Saturday, January 28, 2006

Home Study

Today we started the home study. This is a picture of Lisa with Laura, our social worker assigned by Villa Hope. Sorry it is black and white. I don't use this camera as much as Lisa. I have to say that we were nervous going into the interview but Laura did a good job of easing our nervousness. I have to say that it wasn't all that bad and I feel that the time spent cleaning house last night was well worth the effort. We have another meeting scheduled for tomorrow after church and a couple during lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. With any luck our Dossier will be off to China very soon.

January 29, 2006
Today we met Laura after church. We spent about an hour talking about our marriage, what attracted us to each other and other subjects. Laura does a great job of making us feel at ease and we feel like we can open up with her and tell her all about us. We have another meeting scheduled for Tuesday at lunch. We thank Laura for not dragging this process out as the longer the homestudy takes then the further away Alison is from our arms. We know we cannot do anything about the wait and tell ourselves that this is just Gods way of making us wait for the child that is right for us.
By the way, did you notice the roses in the foreground of the picture above? Accident? Maybe, Maybe not!

January 31, 2006
We met with Laura again today at the National Childrens Advocacy Center in Huntsville. What a nice place that is. I believe the home study is complete as far as we are concerned. Laura still needs to type up her part which I feel confident she will do without delay. Lisa and I would like to thank Laura for her work. Hopefully she has found us fit to raise a child. We understand the reasoning for this step in the process and feel strongly that it is necessary and we are willing to do whatever is necessary to bring Alison home. We just feel that their are plenty of unfit parents having children everyday and that is really hard for us to understand. I don't think there is anything we can do about this unjustice so we just move on.

February 7, 2006
Today we received an original copy of our homestudy. We sent off the I-600A form to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office in Atlanta. We expect to hear from them in about 10 days and will be instructed to proceed to Birmingham to have our fingerprints taken (again). We just keep telling ourselves when we get frustrated that the end goal is getting nearer and nearer with every step.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Baby Room

This past weekend we ordered a crib for our little angel. This got us inspired to start on the baby room. Previously, this room was a computer room that we each had a desk in. Now it will be lovingly decorated for Alison. We expect the room to be completed within the next month or so. The crib is on back order and could possibly take 12 weeks to come in so we have plenty of time to work on the room.
This is also a good project to keep me involved but help keep my mind off of the long wait. We are very excited about the whole process and it is constantly on our minds 24 hours a day. We need a project (maybe two or three) to keep our minds off the waiting. I think I will literally go crazy over the wait.

That's me fixing up my little girls room. I'll put up some pictures when it's all done. Lisa has picked out some pink and white paint. I hope it isn't too pink!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

January 22, 2006

My name is Russ W. and I am married to a wonderful southern gal named Lisa. We have been married to each other for nearly 17 years now and have no children. When we first got married we decided that we would wait 5 years before we had any children. Well, we stuck to that plan for about a year and then decided that if it is going to happen then we were not going to do anything to prevent it. After about 10 years of no success we started some low level treatment. That went on and off while I was in college. In the fall of 2004 I turned 40 years old and did some soul searching. I told Lisa that if we are going to have a child together than we need to get serious very soon. We started seeing a fertility doctor and jumped through all the hoops for about 1 year culminating in an unsuccessful IVF procedure. At this point we took a step back and made the decision to adopt rather than proceed with any further treatment.

Adoption was never out of the question for us and we had talked about it before. We just felt like we wanted to try everything possible to have a child of our own so that down the road 10-20 years from now we will not have any regrets. Well, we did everything we could and have moved on to an adoption.
The adoption process can basically be divided into 3 main steps:
1. The paper work
2. The homestudy and subsequent wait
3. The trip
As of today (January 22, 2006) we have completed the massive stack of paper work and are looking forward to starting the home study within the next couple of weeks. Once the homestudy is complete a dossier ( a collection of all your personal paperwork) is sent to China to be entered into the log. At this point the wait begins. As of this writing we are being told that the wait is approx. 8-10 months. That is very much like a real pregnancy. In fact, I have heard it described as the "paper pregnancy". We hope to have a Referal from the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) office by about August or September of 2006. At that point I should be able to add a picture of Alison Rose to this blog. So for now we will just have to leave it up to our imagination as to what she really looks like.