FINALLY! I have a moment to update everyone with what's happening with our adoption! It's been an insanely crazy month.
To start, our homestudy is complete! Yay! We finished all our online classes, had several meetings with our social worker, who was wonderful btw, and got all the revisions done to suit our primary agency. The finalized copy has been sent to them and I am awaiting a letter of approval.
Once I get that approval letter from our agency, I can mail off our I-800A to get approval from USCIS. I'm hoping that will happen by the end of the week, but since we've been getting a record snowfall here in Baltimore, it may be few extra days until we can dig ourselves out of our driveway and make it to the FED EX drop off.
Last week we made another trip down to Pikesville to get more copies of birth certificates since Mexico has recently changed some of the documents needed for the dossier and now wants all the kids certificates too. I would have just ordered them from the online site vitalcheck, but needing double copies for all of us plus marriage certificates would have cost me twice as much (their fees are so high!). So we had a fun family afternoon hanging out in Vital Records! Ah, the family bonding happening as you squeeze 6 people along a very LONG waiting line of very cranky people! LOL!
The past few weeks were filled with uncertain feelings all over again. We found out that our agency is still waiting for certification from the Central DIF office. In the past, each individual state was in charge of their own adoptions. But recently, the person in charge of the Federal level of DIF is changing the way adoptions are initiated. All the dossiers will now have to go through this new office and they will decide which state they will send your paperwork to. This will make the process so much more understandable and uniform once all the kinks are worked out. It's just mayhem right now as they go through the process of reforming the details. Now our agency is being told that they need Federal level approval. And it is taking forever. Mexico keeps asking for more documentation.
So we'd personally really been wrestling with whether to stick with our agency or even stay with the country of Mexico. It made for a week or two of unrest and lots of searching for answers that no one really has the answers to. We still have feelings of doubt (well, at least I do. Brent is more confident.) but made the decision to stay the course and not change plans until we had clearer direction from the Lord. He is the one who put all of this on our heart, and He is a big enough God to work out agency approvals and lack of staffing in the Central DIF.
To add to the journey, we were informed about another sibling group that our agency has been told about. I don't want to tell much information just yet, but just know that it isn't as easy of a decision to accept this sibling group as it was the last one. Things are more complicated and a decision still has not been reached. These kids DEFINITELY need a loving home. We're just not sure if we are the right one or not.
We are praying and asking lots of questions to have as much information as possible before deciding. Surrendering our preconceived ideas and expectations is becoming a theme during this whole process and I'm certain God is using this situation with these children to cause us to search our hearts to know if we are doing this for Him, or for us. Boy, seeing how much selfishness can be dredged up from the bottom of my heart is disgusting! But, God is so gracious to grow us more like Him by guiding us through these lessons where we learn more of His mercy and compassion towards us. Adoption is quite a sanctifying process!