Today we had our two-hour physicals at the doctor's office and our phone orientation about compiling all the documents needed for our dossier. This is a collection of documents that must be sent to China. These include birth certificates, our marriage license, employment verification letters, FBI background checks, physicals, etc. Many of the forms have to be notarized, and then all of them have to be "authenticated" through Trey Grayson's office (Secretary of State) in Frankfort. It will take us a while to get all the forms collected, received, notarized and verified at the county level. Our agency thinks/hopes that our dossier documents will be ready for authentication sometime around our spring break (beginning of April) so that they can be sent to Washington D.C. for verification and we can HOPEFULLY submit the dossier to China on Friday, April 22nd (this is a big deal because I turn 30 on the 20th and we cannot submit the dossier until I hit the lovely milestone). Then, the biggest hurdle for our process will be complete!
Tomorrow we meet with our social worker for visit #2. This session will include individual interviews related to our childhoods, family life, parenting styles, thoughts on adoption, reasons for wanting to adopt, ability to deal/cope with adoption needs, etc. After this we will only have one more meeting with the social worker and our homestudy will be complete. We are getting close with the homestudy...just waiting for a few more forms and references to be submitted. The homestudy must be complete before we can finish preparing the dossier or submit our I-800 form (request for international adoption) to the US government.
Sorry for the frequent posts - I decided to start this blog to keep family/friends updated, but my primary purpose in creating it was to have it printed into a keepsake book for our daughter when she arrives so that she will always know about our journey to her - including all the celebrations and hurdles - no matter how small or significant! I know if I don't write things down as they happen, I will forget!!
I also wanted to share a picture of Alexis with her new "love bug." I found this at Hallmark today and thought it would be a positive reinforcement tool for her behavior. I have also been thinking a lot about making sure Alexis feels secure and loved as we go through this process, as it has already taken up a lot of time and emotional energy from us, and I want to make sure she still feels special. The bug has a pouch on the back that we can use to tuck little treats or rewards from time to time. Tonight the bug "watched" her eat supper and it slowly "moved" closer and closer, depending on the bites she took and how well she ate. Eventually, he reached her plate and she enjoyed the Tootsie Roll inside! It worked amazingly well - it was the best she has eaten in days! I also think it's neat that he is a ladybug - ladybugs are the unofficial symbol of "luck" in Chinese adoptions.