Because of our recent move, we need to update our home study with CSI, the local agency here in Nebraska. This is the agency that reported about our home life, cleanliness, amount of space, work life, family history, hobbies, and overall lifestyle. Luckily, this update will cost a fraction of the original report.
We also need to update our profile book: our income has changed, my job status has changed, our home has changed. These are items important for birth mothers to know, so we've had to edit some pages in our book and then add a few more pages to further display our new home.
We expected both updates mentioned.
If we had not moved, this home study wouldn't need to he touched until January.
I called our agency and asked about the timing of this update and here's what I learned: Updating now gives us another year of credibility with the agency. So...no home study required in January since we are doing an addendum now anyway. (With or without changes in our life-a January update would have been necessary because the report lasts a year).
So, all of this sounds great. Our agent emailed the necessary forms so we wouldn't have to wait for paperwork in the mail after a holiday weekend.
Here's where it gets a little difficult. I opened my email, excited to press forward. I was shocked at what I found. Every necessary form was attached, with a note saying that I could still request a snail mailed packet if printing was an issue. "Why would printing be an issue?", I thought. Well, as I reviewed each form, I realized that this so called "Home Study Update" is actually more than it sounds. Attached to my email was every.single.form that I filled out last Summer. The only thing missing was a reference letter form to send to seven friends. Everything else has to be done again. Background checks, fingerprints, pastoral references, home visits (the only part we expected), annual exam forms, full blood panels, I can't even remember the rest. All of these documents need to be notarized. This whole process took us almost four months to complete last Summer. And no one bothered to tell us we should expect to do it all again this Summer. And then...there's the *cost* of doing all of this again.
We are frustrated. We are trusting God that this is still His plan for us. We are leaning on each other.
A handful of friends have offered encouragement and we want you to know it means the world to us right now. Every random email or text message we receive through this blog or Facebook, and even personal messages help us carry on. Those who step out to say, "I've been following your story and you're in my prayers", know you're a blessing to us. Strangers have sent this message. Those sometimes touch me the most. They're friends of friends or members of like interest groups who stumble on our story and become part of our journey. All of this gives an amazing sense of community, support, and love. Thank you, every one of you who has played a part thus far. Thank you for praying, for offering words of love and encouragement, and for stepping out to let us know who you are. We love and appreciate every single person invested in this baby, and in our family. I can't wait to meet him or her, and tell our child of all the people who waited with us and loved us.