Friday, September 17, 2010

And then there was paperwork....LOTS!!!

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 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 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 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!!!  


  1. i am happy to help too! :) let me know! girl, i was a mess just a week ago doing the same thing you are doing....i cried when i left fed ex.... i was overwhelmed, relieved, exhausted and just worn the heck out!! :) You will get there though-- Angela is a GREAT resource at CCI. My advice is do one thing at a time. just work on the dossier then you can do the rest. One bite at a time! :)

  2. I'm curious about what the timeline for a foreign adoption is. I'm sure it is different for different countries. I am also curious about the financial side of adoption as well. And do you have to go through the process of paperwork to get in the system and then hope to get the children you are looking at or do you pick your children and then fill out paperwork. Sorry for all the questions, but I've always been interested in this.

    Your story is so encouraging! May God just wrap His arms around your family at this stressful time!

  3. Hey Alexandra....I'm not an expert (let's get that out there first). LOL I found my children on a Waiting Children list -- that is typically a faster process than adopting a baby. Adopting these children is going to be about a six month process. Right now I have friends waiting for a baby from China and it's about a 3 year process. The agency I'm using is You can read all about adoption on their site -- they have info about costs, etc.

  4. yeah! you have a blog to follow- i love this! the paperwork still gives me the jitters. and we actually still have some left with the re-adoption in the states r/t the visa we came home on. oh my goodness...some days i am not sure it will ever end and if it does i'll start it again anyway perhaps.
    so excited for your family. adoption is so amazing.
    love y'all,

  5. Hey, call me anytime with questions...we did our dossier in 24 hours-literally. I did have some of the overlapping paperwork ordered or in my possession because of the homestudy, but I did the rest in 24 hours. I did not have to send out my birth certs. back to TX though. I am so excited for you guys...can't wait to meet those kiddos!