Adoption updates have been few and far between lately (remember, I warned you!). There just isn’t much to update until there IS something to update. But for those of you wondering what’s been going on, here is a short summary.
We are approaching our 1-year anniversary of being registered with Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice….in common terms: 1 year on the list. This could be a source of grief to think that we have waited one year and still aren’t much closer to coming home with our child (most likely). However, I actually celebrate this one year anniversary because it means we are one year closer. We survived it. I didn’t lose my mind, or cry every day in despair, and I (don’t think) I drove Andy nuts talking about nothing else….. this isn’t confirmed though. These may sound like a small feats, but I assure you Andy and I were both concerned with how I would deal with “the wait.” I feel confident that I actually flourished this past year. God urged me not to sit idly by during the wait, but to advocate, and that has proven to be an enormous blessing.
So 21 months ago, we began this journey with paperwork and more paperwork, and now it is time to redo most of that paperwork. Basically we will have to update our homestudy every year and our NBC approval every 18 months. We redid our homestudy in October. This consisted of writing new autobiographies, updating paperwork and special needs lists, and a home visit. We changed a few things this time around–the age of the child we hope to adopt is now written as “0-36 months at time of referral, not to exceed 48 months at time of pick-up, and at least 10 months younger than our youngest child.” Wordy, huh? We also re-evaluated what special needs we felt capable of handling, and added 5 or 6 more moderate needs.
We received our approval letter from the state of IL, and AGCI sent their approval letter, and I thought we were all ready to move to the next stage of paperwork. We were just missing one thing from our homestudy agency. I called our caseworker to ask her to mail it, and she informed me that our adoption agency had requested one small change which required her to resubmit the paperwork to the state, and that, in fact, our approval letter was now invalid. This was cause for panic because, you see, everything has to be submitted at very specific times in the adoption world or it could all come crumbling down. We only have a 90 day window to submit our paperwork to NBC Immigration, and we were already at day 27…..only leaving 63 days to get everything in. This reminded me that sometimes things are happening with your paperwork that you are completely oblivious too…..which makes me crazy.
So now we are waiting, again. We are waiting for IL DCFS to send us a new approval letter (4-6 weeks), then our homestudy agency will send us the final copy of our updated homestudy (which we will get notarized). Then we will submit an application to Immigration, and they will schedule us a time and day to come get fingerprinted at St. Louis again (4-6 weeks). We will wait (and pray) that we get our approval letter from them QUICKLY (up to 90 days). Then we’ll get that notarized and apostilled (in Springfield, IL), send everything to our adoption agency, who will send it to Bulgaria. This is all supposed to happen by March 2nd. God Help Us. “Worst case” is that Bulgaria kicks us off the list for not having things submitted at the right time. So, you understand my momentary panic.
And yet, our adoption agency has promised that we need not panic–that there is always plan B, and that it will all be okay. Bless them–they are such encouragers!
There is the “short” adoption update…..just a few of the small hoops to jump through to grow our family. These are small battles compared to the ones our child is fighting right now, and I will gladly “suffer” a little panic, and a rewrite a few documents to have them home. For those of you whom have asked, the “normal” wait for a traditional (non-severe special needs) referral right now in Bulgaria is 3-4 years. So, by that standard…..we have a “few more” years of these updates.