Saturday, February 28, 2015

Updates and lack thereof

        Today is 3 weeks since our final homestudy visit, and 5 weeks since we submitted our background checks and fingerprint cards. As a recap, here are the approximate wait times we were given: First, it would take 4-6 weeks for our background checks and fingerprint cards to be processed (which must happen before our homestudy approval can be submitted to the court system for official legal approval), then it would be 6-8 weeks for court processing and approval. So, we were hoping that we would be officially approved to adopt and could start having our profile shown 10-14 weeks from February 9th (since the 7th, when we had our final homestudy visit and social worker approval, was a Saturday).
     Well, there has been a bit of a glitch in the first part of this waiting period-- the fingerprint cards.
Remember the ridiculous process that I mentioned my fingerprint cards ended up being? I went to 3 different places on 3 different days and made so many phone calls that I lost count because no one in my town-- not even the police department-- seemed to know when or where the "right" person was available to dip my fingers in ink and press them against a piece of paper. Well, apparently, that "right" person didn't end up being so right after all. My husband's fingerprint clearance was approved 2 days ago (so he was right in the middle of the 4-6 week window at 5 weeks), but I received a notice saying that mine was "pending state/FBI reprint." I just saw the notice this morning (we were on vacation this week) and today is a Saturday, so I can't call and ask questions about what exactly was wrong, or if this puts me back at the beginning of the 4-6 week waiting list or if they will hold my application and just wait for the replacement card. (Update: I was able to get in touch with someone on the phone, and apparently my prints did not transfer clearly enough for their scanner to read. They are holding my place in line so that I won't have to restart my 4-6 week wait when I get my new prints sent in) Thankfully, I saved my receipt for the actual printing, so I plan to go back and make them redo it. I'll keep you posted on how that works out!
     The only other thing that has happened in the last 3 weeks is that our social worker has been calling our friends and family who wrote letters of support for us to ask them additional questions. Last week while we were on vacation (2-2.5 weeks after our final homestudy visit), we were getting calls and texts from people saying that they had just gotten off the phone with our social worker. Those who volunteered information about what she asked (I felt like it would be too pushy/slightly inappropriate to grill my friends and family about their conversations) mentioned questions about our marriage, what they knew about our discipline style and beliefs about discipline, and any concerns they would have about us adopting. I was also told that these were not long conversations at all, and apparently were pretty casual discussions (there were comments about how nice of a person our social worker was, so it doesn't seem like she was intensely interrogating them about our lives).
    We are trying to make the best of this waiting period. We are enjoying our time as a family of 3 and giving our son lots of attention (not that he didn't get that already!). One thing we have been diligently working on is tightening up our budget to minimize the amount of money we will have to take out in loans. We don't feel like it would be honest to say that we have "financial hardship" for many of the grants and 0%-interest loans available for adoption, and since we already have one child we are disqualified for many others. We aren't allowing this to be something that discourages us--we are seeing it as a reminder of how blessed we are. We have dropped our gym membership (bye bye, yoga classes), switched our television package, are trying to keep our grocery bill in check, have stopped going out to eat except on special occasions, and I haven't bought any new clothes since November. Are these things going to be enough to allow us to save $15,000-$20,000 in less than a year? Absolutely not. But, every little bit helps.

 To end on a bit of randomness, I found this quote that I love:
“God knit you together in your mother's womb, then he wove you into our hearts.”  
 – Erica Stauver

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