Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Kevin and I had our first meeting with our social worker for our home study last week. For those of you who are new to adoption I will give you a basic run down on what a home study and dossier is. A home study is where adoptive parents meet with a licensed social worker and the social worker will compile a profile about you to submit to your country as part of your dossier. The social worker will basically look at what kind of people you are and what kind of home you will provide to an adoptive child. They will also make recommendations of the best age of child you and your spouse will be suitable to parent. A dossier is a set of documents that includes very detailed information about yourself. The dossier is sent to the country you are adopting from and is used to find a child that best suits your family. The dossier phase of your adoption is often referred to as the “great paper chase”. Your social worker and agency will provide you with all the help you need to get your dossier completed. Completing a dossier can range from 3-7 months. It can be quite overwhelming but just think of the beautiful child you are going to rescue! This is just part of the process. It will all be worth it and forgotten when you hold your dear child!
Our first home study day was crazy! By the time we made it to our meeting we were 15 minutes late and completely frazzled! Our meeting was scheduled so we could meet half way from where she lived and from where we lived. Our meeting was at 1:30pm and I worked till noon. Kevin and I had worked for hours on our questions from our social worker! Kevin went to his office to print everything off and get it all ready to give to our social worker and he could not find them ANYWHERE on our laptop! Somehow and someway, our 35 questions plus his 25 questions that he needed to complete on his own got deleted. So needless to say we were freaking out! But our social worker was very patient and gracious and allowed us to submit those questions later. Our meeting with her went awesome and we were relieved when we had completed the meeting. She was very nice and professional and knowledgeable. We have scheduled our next meeting to be in our home on December 26th! She will look at our living situation and include a description of our home in her report. She will also be able to give us feedback on how we need to improve our home or make our home a better environment for our adoptive child. We are so excited about completing this step in our adoption process. Once we have a completed home study on file then we will be able to apply for grants and loans that will help in reducing the overall cost of our adoption.
Home Study & Dossier Tips:
*When searching for a social worker you need to check with your adoption agency because they will usually have a list of home study agencies in your state that they have used previously. Our agency provided a list of 5 or 6 agencies. We contacted each one of them. After speaking with these agencies we were able to look at prices, the process in which they complete the home study, and how we connected with the person we spoke with. You need to choose a social worker/home study agency that you feel comfortable speaking to and discussing your adoption. Our social worker was very professional and helpful and we felt full confidence that we made the right choice.
*Make several copies of everything you give to your social worker and your adoption agency. I have made several copies of our driver’s licenses/social security cards/marriage license etc. This will allow you be able to have access to all the documents just in case anything gets lost or needs to be resubmitted.
* BE ORGANIZED: buy a cardboard filing system so you will be able to place all your documents and copies for your adoption in one place. This will save you time and frustration when you are trying to mark things off your to do list!
* I have also printed our 53 page dossier guide and placed it in a sturdy 3 pronged binder so I can reference it easily and quickly.
*You will need to have many, many, many things notarized! Choose a notary that you will be able to easily access and whose notary commission doesn’t expire before your dossier gets sent to your child’s country. Our notary will be our church secretary so we will be able to get her to notarize something every week if we need it!
I hope this information helps you in understanding the process and I hope this helps those of you who are in the adoption process!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
This is the group of girls we brought on the Winter Retreat last year!
We always have so much fun! It's my favorite youth trip of the year! Nothing like admiring the beauty of God's creation than by spending time in the
Smoky Mountains! :)