Home Study: Check!

Get ready for some exciting news!
We have been in contact all week with our social worker, who has been working so very hard to finish our home study.  She would email us with questions, then we would email her back. Sometimes she would need an additional form.  We looked over two drafts of the home study before she submitted it Friday, April 11th.

Insert here: Me doing a BIG HUGE happy dance!

It goes on to two different supervisors for approval. After both supervisors approve it, we can move on to the next step: the dossier.  (Pronounced doss-e-A) 

An international adoption dossier is a collection of legal documents that are translated and authenticated to prove that we are who we say we are, and we are able to care for a child.  This packet of information will be sent to China once everything is gathered.  Some of this information includes:

Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificates
Employer Verification Letter
Financial Statements
Medical Suitability Certificates
Police Clearance Letters
Home Study
Reference Letters
Doctor’s Letters of Support (specialists that will be able to take care of a child with a special medical need)

Most of these items will need to be notarized as well as verified by the Secretary of State’s office.  Usually this step takes three to four months. While we are working on our dossier is it also possible to be preliminarily matched with a child.  It means that while we are gathering documents, we can look at referrals. 

On Friday we were able to participate in a conference call with the China team at our agency. First they sent out a letter.

The letter stated:
We have signed a new agreement with the Shanghai Child Welfare Institution! The Shanghai CWI is a top tier orphanage in China and has an excellent reputation for the care they provide to the children, as well as specialized services such as play therapy, occupational and physical therapy, and medical care. Teams of educators and social workers collaborate to meet the educational and mental health needs of the children. The CWI also has a rehabilitation center that provides rehabilitation and language training to children with autism, cerebral palsy, and deafness both within the orphanage and in the larger community…

Through this new relationship with the Shanghai CWI, we are anticipating between 50 and 80 new referrals (that is children!!) during the next 12 months. Children in the China program range in age from about 12 months to 13 years. About 20% of referrals will be for children with more treatable, correctable conditions, and the remainder will be for children with more moderate to significant needs.  We will have each child’s referral for 2-3 months and are therefore actively seeking families who may be open to children with these types of needs, in the hopes that we will be able to quickly match new referrals to families in our program.
Our agency is so excited about this new agreement and the amount of new referrals.  Our agency is reaching out to families who are in the process of adopting, but who are not currently pursuing China, to consider doing so.  The wait time for a referral from China will be significantly shorter.  They also hope to place as many children as they can so as to keep this agreement with the Shanghai CWI open.

We were so encouraged when we heard this news!  Not only does it mean a possible shorter wait time, but it also has reconfirmed that God is leading and guiding us to China.  We have moments when we ask ourselves, Why China? Why are we doing this? and Why are we adopting?  It is an unspoken question I am sure many friends and family have wondered too.  Adoption is expensive, not only in the financial realm, but the emotional realm as well.  Adoption is a hassle.  Adoption requires a lot of paperwork, hours of reading documents and books, traveling various places to gather the correct paperwork, and endless emails back and forth.  Adoption requires openness – during our home study we had to be open about our strengths and weaknesses as a family.  It is not easy to be open about weaknesses. 

Adoption is hard at times. But God keeps reminding us over and over again that He has called us to do this.  We know that we were led here by Him.  We cannot think of any good reason why we should NOT adopt.  We can only remind ourselves of all the reasons we ARE adopting:
To fulfill the Great Commission.
To obey the commands of Scripture.
To raise children to follow God.
To add to our family.
To provide a child with a home.
To embrace a different culture.
To be a LIGHT in a dark place.

The fact that our home study is almost complete and that it looks as if China is opening its doors a little wider has just lifted our spirits and caused us to give praise to God! 

**If you are interested in adoption, please contact me!  I can share with you some resources and answer any questions you might have.

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