To get us all up to speed, we had our long awaited orientation meeting with our home study person on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011. When we got into the Ethiopian adoption program with America World, they emailed a ton of paper work to start chipping away at and assigned us to two women who would help us through the process. One lady, Trina, is here in Arizona, and she is helping us put together our home study and paper work for the courts here in Maricopa county. The other lady, Lauren, is at the corporate office in VA. She is helping us to put the dossier together that will be sent to Ethiopia. Anyway, it's been a few months of just trying to do what we thought we needed to do with no real results or understanding of where we are in this whole process. In like August we had scheduled an orientation with Trina for October 11th. It felt so far away. We had some paper work that we needed to bring and some money we needed to pay.
Well, the Tuesday finally came. And we were just a little bit of slackers. Ha! We had most of the paper work we needed to give to Trina ready to go.. except for an autobiography for each of us and a financial work sheet. So that Tuesday afternoon, I came to the church and Brandon and I wrote up our autobiographies. I sat in the youth center at the sound booth on the computer there and quickly typed through all of the points that I needed to cover in my autobiography. While Brandon wrote his up in his office. We finished just in time but than I remembered that we needed to finish up our financial work sheet. Brandon was a little frustrated at me for saving this to the very end to finish. But he got that all finished up for us. We ran out the door and drove across town and headed to the South East Regional Library in Gilbert. Some how we only managed to get there just a few minutes late.
We meet with Trina and another couple who is at the same point in the adoption process and is also adopting from Ethiopia. Trina just went through pretty much everything that we had read in the paperwork and books. But it gave us a little better understanding of what was going on. We turned in our paper work plus anymore paper work that we had completed. It felt good to just lighten up our stack of papers and felt like we were getting stuff done.
This first orientation actually counted as one of the 3 times that we were meeting with our home study person (Trina). (I am not really sure what she is-- if she's a social worker or what.) That was awesome! We didn't even know that this was counting as one. We only have two more meetings with her! And we went ahead and scheduled our next meeting two weeks from the 11th. Trina will be coming to our house on October 25th. I feel like we're actually moving in this process! We just need to finish up the rest of our paper work for our home study. (Also, right before we met up with Trina, I emailed her to see what we needed to pay but we ended up not having to pay this time. Yay, so we have a few more weeks to come up with some money.) Which is cool, we should be able to complete our home study by around the holiday time. (Our home study is written up about us and will get approved by the county. Than that will be put into our dossier which is sent to Ethiopia.)
The other couple at the meeting had all of their paperwork in an organized notebook. Whereas, I had all of our paperwork in a jumbled stack of manilla folders. I got ultra motivated when we got home and completely organized our paper work. I bought a new notebook, put everything in order, put all of the paperwork in plastic sleeves, tabbed all of the pages, and made a table of contents. After the meeting, Trina emailed us the rest of the paper work we needed to complete so I inserted that list into the front of the binder. Awww, it's so pretty! (I haven't made very many copies of my paperwork so far, which I hope won't matter right now... but i'm going to be better!)
So to sum up all my ramblings, the meeting went well. We already have one of our meetings done out of our 3. We have a few more weeks to save some money. Turned in paperwork and the paperwork we have left won't be too difficult. Our next meeting is in two weeks. We should be done with all of this home study work around the holidays and move on to the next step. Getting closer to bringing our kids home! The whole thing is starting to become more real feeling!