Can I just say that switching agencies and having to have our home study redone has been crazy? We would have had to redo/update our home study anyway in October, but when we left our old agency, we really wanted to keep our social worker, and asked if she could redo the home study but through a different agency. Since she is licensed through another agency in our state, this part wasn't a problem--well, it was a minimal problem. We had to call and ask our old agency to release our confidential information, and, because there was a misunderstanding between the coordinator at our old agency and the social worker, we spent about 2 days thinking that they weren't going to let her have any of our information. After several hours of panic, anger, and frustration at our old agency (again--it was their misunderstanding), that got worked out and we were able to move on.
The biggest hitch with the re-write is that the new agency that is overseeing our new homestudy is Hague-compliant---and even though Russia doesn't require it, we still have to meet all those hurdles. That has meant more background checks (in every state that we have lived in since we were 20 years old!), the online education requirement, a fingerprint check through the state and national registry...all things that have taken more time. We're still waiting on one of the background checks for when Steve was in college and working as a youth director in Alabama, and for some reason the MO Hwy patrol didn't know where our fingerprints were as of last week. Hopefully, this will get quickly resolved now that we're in the new year. We had the tracking number for the fingerprints, and were able to pass them along to our social worker when she asked for them earlier this week. Strangely, I'm not as stressed out by all this as I would have been last year...I have a stronger sense that this will all get worked out, in God's time, when it needs to be. That is a very good feeling.
We have, as of last night, completed all the stuff that we needed to do for the homestudy--we finished the online education classes last night. Can I just say that they are depressing? I do understand the need to have people understand the "this might happen, and you need to be prepared for the worst" scenario, but really...could there be some positive reinforcement or some "this could happen in a good way" in these classes? Those of you who have taken them, did you feel this way?
The only things that we still need to complete for the dossier are the couple of documents that have to match the wording in the homestudy--I'm waiting on the homestudy to be all done before getting them printed. The dossier this time has been a breeze compared with our old agency--much more straight-forward, and incredibly helped by Karyn's templates and quick and clear answers from C at the agency. Once those documents are done, it can all be notarized and apostilled. Luckily, I don't have to mail all the documents anywhere or drive them across the state. I did that last time--drove everything to Jefferson City and waited for about an hour for the apostilles, only to find out, at the end, that I could have taken them about 20 minutes away to downtown Springfield and had the same thing done! Thankfully, I was able to extend the trip into a visit with my parents, so it wasn't a waste at all. I'm hopeful that all will be done and mailed off to the agency in the next couple of weeks. The new blog layout is part of this "hopeful" and "new phase" mentality--I hope that you all like it!
So...we begin 2009 with paperwork...but in a good way, I feel. Perhaps our cats will be able to help in translation tasks--they love to hang out in the Russian dictionary shelf of my office ! Thanks to all of you for your love and support, and best wishes on this second day of the year!
**Update---I just found out that our fingerprints have been found---the state Hwy Patrol has been running behind for some reason, and they should be in our social worker's hands in 2 weeks. It's frustrating to have the hold up, but at least we don't have to completely redo them!
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