Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Homestudy Ordered & Agency Lunch

I lost my voice and am taking this opportunity to post a much needed update.
It's impossible to speak to anyone on the phone. They just keep asking, "Why are you whispering?" Do they really think it's on purpose???

Maybe I should get a bell so Kai can hear me from his office in the back. I bet he would love that! He's actually running late tonight from his training. I bet he's out buying me a bell right now. I didn't realize how much I took the task of talking for granted.

Okay, back to the post...we have two very big bits of news.
You'll see in our timeline list on the side of this blog that our caseworker ordered our homestudy a week ago yesterday, 3/30. This means we have submitted all materials for review and the social worker will contact us w/in 30 days to schedule our first of three meetings.

Below are some of the materials we've gathered in preparation for our homestudy:
Medical reports-(Physicals including tests for HIV, Hep A, B and C, TB tests, hearing,vision)
Child abuse record clearance
Proof of addresses since 1981
Employment verification forms
First two pages of the past three years of federal income tax returns
Copy of bank statements
Marriage certificate
Birth certificates
Health insurance info (stating coverage & proof of child coverage inc. pre-existing illness)
Life insurance info
List of all debts/assets
Photos of home, yard, neighborhood
Photos of family
Letters of recommendation (thanks everyone!!!!)

Our agency, Gladney, was hosting a luncheon for families adopting through their Ethiopia program two weeks ago. The reason this is such big news is that a) we live in the NYC area and they are based in TX (the lunch was in NYC!) and b) Belay Tafesse was speaking.

Belay is THE guy. He is the in-country coordinator, handling the children and details for hundreds of families just like us. Our little guy is going to be in his hands when our time comes. Belay's work and dedication to the orphans in his home country is substantial to so many others' well-being, in addition to those he affects directly. Meeting him during one of his few getaways from Addis was a priviledge.

In addition to having the opportunity to meet Belay, we met with other reps from our agency, who are just amazing. We also met families in the NYC area who have adopted and brought their children home from Ethiopia. The children were beautiful! The parents were so full of energy and excited to share their stories and support with us. What a great community! We snagged the biz cards of some parents who live within blocks of us and have children who may very well be potential playmates. We are more than confident at this point that we are working with the right agency.
We were originally with a different agency when we started this process.
Note to potential APs...This is the biggest decision you'll ever make in your lives. Do your research and trust your gut.

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