At last! The State of Ohio FINALLY completed our child-abuse checks - after ONLY 104 days - and we are moving on to the last stage of our homestudy. A few weeks ago our agency decided to make an exception in our case that would allow us to start our social worker interviews while they were still waiting to hear from the state. I was so glad that they did...while I understand completely the point of waiting for a family to pass all of the legal hurdles before allowing a social worker to visit their home, in our case it seemed a little silly. Stacy, our social worker, had visited us to complete her final post-adoption report on Yikealo ONE WEEK before we applied to our agency for this second adoption. Obviously, she knows us well, and she knows that we're not child abusers! Anyway, we heard this past Tuesday that we had passed with the state, and on Thursday evening we met Stacy and her daughter at the Ethiopian restaurant in Cleveland for our third and final interview.
By yesterday, she had already turned in her report to her superior in the Ohio office for review before it gets sent off to Oregon for approval. Once the Oregon office approves it, they will return it to Stacy for notarization, and then we will receive copies of the completed report. We have to send one to USCIS along with our application to bring an immigrant into the country. One gets sent back to our agency as part of our dossier. Once our dossier is reviewed and approved, we will finally be added to the waitlist! I'm hoping that we'll make that by the end of October, but we'll see. At that point, our dossier will get sent to Ethiopia for translation, and USCIS will give us a fingerprinting appointment. Once our fingerprints are approved by the Department of Homeland Security, we will recieve a Favorable Determination Letter (FDL), which will allow us to bring an immigrant into the US. At that point, we will be able to actually recieve a referral for a child, although based on the current waitlist, it will probably take a while longer. This is all new terrritory for us, as with Yikealo's adoption we received his referral before we had our dossier completed, before we ever received our FDL, before we ever made it onto a waitlist, before we even knew that our homestudy had been approved! There will be lots more steps this time, which all goes to show what we've been saying all along: God knows His plans for us, and He controls the timelines. Everything will happen precisely when it's supposed to happen - even though the waiting can seem hard at times. At any rate, it feels good to be moving forward after several months of absolutely nothing!
The Yikealo-ism for the week: As he was getting ready for pre-school on Wednesday, he suggested that I do his hair while he put on his socks so that we could see "who is the faster." I agreed, and then he continued: "Mom, if you win then I will be your slave, but if I win then you will be my slave." Ummm...how about NOT! Besides, son, even setting aside your overly competitive nature and the whole problem of slavery, I think that you are imitating the wrong guy in the David and Goliath story!