Well, we are nearing the end of our homestudy. As it stands, it looks like things should wrap up around the first week of August. This is great news. To our knowledge, our homestudy has gone very well. We met with our social worker at our house and we have also met her at the office in Birmingham a couple of times. The past month has been mostly paperwork and running to doctors’ offices for letters. While we are collecting documents, we have to be aware of which ones will have to be state and/or county certified. This is a process where basically the notaries are validated and the probate offices within the state are validated. This is part of the process that China requires. We have to be careful with the documents and ensure there are no errors because any error could hold up the adoption approval.
In full disclosure, the whole certification process confuses me. Our case worker from the adoption agency has explained it to both Amy and myself, but only Amy seems to have really captured the requirements. We ran around some this week and got paperwork certified at the county and state level. We also sent off some paperwork to California for state certification (California does not require county certification). This letter was from my company verifying my employment and salary. It is not easy to take the one original document you have and stick it in the mail to the other side of the country. We anxiously await the return of that document as it is hopefully the only thing that has to go that far for certification. We have some that need to be certified in Nashville. For instance, my birth certificate, since I was born in Chattanooga, TN.
These are the current details. We have not received any further updates on Miriam specifically, and do not expect any within the near future. Every day we just pray and that is all we can really do other than paperwork. The best part of the homestudy completion is the ability to apply for grants. We have been unable to apply for grants because all of them require a completed homestudy in advance. This is because they usually want a copy to consider as part of the decision for the grant. My calculations based on estimates from various sources show that we will likely pay between $30,000 and $40000 when all’s said and done. The next step will be reviewing all available grants to see if we meet the requirements to apply. This reminds me of college, except there is even more at stake.