Starting the paperwork journey…

This is how we spent most of Saturday afternoon…pouring over paperwork.  The minute we paid the application fee (basically signed on with our agency), they e-mailed us what’s called the “formal application.”  This is not part of the homestudy, either.  That has yet to begin.  This was about 50 pages of small print to read through and sign…several documents need to be notarized.  But honestly, it wasn’t that bad, until we got to the AUTOBIOGRAPHIES. They sent us these autobiography guidelines to “help” us along.  If I followed every one of those guidelines, my autobiography would be about 50 pages long.  Luckily, I have a knack for taking a lot of information and condensing it into something readable.  Richard, on the other hand, does not have that talent. After taking about an hour to write mine (it’s not entirely finished; I have yet to describe my hopes and dreams, the challenges in life and how they made me a better person,  and everything else I have no idea how to answer and other important information), Richard took a crack at writing his.  Note: this is after I told him that no, I could not write his autobiography for him.  

  • After about 15 minutes spent trying to put it in paragraph form, he finally got lazy the scientist in him rebelled, and he ended up completing it as a series of bullet points.
  • Unfortunately for Richard, about halfway through, he totally lost track of the overall purpose of an autobiography, and began listing the most obscure, entirely inconsequential details of his life.
  • Things not unlike, “I hated onions as a child,” showed up.
  • Accompanied by other random details, similar to “I loved watching Postman Pat on the telly while I ate quail eggs and other weird things British kids eat while dreaming of marrying a beautiful american girl.
  • After he was finished, he had me take a look at it.

24 hours later, the revision is still ongoing.  Needless to say, the hope is that both of our autobiographies will be completed by the end of the day.

Now, for those of you who have completed the adoption process already, please know that I am not already complaining.  I am complaining already.  There is a difference.

I have two bio kids.  Do you know what kind of things I was required to prove before I became a parent to those two kids?

Oh yeah.  I pushed the kids out, they handed them to me, and they happily ushered me out the hospital door.  I remember holding Abi, who was all bundled up in my arms, and I felt like I was holding an unwieldy ham.  I was 23 years old and I had no idea what I was doing.  Seriously, two years before I had been in college, going to Walmart in my pajamas with a box of Bojangles under my arm and an faded X on my cheek from where I slept on my hand after hitting the club.  Two years later I found myself toting a human child into my life, God bless her tiny heart.

As it turns out, she has turned out wonderfully.  Considering she was a total guinea pig, I think we managed to pull it off rather nicely.  Her brother has turned out great too.  But now I can’t help but think- if someone had scrutinized my finances at 23, had forced me to write out a well thought out autobiography, had required me to read and sign hundreds of pages of notarized documents (I can honestly say I’m not sure I knew what a notary was at 23), and had shown up at my home to assess the living conditions and determine whether they were suitable for a child, I can honestly say that there is not a chance in hell  it is very unlikely I would have been been chosen as a parent.

This process has really made us realize how badly we want this child.  I know that, if they had made me pass a test in that hospital for my kids in order to let me take them home, I would have been outraged. After seeing their faces, I would have let them go over. my. dead. body.

But I recognize that this is a process. They are doing this in the best interests of the millions of children waiting for forever families. They are making sure that we will be the best possible parents that we can be to this particular child.

We will not stop signing paperwork for this child. I will get the crap notarized out of this paperwork for my kid.  I will happily write 100 detailed autobiographies, edit a million bullet pointed autobiographies written by scientists, and pay a million different adoption fees if it means bringing our son home in 2013. In the words of Jen Hatmaker, “God has put a fight in us for this child.”  I might not have been required to fight for my first two, but I would.  And if I have to fight the paperwork for this one, then bring on the paperwork, adoption agency.  Bring it on.

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2 responses to “Starting the paperwork journey…

  1. I see a book here.Start writing it as soon as you have finished the paperwork! Oh yeah, and be sure to keep the first drafts of Rich’s auto, I want to read it, and it will make a good chapter in The Riotous Art of Adoption, b y author Dena Gardner. After its a best seller, you can afford to adopt many other kids, and buy a S. C. lowcountry beach house, for the non adoptive parents who made you possible, and all those kids!! LOL No I’m serious!!
    Love you, Mom

  2. I understand your pain! There is a ton of paperwork to wade through, but it is totally doable! The frustrating part is waiting for your little one!

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