April 9, 2012
We had our first home study appointment with our case worker. It was very informational and successful. Our home study agency is located in Jackson, MS, so we have to drive out there for our home study appointments. Luckily, we know another couple, who works with me, that is going through this adoption process and they are in the same stages of the process. So, we can car pool now. Our home study will take three to four months to complete. The home study part of the process will cost us $1,600. We had to have $700 up front. We had a fundraiser at school selling flip flops and with many kind people and praying to God we did raise the $700.
June 12-13 2012
We had two more home study appointments. June 13 was a couple interview. Then, on June 14 we had our individual interviews. Another success!
June 26, 2012
I spent a few days getting ready for this home study appointment with doing some heavy duty cleaning. This is when our case worker came out to our home to inspect it and to make sure it was safe for a child. Everything went fine. David Ryan was on his best behavior, which we had nothing to worry about there; he is a pretty well behaved child. The only thing was our fire extinguisher was too small and we will have to replace it. Our home study will be complete in a few more weeks; next, we will begin to work on our dossier.
A lot has happened in August with our adoption process. First, we passed our home study!!! Our home study agency sent our approval to our adoption agency. A few days later, we received an approval letter from the adoption agency.
We also had to do an I800A, this is where you have to apply to the Homeland Security Office to be fingerprinted with the FBI. This was a pricy process, but with the help of Dustin’s summer job painting the school (a great blessing), we are able to pay for this, especially since we had to come up with the money in two days. A week ago, we received a letter in the mail from the Homeland Security Office in Memphis saying our appointment to be fingerprinted is on September 6. After this process, they will send us an approval letter within two weeks. Then, we have to send this approval letter to our adoption agency to go with our dossier. We are almost finished with our dossier. We are just waiting on the Homeland Security’s approval letter, and we have to compile a collage of pictures of our family’s everyday activities. They are very picky about the pictures; we can’t be in casual dress and we have to wear shoes. After our dossier is completed, our adoption agency will send it to China. However, they won’t send the dossier to China, until we pay them another big chunk. This is our biggest expense so far. So, we have started collecting empty soda cans. After our dossier is sent to China and reviewed by China, we will then be matched with a baby. They will send us a photo and profile of the child, and we will have 48 hours to accept or deny. But, who could deny any child ?!? After we accept our child, we will travel anywhere between 5 and 8 months after that to go get her. We still have a long way to go, but we are one more step closer in bringing Sophie home. Hopefully, soon we will be able to share a real photo of her.
We received our approval letter from the Homeland Security Office! So, now our dossier is complete! That is a big stress relief; the dossier was months of stress and paperwork. Our adoption agency now has our Dossier, but they won't send it to China until we finish paying them their fee. We are at a stand still now until the dossier is sent to China. However, we are doing several fundraisers to help with this fee. We just finished doing Scentsy, which helped a lot. Thanks to all those who purchased from Scentsy! We are still collecting soda cans. Soon, we are having an Origami Owl fundraiser party at my house. So, I believe we can do it; it is just hard knowing that Sophie is out there somewhere waiting for us to come get her and that this fee is the only thing holding us back. We still don't know who she is, but she is out there. That is why we are so anxious about getting this fee paid that way the adoption agency can send China our dossier. Then, China can start matching us with a little girl.
David Ryan is starting to understand a little more about the adoption. But, it is still hard for him to fully understand when you don't have a visual (picture) for him. He can show you Sophie's room, which is still the storage room. We will have to start working at that soon also. For now, we just want her home.
We will keep you posted as we go through this process of bringing home Sophie. Keep us in your prayers as we go through this long, yet exciting process and keep little Sophie in your prayers as well. God has already done so much for us to get us where we are now. We just can’t wait to bring Sophie home!!!