Something about the whole adoption process that I have not taken for granted is just how warped my sense of time has become. My last blog post was back in January of this year. January! As we are closing in on December, it feels a bit like we’ve been running through a vat of all of the mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving.
Back in December as I’d written about in my last post, we met with a placement agency in New York over the holiday break. John and I were down on Long Island for Christmas and figured we could get some of our questions answered and informally begin the process. We were told the formal process really begins once our third wedding anniversary rolled around, which was this past October. This gives you the green light to begin your home study, which is really when the engine starts. Selecting this particular agency, of course, was driven purely on emotional triggers. This was the agency my parents had worked with all of those years ago, which led to my sister and me. I’m a pure sap and decided this was the way to go.
This decision has proven somewhat challenging in that we have our placement agent in NY, our home study agency in Massachusetts, and generally overlapping requirements from both sets of applications. What we should have done was what my dad did… look at the yellow book (or I guess google today) and see what the nearest adoption agency was near our house. Ha.
Fortunately, my anal retentive organizational skills have finally found their personally meaningful purpose. I have crazy spreadsheets with all sorts of tracking mechanisms for keeping straight which original notarized documents need to be sent to NY vs. MA, how many original copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank letters, employment letters, tax returns, financial information, medical/physical forms, all of the places we’ve lived for the past 15 years. We’ve just finished our psychological assessment before Thanksgiving and shelled out more cash than I’m willing to admit. All for an online true and false test, which had one too many questions about hearing voices, and what seemed like an endless slew of memory tasks — “say rectangle when you see a rectangle and triangle when you see a triangle… now switch”, “name as many colors as you can think of in 30 seconds”, “draw a face of a clock for me at 10 after 9”, “tell me a structured story with a beginning, middle, and end based on this picture”.
At this point, we’ve completed 3 of the 4 pre-placement home study meetings with our last tomorrow night. While the whole thing feels very spread out, the requirements can really make your head spin. At this point, we only need a few more items including three reference letters, our MA child abuse/CORIs to be finalized, and my NY background checks to be completed.
Once the home study meetings are done, our psychologist will write up the document which will need to be reviewed by the home study agency and our placement agency before being submitted to Korea. Her guess was she’d have it drafted in 2 weeks and hopefully have it to our placement agent before the news year. We also have a few additional items we’ll need to gather for our dossier, but mostly of them are largely covered by items we’d collected for the home study application.
After that, it’s just the waiting game to see what referrals we’ll get. Yes, I said referrals. As in multiple matches. That part is probably the only thing that makes me feel any trepidation. There could be a few matches and we have to consider each one. It feels painfully uncomfortable and I’m praying we get one match so there is really only one decision to make.
It all seems so far away, but given how much we’ve gotten done and how much time has passed since my last post — we could have our child/children in less time.
One thing I’d encourage anyone going through or thinking about starting this process — the administrative tasks and financial obligations of international adoptions can feel like a lot. Keep your head up and stay organized. Your child is out there waiting for you. Every little puzzle piece that gets locked into place is one less thing you have to carry with you. Our hearts feel so full every time we drop off another document at our MA agency, knowing we’re another step closer.