First, this little piece of mail arrived:
That packet of information held copies of our completed home study. It should have taken us a few months to get that home study done, but it took us a whole year....but it's done.
With a completed home study, we can now start to look for grant opportunities. That said, I'm honestly pretty skeptical of our ability to be awarded a grant. Fortunately, we both have great jobs and make good money. Unfortunately, we both have great jobs and make good money. And rightfully so, most of the grant opportunities out there are geared towards people who make less money than we do. For those that aren't income-based and in general, I get the sense that adoption grants are, like most other grants, pretty competitive. But I guess you never know until you try, right?
Also with a completed home study, we get to begin the I-800A process:
Short story: It's more paperwork and sending a decent chunk of change to the federal government. (Thankfully, we already have that money saved up!)
Long story: The I-800A process through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration to determine our "eligibility and suitability" to adopt a child who resides in a Hague Adoption Convention country. The Hague Adoption Convention is an international agreement to establish safeguards to ensure that inter-country adoptions take place in the best interests of the child. In basic terms, these are the ethical guidelines certain countries have agreed upon where adoption is concerned. It's more paperwork, yes, but it's a good thing we're going through a Hague country to adopt.
In addition to all of that, we've been working our way slowly through this paperwork, as it's a bit less time sensitive than the I800A documentation will be:
That is our waiting child packet from our agency. This will include some basic information about ourselves (yep, stuff we've already provided, but need to do in a different format), our research on medical support services in the area, a few different letters of reference, a listing of the special needs we'd be willing to accept, etc.
And no, all of this isn't the end to all the paperwork.
As always, thanks for your prayers and support!