Oh hey everybody. What's up? Yeah, it's been a while. Apparently once you start one of these blogs, you're supposed to keep updating it. Hmph, who knew? Well, I do apologize that it has been so long. But for anybody who might be still checkin' in every now and then, things are happening, we're movin and shakin, we're in it. So what have we been up to? Well, glad you asked :-)
First let me say that I looooove my husband. He is so awesome. About 3 or 4 weeks ago, after I had completed my 19th nervous breakdown, he realized it was time for the two of us to sit down and organize ourselves. I just kept doing the same thing over and over. I would read through all of our materials trying to get an idea of what we were supposed to be doing and get completely overwhelmed and think, nope, there's no way we can do this. It's impossible. So one night, Matt and I went it through all of it together, broke it down into small manageable sections, and set deadlines for each section. Listen, I realize that most of you will think, duh, of course that's what you should do, but honestly, I had no idea. My career does not require me to organize myself in this manner, and I seriously doubt I ever had anything this elaborate to accomplish when I was in school. So it really was like a revelation to me and it made me feel so much better. I have remained relatively calm ever since! The first thing we had to accomplish was our our I-600 application for Immigration and we had already sent that in. About 2 weeks later we received acknowledgment that they had received our application, followed quickly by our appointment time for our fingerprinting (or biometrics, as they are fond of calling it.) We went this past Thursday, very early in the morning to a very bare-bones, cold government looking office in a strip mall to have that done. Very exciting. But, now all they need from us is our homestudy report to complete the application. And that brings us to our next item. We sent in our homestudy application to Family Resource Center here in Chicago, along with what is probably the biggest personal check I have ever written. Get used to that, I guess. We have our first interview with our social worker in her office this Thursday. I feel like this is a big step, because everything is dependent on this homestudy, and it is really the first time we will sit down with someone face to face to discuss this adoption. Our next step outside of the homestudy is to send in our Gladney application which is in three parts. We will send in part one this week, followed by the next two parts in the next two weeks. At this point, we will really begin to work on our dossier, which will be the toughest part of the paperchase. But, more on that in a future post.
So, that's where we're at. It feels really good to be able to cross stuff off our list. I think the most frustrating thing right now is that, instead of feeling like this is about a baby, it just feels like it is about paperwork. I really can't wait until this is all done and I can just focus on the fact that the end result of this is that we will become parents.
It's hurricane day, err, labor day. I slept on the couch last night with the tv on so I could wake up to coverage of hurricane Gustav. My stomach was doing acrobats inside of me all of yesterday while I waited to see what would happen to my hometown of New Orleans and my family and friends who live there. As of now, 1:53pm (and I am seriously knocking wood) the proverbial bullet was dodged. I'm sure Fema, the army corps of engineers, the state of Louisiana and George Bush himself will take credit, but really, we're just lucky the storm went westward. Anyway, if all holds (again, knock knock knock) I can go back to just having my stomach do acrobats about adoption stuff. I spoke to my mom and my dad, and they each reminded me that I must take this one step at a time. And guess what? We've made a couple more steps. I sent in requests for certified copies of my birth certificate and our marriage license and mailed off form I-600A last Thursday. Also on Thursday, we both went for our required physicals. Our doctor is Dr. Mark Brown and he is awesome! We show up with packets of forms and instructions, some of which need to be notarized, and he just takes it all in stride and is very excited for us and tells us, no problem, we can get this all done. Good ol' Doc Brown. And, you will all be happy to know, we are both free of all communicable diseases. Whew! And, to top it off, my cholesterol has dropped 30 points since the last time it was measured! So, we continue with the steps. And to all my Gulf Coast family and friends, I will continue to watch and hope for the best.
I'm Tam and my husband is Matt. Our names form a palindrome. We're just that cool.
We are hoping to add to our family by adopting our first child from Ethiopia. Please follow along as we journey through the process of international adoption.
7/12/08 Decide to adopt! Request and receive online information packet from Gladney 7/19 Send on-line information sheet to Gladney 8/1 Initial contact with Judy from the Gladney Center and receipt of international adoption manual and immigration form I-600A 8/6 Phone orientation. Request application from Family Resource Center for homestudy. 8/8 Mail in initial Gladney application 8/12 Receive full Gladney application and Ethiopian dossier manual by email 8/21 Get life insurance 8/28 FedEx form I-600A Doctor appointments for both of us. 8/30 Pick up completed medical form for Gladney app. from doctor 9/4 Pick up completed notarized medical form for dossier 9/11 Mail in application to Family Resource Center for homestudy 9/12 Receive receipt and acknowledgment of form I-600a from Immigration 9/13 Receive Matt's fingerprinting appointment letter for immigration 9/15 Receive Tam's fingerprinting appointment letter 9/23 Receive phone call from Kathy from FRC to set initial interview for homestudy 9/25 Fingerprints taken for both of us for immigration 10/2 In-office interview with Kathy from FRC 10/3 Mail in Gladney app. part 1 10/15 Fingerprints for IL foster parenting license 10/16 Cat vaccinations 10/17 Got Tam's employer letter 10/23 Picked up medical forms. Dropped off packet at FRC. Got Matt's employer letter. Talked to Linda from FRC and set homestudy for Nov. 13 10/24 Mail in Gladney app. parts 2 and 3 10/30 Contact Kate from KB Dossiers 11/13 Homestudy 11/18 Adoption class 12/9 Adoption class 1/8/2009 Compile and notarize many dossier documents. Get fingerprints (ink) and send them to FBI. 1/11 Adoption class 1/15 2 remaining adoption classes 1/22 Receive FBI "no arrest" records by FedEx 1/23 Receive finalized homestudy from FRC by mail 2/3 Email informing us we have received Gladney approval 2/5 Conference call with Jessica from Gladney 2/6 Receive really truly finalized homestudy from FRC by mail 2/12 Send remaining portion of fee to Gladney and FedEx FBI approval, homestudy and last reference letter to Kate 2/27 Receive I-171H in the mail 3/2 FedEx final documents to Kate 3/18 WAITLIST!!!!
The blogs I stalk, because they say the things I want to say, only better: