Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paper Chasing, Part I ~ Overview

Oh, the paper chase.  Going into this adoption process, Michael and I were prepared for the fact that there would be a literal* ton of paperwork.  You have to collect birth certificates, passports, tax forms, income forms, marriage certificates, statements from your employer(s), references, and more.  You also have to write several letters.  In our case, I had to write a letter explaining to the government of Ethiopia why I am "unemployed" (because apparently nanny and teacher and cook and maid and chauffer only count if you get paid with dolla dolla bills instead of children's artwork and sticky kisses).  We also had to write auto-biographies (hello middle school language arts assignment!) and get physicals and bloodwork and tuberculosis tests and background checks and a fire inspection and go through manymany hours of cultural and parenting training.  Then, after you get all your paperwork together, you have to get everything notarized. Then county certified. Then state certified.

We're probably about 90% through our paper-chase at this point, and now we're waiting to hear from our social worker who will, I am told, learn everything there is to know about our family through a series of interviews.  If I am to believe the hype, I think she will know more about us than *we* know about us by the time this process is complete.

And then?  Well then we get to submit this giant pile of paperwork to the US government, hope to be approved, then get another background check done (all told we will get 3 sets of fingerprints done each, which doesn't make me feel at all like a criminal. #sarcasm).  Then all of that gets translated into Amharic (most widely spoken language in Ethiopia), sent over the ocean, and we wait.  And wait and wait and wait.  In fact, we wait so long that it is not unlikely we will have to repeat the entire process again before we see a referral.  Super fun times.

But, like I said, we were prepared for the overwhelmingness of the paper chase.  When you start talking to other adoptive families, noone says, "oh, ya, super easy!  You'll totally breeze through it!"  Nope.  More like, "hahahahahahaha good luck ha!" (ok, not like that, people are actually amazingly supportive and wonderful <3). I've been doing most of the chasing, but Michael, always thinking like an engineer, has been keeping us organized.  More on that in another post.

So, there you have an overview of what our last 2 months has looked like.  Over the next couple of posts, I'll talk more about a few of the steps in more detail.  Then we'll talk fundraising, or as I like to call it, FUNdraising.  j/k

In case my sarcasm comes across as frustration or discouragement or any other negative emotion, know that it is not.  I'm just sarcastic by nature.  God made me that way and I'm pretty sure He likes me so I'mma stick with it ;)

*ok, not a *literal* ton...I just did that because Michael hates it when people misuse the word ya babe! :)

No comments: