Blake was a trooper in compiling page upon page of financial details & worked on any requirements involving a government agency. I tackled the rest.
I sent emails to Blake throughout the day asking questions like: Where were you born again; DesPlaines or Park Ridge? Height/Weight? SSN? College graduation date? Address of your first apartment? What color socks are you wearing right now?!?
I bought a package of neon page markers and, for a week straight, when Blake arrived home I would direct him to Sign Here and Here and Here and Here. Like a drill sergeant I’d say, “Fill this form out before Saturday’s class. I don’t know either; just write what comes to mind (NO. Not that; write something else.)”
I spent hours at the post office sending/receiving packages & in front of a Xerox machine making duplicates of paperwork for one government/social agency or another.
It was a harried time and yet on some days, when I closed by eyes, I could almost see my child peeking over my shoulder urging me to fill out just one more form, answer one more question. With each completed task, he/she was getting one step closer to being a forever part of our family. And so, we pressed on.
Here are the nitty-gritty dates; probably only interesting to those who have/will be going thru the process.
- April 13th – initial meeting with HomeStudy agency (TheCradle)
- April 24th – application accepted by Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS)
- June 15th – all paperwork, interviews, preliminary education requirements completed
- June 22nd – actual home visit completed, final meeting with TheCradle counselor
- July 24th – HomeStudy draft received later than expected, required some edits
- July 25th – HomeStudy sent to CHSFS for review; hoping for approval prior to August 1st
- August 1st – no approval; new State Law effective 08/01 added 3 weeks to process
- August 22nd – HomeStudy accepted by CHSFS and Illinois DCFS
- August 24th – sent final paperwork to State of Illinois for authentication stamp/signature
- September 1st – received document back, sent to CHSFS with rest of dossier documents
- September 5th – officially waiting for a boy, 0-12 months at time of referral
I think every adoptive family has a paperwork-chase story. Here’s ours. On Friday (08/24) we mailed our documentation to the State of IL and the package arrived at 9AM the following Monday (08/27). We hoped for quick turnaround (same-day); but admit our expectations were a bit high. I tracked the package on Thursday (08/30), FedEx communicated a delivery the following day by 3PM. Friday came & went. Tracked the package again; customer-service confirmed the package would arrive by 3PM on Saturday. It’s 3PM. Then 4PM. I call again. Looks like there’s been some kind of plane malfunction at the Indianapolis airport; package should still arrive by 4PM (keep in mind, it is NOW past 4PM). Aaargh! 4:50 FedEx man pulls up to the curb & I practically tackle him to the ground. We have a dozen friends coming over for a backyard barbeque at any minute. Who cares! I shove the authenticated document into the waiting envelope with the rest of the dossier paperwork, drive to the local FedEx drop-off location. You guessed it; I missed the last truck of the day by 5 minutes. It’s a holiday on Monday (Labor Day) but I was assured the package would leave the following Tuesday. Oh, well. What’s a few days, right?
Stay tuned for Part IV: The Waiting Game.