When we started the process to adopt from Vietnam I had no idea the amount of paperwork there would be. Oh my word!! Then that fell through. When we started the process to adopt from Russia they said it would be much more than Vietnam - and it was. Holy cow!! When we started this process to adopt from Ethiopia someone said it would be an easier process with less paperwork. Um, I don't think that person has adopted from Ethiopia!! This is out of control. This paperwork has paperwork. If you've never adopted then you may not be in the know on this - so I'll give you a quick run-down. Now remember, this is only as I understand it at this moment - it may or may not be accurate!! ha!!
There are three different sets of paperwork going on at the same time. There is the set of paperwork for your agency. The application, the references, the contract...to name a FEW. Then there is the paperwork for your home study - and this is a ridiculous amount of paperwork. I mean, this is everything you could tell someone about yourself and then a little bit more....plus reference letters from four people who know you well. This home study also consists of three meetings - two at their office and one in your home. Ok, lastly there is the Dossier (pretty French word). This is the serious stuff. Pretty much everything has to be a certified original, meaning that you have to send off to get your birth certificate, marriage license, etc...and you pay for these. Now get this...when you get them back in the mail from the state you had to order them from, you have to SEND THEM BACK to the Secretary of State for that state (and of course pay him/her) so that they can put their stamp of approval on it. In the meantime, you must have doctor's letters, financial letters, reference letters, pictures, police clearance reports, proof of insurance, and more! Now, to top all this off, everything has to be notarized - and the dates on each individual paper have to match up - like, you can't date a letter Sept. 10th and notarize on the 13th. Have to be the same, and there can be no errors...no white-out. (Honestly, I don't think you have to do all this to be president!!) Once you do all of that then you have to do a County notarization something-or-other and then the State Seal thingy-ma-jig. It is CRAZY!!
Seriously, can raising three more kids be harder than this? I think not!! LOL
So, not trying to complain, just trying to share the details. My head is spinning at times - wondering if I'm totally messing it up. I keep calling my friend, Tori, who is a couple steps ahead of me in the process. She is also quite a few years younger than me (and she hasn't birthed children yet) so her brain is still working correctly. She is kind and helpful and for that I am much appreciative.
At this point I am waiting on birth certificates to come in so I can send them out again. Hopefully they will return quickly as our home study will be completed next week and we need to get these papers out the door and on to Ethiopia!!
P.S. It is worth it!! (: And if you decide to adopt you can call me any time to ask me questions about the paperwork...and I will give you Tori's number!!!