We are up to our ears in "to do lists" and the endless "document collection" process to obtain everything we need for our home study and dossier. I thought I would list out some of the things that we're working on just to give you an idea of how much is involved...
*Complete 10 hours of training on international adoption (in process)
*Micah and I each have to write an 8-10 page autobiography (in process)
*Physicals and blood tests (scheduled for next week)
*Obtain certified copies of all of our birth certificates (still waiting for Eli's...)
*Obtain certified copies of marriage certificate (completed)
*Copies of diplomas/transcripts (completed)
*Letters from employers (Bethany - done, Micah - in process)
*Letters of recommendation (in process)
*Copies of tax returns (completed)
*Letter from bank and bank statements
*Letter from health insurance
*Letter to Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia
*Have passport photos taken
*Power of Attorney forms
*Police clearance letter
Many of the documents we have to collect must also be notarized, certified, and/or authenticated... so it makes obtaining a simple document a more complex process and more time-consuming.
Once we have everything required by our home study agency, we will go ahead and submit those items to them and they will come out and conduct our actual home study visit(s) and interview(s). Once the visits are completed, the agency will then write up our home study which must then be notarized and approved by Holt. The home study is the most important piece of our dossier that will be sent to Ethiopia. Once the home study process is complete, we will send our entire dossier (aka "life on paper") to Holt who will then send it on to Ethiopia. It's at that point that families are normally placed on the wait list to be matched with a child.
We would appreciate your prayers during this busy holiday season that we would be able to complete our paperwork and not run into any serious glitches with obtaining documents and letters. We are *hoping* to complete this paper-chasing phase by January/February and get on that wait list!!