It's been one year since we started pursuing adoption. I really can't believe everything that has happened in the last year!
I wanted to share a little bit about the process of updating a home study. It's one of those things I haven't seen posted on another blogs that talk about adoption, and it's something that I get emailed pretty frequently about, especially since I mentioned it on twitter.
Everything that goes into a home study - criminal background checks, FBI clearances, child maltreatment registry checks, physicals, vax records for your animals, etc., has an expiration date on it. When does it expire? Exactly one year from the date you were approved. On your state/government forms, there will usually be a stamp that says the date of approval on it. That is also the date it will expire the following year.
One thing I didn't know when we started this process a year ago is that nothing comes due at the same time. I've had things expiring all month, so I had to plan out (very carefully) when to send each document in for re-approval. One thing I want to make note of is your physicals. Most insurance companies will only pay for one physical per year, so be sure to schedule your physical for 1 day after your last one. Example: If you had your physical on August 21, 2012, schedule your next one for August 22, 2013 so that you don't run into problems with your insurance not wanting to pay for it.
I gathered up all of my paperwork and made a list of when each one expired. I also looked at how long it took the state to approve us last year (Arkansas is blessedly quick with approvals) and calculated when I should send in each document based on that time.
Also, we had to meet with Karen, our LCSW. She did our home study last year and she was able to do it again this year. I can't begin to tell you how glad we are to have her! She is so, so, SO nice. I really think that makes a huge difference for us. I've seen other bloggers talk about the people who they have worked with and it makes me sad that not everyone has a Karen!
I don't like to have people over to my house without offering them something to eat. Last year for our two home study visits, I made Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Home Study Sammies and Orzo Pasta Salad. Since we met in the morning this time (and it was a very quick visit), I made my newest recipe, Baked Banana Chocolate Chip Doughnuts.
I've been asked how many situations we've applied for and the answer as of today is 23. Some of the birth families decided to parent and some picked other couples. The most common reason we've been given for being passed over is the fact that we have biological kids. We are still hoping to adopt a baby girl (of any nationality) and believe that every no brings us closer to our yes.
If you wanted to read about our home study last year, there are two posts (one for each visit):
Home Study - First Visit
Home Study - Second Visit
Also, you can type in "Jenna's Journey Adoption" in google to find a slew of other posts about our adoption thus far.