02/15/08 We started researching adoption over the summer, and went to our first adoption meeting in October. Going in to the meeting, we had very different ideas of what we wanted...Dave wanted a girl, either white or hispanic, and to adopt a toddler domestically. I wanted a boy, either white biracial or black, and I wanted an infant domestically. We came out of the meeting both wanting a child from the Ukraine (because of my family heritage), and I didn't care if we got a boy or a girl. (That's probably the time I knew God was asking us to adopt first, then have biological children.) We knew we had some time to think about it, so we set our thoughts aside. Once we made the decision to adopt at the beginning of January, we looked at the possibility of adopting two children at once. We don't want just one child, and it's a lot cheaper to adopt two at once. The youngest we can adopt from the Ukraine is 18 months, so we're looking at adopting a 2 and 3-4 year old. Pretty crazy!
We started paper work after the beginning of the New Year. First we had to fill out a preliminary application, which was only a page long. Then we went through a short hour long adoption awareness class, where we learned some basic issues with international adoption. Then we filled out a 30+ page formal application. This is where we needed 4 references, a floor plan of our house, and basic educational, professional, and family information.
So, for those of you who don't know much about adoption, here's some info we received in our packets of information that explains the home study process and why this is necessary:
"A home study is required by the state and federal governments. Individuals who are interested in adopting internationally are required to submit an approved home study by an adoption agency to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for their review and approval. Home studies...typically consist of 3-4 interviews..addressing the following topics: motivation and understanding of adoption, home study process, child desired, social history, marriage and family lifestyle, child care and child rearing philosphy, employment, financial and health info, home and community, references and clearences, and a summary with a recommendation...It takes approximately 8-12 weeks to complete the home study process and the home study report with is usually at least 5 pages in length