We’ve been heads down the last month knocking out document requests, medical appointments, background checks (yes, one for each of the combined six states we’ve lived in), and having individual and family interviews with our social worker at Catholic Charities. Now we are finally there—our home study is complete!
That gives us just enough time to catch our breath and write this post before we move on to the dossier! The dossier is like the home study on steroids. It includes roughly 30 documents — certified marriage certificates, financial documents with converted currency numbers, recommendation letters, health statements, the list goes on, most of which must be notarized or signed with unicorn blood. Just kidding…sort of. Once we get everything compiled, the package will require local county approval, then state approval from our Secretary of State, to then be federally certified by the Department of State so it can finally be authenticated by the country’s embassy. It makes our heads spin just thinking about it!
Speaking of countries…we’ve decided to move forward with THAILAND and their Special Needs Project, which is Holt’s adoption program for Thailand’s waiting children! We found that Thailand’s waiting child program had several children in the age range that best fits with our family dynamic (under 6 years old) and those children usually have mild to moderate needs that we feel equipped to handle. Of course the biggest hang up right now could be COVID, which is currently prohibiting Holt’s social workers from traveling in country to meet new referrals (and that usually happens every fall). There is a particular 5 year old boy we have on our hearts, but we won’t know more about our eligibility to pursue him for a couple more weeks. We have a call scheduled with Holt’s Thailand Director this week to discuss the process as we move forward and will have more details on timeline afterwards.
The busyness of getting the home study together over the last couple of months has come with emotional highs and lows. The moments in between big accomplishments during the process invite thoughts similar to those we had as we waited for our first child’s birth: “Can we really do this?” “Will we be good parents?” “Are we ready for this – are we crazy?” We’ve experienced these same questions, albeit in different ways, as we waited for our two daughters’ arrivals. Nine months is a long time (of course, with our preemie history it was only ever eight months at best) for fear and nervousness to build, but before it became overwhelming the baby arrives and you’re too busy to even think. With our adoption, which we’re only two months into a 2+ year process, we can sense the opportunity for fear and doubt to enter into our thoughts, but we’re choosing to stand firm on a foundation of faith—to fear less, and love more.
Of course each step in the paperwork process also means another payment is due. We have already covered a big chunk of adoption costs so far, but we’ll have the $3,000 Processing Fee due when our dossier is complete and then the Program Fee ($13,000-17,000) after that. When we looked for fundraising opportunities we liked the idea of making t-shirts…kind of a uniform for our support team. We came across a shirt design that fit exactly how we felt – fear less, love more – so we had to go for it.
We are selling short sleeve and long sleeve shirts in navy, gray, and dark red. You can check out our store and purchase online at the link below: https://grodekfamilyadoptionfundraiser.bigcartel.com/
Join our team – buy a #fearlesslovemore t-shirt and please share in your networks and on your social media! Sharing IS supporting us! As always, thank you for your continued prayers and good vibes sent our way during this insanely busy beginning to a long road ahead.
“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9