There are no words. Just a lot of heart. And paperwork.

Or at least there haven't been much in the way of words. We've announced our news to our family & friends, co-workers, clients & peers. And of course now everyone would like some updates too! ;) For those who don't know yet ... yes, we are expecting! We are currently in the process of adopting baby #3! And in the midst of wonderful announcements, we get to share the joy with others in our circle who are also expecting not to mention so many clients of mine who have since talked to me about adoption and their own hopes & dreams of adding to their own families. You all are amazing & we are so happy to share this journey with you! So what's the skinny? Well ... here is a brief time-line of where we are at in this process:

February - we began our adoption journey! Lots of information & paperwork gathering at this point ...

  • 27th - training with Ruth: Strengthening Families class, which also serves as our Hague training requirement for international adoption

March - we dove in head first! records, clearances, notaries - here we come!

  • 9th - we officially decide on our adoption agency
  • 19th - we receive our "basic list of steps for completing your home study" ... fees, paperwork - you name it!

April - a month of interviews & home visits, all in preparation for completing our home study

  • 1st - Face-to-face interview with our home study social worker
  • 3rd - 2nd day of interviews (individually)
  • 6th - we are "officially" sent a welcome letter & other materials from our adopting agency
  • 14th - our health screenings & paperwork with our family doctor
  • 28th - meeting & drop off of more paperwork with FCA
  • 30th - we receive our Strengthening Families Letter of Completion

May - while visiting & celebrating with family in Chicago, we learn that our home study has been completed & is being sent for review! (unfortunately, it later turns out a few key items did not get processed on their side ... so it was several more weeks (months) before everything was finalized & sent to our agency for review)

  • 3rd - sometime around this date we learn that there is no more state processing ... we won't find out the exacts of this for several more months; our social worker who did our home study also finds a new job in another state around this time frame, so sadly we say goodbye to her & her wonderful role in our life up until this point
  • 28th - on my dad's birthday we learn that our home study has been finalized :)

June - the month of waiting

  • 14th - mid month we are still waiting on clearances from other states; turns out states with very large populations & states with very small ones, zip through paperwork ... those in-betweeners, notsomuch.

July

  • 14th - we start spreading the word about our baby's garage sale & get *amazing* donations from clients, friends & family
  • 23rd-24th - garage-yard sale!

August - a huge step in our journey, we receive our USCIS Orphan Petition Court Date & our "appointment notice"

  • 2nd - our appointment notice comes in the mail ... & we have an appointment here in Fairbanks! HUGE! Big, big deal as everyone else we've talked to has had to go to Anchorage (a 45 minute flight or a 7 hour drive away).
  • 25th Federal Court Building, fingerprinting (electronic fingerprinting - if you can imagine that!)

September - ... hurry up & wait :) ... we hope to add to the "news & progress pile" very, very soon in the months of September & October as we head into winter.

In short ... it's hard to sum up in a 'short list' as really, there are so many steps, so many questions to answer, so many t's to cross & i's to dot. And every step of the way, we encounter as many difficulties as triumphs ... like the clerk with the state fingerprinting who was able to get our paperwork notarized for us on the spot - even though that typically takes another few days - why? We'll probably never fully know, other than she smiled & quickly said something about wanting to help us & the notary being on vacation in a day or two and 'why not.' Or the client of mine who donated miles - yes, airline miles - for our upcoming trips. I won't 'out' her & her family ... but we are ever so grateful for their contribution - something we never expected in a million years! Yes, for every hurdle we've also been granted the presence of amazing people who seem to be there, on that day, at the right time, the right moment just to whisper, "it will be okay ... you can do this ... you will see your baby soon."

It doesn't get more comforting than that.

So where are we now? We are waiting. There's a lot of that. "Hurry up & wait." And there's the 'joke' of adoption hormones just like one who is going through pregnancy hormones. Yes, they are real. And yes they are very similar in some respects. As someone once said to me in recent months, "Well of course. That makes a lot of sense. After-all, you are already breathing, smelling & seeing this baby of yours. You already have hopes & dreams and wishes for your life together. The same for that baby growing inside of you. It all makes sense to me." Me too. We love you little one ... and can't wait to have you home.