (that we meet the 4 times, even though all they had to do was meet with us once or twice and update our homestudy they wrote for Ethiopa). They insisted we start from scratch like we were totally new to them...that also enabled them to charge us a LOT more money than if they just updated.

So frustrating. But, we hope everything gets done quickly and we can get a move on with it and get the homestudy agency behind us (until Emma Claire is home and they have to write our post-adoption updates).

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