Climbing the Paperwork Mountain

So, a lot of friends and family who have seen our adoption announcement and our huge thank you have been asking where we are in the process. Well, here you go. Welcome to my desk. Anytime I’m not racing cars with Carter, playing dolls with Kate, or preparing for my new preschool class, you’ll find me here…in paperwork hell. 😉
I’ve been told this part of the process is a “weed-out” of sorts. Remember in college when you took those 101 courses in your major that were overwhelming and intended to scare away those who weren’t 100% committed to the subject? Yes, well. That’s where we are. I’ve heard many people get to this point in the adoption process and give up because it can be so overwhelming and time-consuming. And I totally get it.
A small sampling of what we have to gather…
-Certified birth certificates
-Certified marriage certificates
-Financial statements
-Four reference letters
-FBI Background clearances
-A hand-drawn floor plan (with dimensions) of our home (EEK)
The list includes about 25 documents similar to this…and that’s just for the home study. The dossier is another 20-25 documents, some of which overlap, some of which don’t. Fortunately, our agency offers an optional service for “first-timers” where they can do some of the work for you with regards to certifying and notarizing documents, and we firmly believe that’s worth every penny. 
 I haven’t felt this “adult” in a LONG time.
The other thing we are currently working on is our list of medical needs that we would consider. China has essentially shut down the healthy infant program (unless you want to wait 8+ years for a referral…um, no thanks), so they primarily only adopt out children with identified medical needs. Some are fixed in China before they come home, some are not. Some are very minor things, some are very serious. Some children are diagnosed properly in China, some are not. (Medical care in China is not exactly up to par with the US.) Part of the home study process includes researching and identifying which needs you’d consider for your family. 
Can I make a small confession here? This part of the process is absolutely TERRIFYING to me. I think it partly scares me because I already have two kids to care for and our agency has really encouraged us to know our limitations given this child is our third. It partly scares me because I worry the diagnosis could be wrong, but I think what hurts me most is that every time I don’t check “yes” to a special need, I know in my heart that means I’m saying “no” to an orphaned child. And man, that stings. 
Friends, can I BEG AND PLEAD for you all to be praying for us as we examine this list? 
I know our God is bigger than any diagnosis, bigger than these financial mountains, bigger than this paperwork…but this part of the process is just riddled with fear. Normal, healthy fear for sure…but fear, none the less. There are so many unknowns, but we continue to move forward in faith that He already knows our story, and He’ll carry it through to completion.
Thanks, friends for continuing to pray with us and share our journey.

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