Just about a week after we were approved we started our home study process and our immigration paperwork. Our home study case manager is Rebecca Hackworth (Pastor Paul's daughter - Pastor Paul is the founding pastor of St. James, where we go to church). We met her and had our first meeting last Tuesday. We left Ethan with our neighbor because he was voted "Most Likely to Distract," but the other two kiddos were with us. Rebecca is taking her time during our visits getting to know all of us, asking lots of questions about our family (extended family and our little immediate family - is anyone scared?), our parenting styles, and just us personally. We have two more visits and a personal inventory, we should be done with the home study the second week of July. After our visits are done, she writes a summary and sends it to immigration as part of that paperwork. As we were leaving the Dillon offices from our first meeting with Rebecca, Conner starts telling her about the time he was at his PaPa's house practicing shooting a bow and arrow and almost hit his cousin with the arrow! It was a lovely way to end a great meeting. I said that that was why we don't go to PaPa's house very often. Thankfully, one of the requirements Dillon has as a parent adopting is a sense of humor.
I mailed the first of our paperwork to USCIS today! Immigration can be challenging to deal with, so I kind of sweated over my part of the paperwork, but it's off to OKC and out of my hands now. Once it visits OKC it gets sent to China to let them know we are planning to adopt.
Nicci and I are signed up for China Heritage Camp the second week of July! Conner will be at church camp that weekend, so he couldn't go. But, Nicci and I will have fun learning about the Chinese culture, food, people, and everything else. I think Nicole is a little nervous because she won't know anyone, but she'll be fine once she gets going.
The China Center of Adoption Affairs has not moved much. This is the organization that handles ALL adoptions in China - matching orphans with families. They are currently caught up to June 15, 2005! It seems that they update their site every 3-4 weeks and only move about a week at a time. We are just praying that they start to pick up again. If they start to get too far behind then we have to have some documents redone and resubmitted - that would be a huge pain, but not impossible.
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2 days ago