If I tried to blog about everything I know about adoption, especially after spending an hour on the phone with our agency yesterday, I think I could write a small book. By the time we are finished, I could write a big one...and maybe I will...you know, while the baby sleeps. (HA! Remember, not a Mommy, but a very experienced Nanny).
Okay, here is where we are:
After printing our application yesterday, I realized we didn't have everything we need, so I didn't mail it out. We downloaded "Packet 1" which we received in an email after contacting the agency from their website. This packet consists of our basic information- full names, address, phone numbers, list of others living in our home (0), list of seven references, questions we had to answer individually regarding our personal beliefs in Jesus Christ, our experiences and relationship with God, and our perspective on how to get to heaven, we also need to include a photo, our $95 application fee (I'm going to be open about the finances in all of this because it's one of many mysteries about adoption when you're outside, looking in), and (this is what is missing) copies of our first two pages of tax returns from the last two years and all W-2s/1099s from the last two years.
Here's what I think:
The application was fairly easy to fill out. This is what we did over dinner last week that sparked ridiculous excitement and silly photos. The references were fairly easy to come by and we contacted each one before offering their information (might seem like obvious advice, but I'm putting it here anyway).
The faith-based questions made Adam a little nervous, but he picked a day, blocked out his evening, and I went out to sit by the pool while he wrote out what He believed about God in answer to the three questions on the application. Want a preview? Here is questions 3:
If you died today, and were to meet Jesus face to face, and he asked you why He should let you in to heaven, what would you say?
No big deal....just a simple question that lies between you as a couple and you as a family. I have to say, I was beyond blessed to read my husband's answers to these questions. He isn't verbally expressive very often, so for him to sit and write an essay (basically) on what He believes about His Savior, how he came to know Christ, and what he knows will get him into heaven...this was a lot. It's a lot for anyone, but Adam did it. And as I read his answers, I had a strong confirmation about his faith. Not that I've doubted him, but in that moment, I was so very proud of the man I married!
Because we are in temporary housing just after a move, some of our financial information is locked away in Davenport. When we visit this weekend, we will grab our tax returns and bring them back here so that I can make the necessary copies. I've been told I will need more copies of the same documents as we go through each step, so we're just bringing everything here to stay.
I'm glad the application fee is small. It looks as though our fees start small and gradually become larger. This is nice for us because we are both planners and my husband *hates* (yes, I know 'hate' is a strong word, but I use it appropriately) spending money. We can slowly get used to the idea of each cost before payment is due, and we can gradually increase the amount of money we send out at a time. At one point, I thought people who adopted applied for a loan for $15,000-$20,000 or put all expenses on a credit card and paid it off later. Now, I've learned there are grants available, fees are paid step by step, and fees are paid to different places at different times throughout the entire adoption process.
Here is where we are headed:
Once the application is filed, we need to find a local agency to do a Home Study. I'm looking into Nebraska Christian Services and will fill in the details when we get there. Today's information is enough for today. I'll try to do everything in small doses, but so far, it's coming at me in buckets!
Here is our photo (thank you, Jennifer Jayne Photography!):