Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Knocked Up

When I was in high school and college, I knew some girls who got knocked up. Almost to a one they said it involved drinking copious amounts of alcohol, losing their inhibitions and "having some fun."

I too am expecting a baby but my story is not like that. There is no fun. And there are a whole lot more people involved.

We've begun what is called in the adoption game, the paperchase phase. And just like the book The Paperchase about law school, there is a whole lot of stress and work involved.

Our social worker runs a background check on Bubs and I, asking the state and local authorities for any dirt they might turn up. They check 5 references.

We have the home study. A social worker meets with Bubs and I together and separately. They ask us all about our past, how we were raised, what our parenting style is, and do we have any skeletons in our closets.

Then they come to our home and "inspect" it. They say they don't use a white glove to check for dust but it sure feels like it. Our home must meet certain criteria laid out by the state before we can have a child placed in our home.

Once we are done being poked and prodded, we have to be poked and prodded some more. This time by a doctor.

We also have to do a complete financial disclosure. We have to compile our birth certificates, marriage licenses, copies of our last three federal tax returns. All of these documents must be notarized and then sent to the Secretary of State and certified.

After they've looked under the hood and kicked the tires a few times, the social worker puts all of this together to compile our home study report. Which we then have to send to the State and the Feds for approval. We also have to be fingerprinted. And once the State and Feds have given their approval, our dossier is sent to our agency to be translated.

After all of this, which could take a few months, the dossier is sent to Ethiopia. And that is when we are officially expecting a referral for a baby. Officially knocked up.

And then we wait some more.

9 comments:

Michelle said...

Boy you sure don't get to have the "fun" part of getting knocked up doing an intl adoption do you?
But I suppose it's all worth it in the end when you get to go get Turtle hey?

MamaCarter said...

While the getting knocked up part is fun, the rest ain't (ow, as my beloved in utero child stomps on my bladder). So, um, maybe this is the tradeoff for missing labor? Maybe?

All joking aside, good luck getting this stuff all done and getting turtle on his way here. We love you guys.

Karen said...

When we went through all this with The Midge, I kept thinking that ALL potential parents should have to go through fingerprinting and parenting classes, etc. Not just those of us lucky enough to adopt....

reneedesigns said...

Karen reminded me I forgot about the parenting classes. We need to take 10 hours of classes before we can be approved as adoptive parents.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

You would think that having done it all once before would count for something... I understand why it doesn't - but still...

reneedesigns said...

I also forgot we have to write an autobiographical essay for our social worker.

At least this one we can copy from last time.

Z said...

I'm always amazed by the hoops you have to jump through to adopt, when for too many that precious baby happens after one little "oops" ... I wish there were some way to combine the two experiences - one so hard and heartbreaking, the other a bit too easy but often no less heartbreaking - and make it so the one was a bit harder, the other a bit easier. Even it out a bit. Of course, I wish for many impossible things...

anymommy said...

I remember these 'pregnant' days. It's a long haul. I would tell myself, one piece of paper at a time. Can't wait til you can announce that it's all in! The new header picture is darling, by the way.

EatPlayLove said...

I would think they would be gentler on you the second time, like a shorter labor. Best of luck receiving turtle.