We completed the Home Study Orientation yesterday and remain supremely excited about this journey! It was very clear the entire staff is well grounded in Christ and works very diligently to ensure every T is crossed and I is dotted so our adoption paperwork gets through all of the bureaucracy as smoothly as possible. There are literally dozens of documents required for the Home Study and another few dozen required for the Dossier, so this is no small task!
Lesson #1 for anyone considering embarking on this journey : be super-aggressive in completing as many forms as possible before the Home Study Orientation. The Orientation is considered visit #1 of 4 of the home study process so it all starts with the Orientation. David worked very hard over the past couple of weeks compiling all of the information and forms - to include notarizing! Because we turned in so many completed Home Study forms last night, we expect the first in-home visit (technically Visit #2) by the social worker to be within the month. The Home Study Coordinator who conducted the Orientation last night expected us to be able to complete the Home Study before David heads to Newport, RI, for his Navy schooling in January. That would be fantastic and is what we were secretly hoping for!!!!!
We drove to the AWAA National Headquarters in McLean, Va, for the Orientation, and it was great to see the folks who will be guiding us through the next few months. We met our Family Coordinator, Caitlin, who was as excited to meet us as we were to meet her. She is one of three Ethiopia (ET) Program Family Coordinators, and she currently represents about 40-50 families. The ET Program has nearly doubled every year for the past few years, and AWAA recently added a third Family Coordinator (Caitlin) because of the increased work load and to minimize the time consumed by paperchasing. She was so excited because she rarely gets to meet her families in person - as we're spread throughout the country. All of the Family Coordinators for AWAA work out of the national headquarters office. As we exchange what I'm sure will be dozens of e-mails with Caitlin as we compile the 20-30 documents required for our Dossier (official "adoption package" that will be routed through the State Dept and to the Ethiopian Govt), it will be nice to put a face to those e-mails.
All things new...One month home with Eden
11 months ago