Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Sunday, January 28, 2007

working on paperwork

We know that very few people who read our blog will know all that is involved in the process of international adoption, I am going to explain a little about the process. We are adopting independently from Ukraine (do not call it "the Ukraine" because that is considered rude) with the help of Cathy Harris and Ukrainian Angels ( I know that the word independent sounds scary, but the truth is that when we are in Ukraine, we cannot have the assistance of a state-side agency. It's just us, our translator, and facilitator.

Before any paperwork heads to Ukraine, we have to complete a home study. The home study is basically us opening up our whole lives to a complete stranger - scary. huh?! Home studies were about making sure you had everything ready in your home for a child, but now they are more about whether or not we have the ability to parent a child. (Of course the house still has to look nice :)

The documents we have to gather for the home study are as follows:

(1) adoptive applicant financial statement (
odhs 1681) - lists of all our assets, liabilities, monthly expenditures, insurance coverage, etc.

(2) medical statement for adoptive applicant (odhs 1653) - statement from the family physician stating that we are physically healthy enough to raise a child

(3) autobiography - a one-page summary that includes childhood experiences, family life, educational experiences, relationships, child-rearing experiences/expectations, and discipline beliefs (now seriously - do you know how hard it is to fit everything about you and your beliefs regarding children into one page????)

(4) marriage certificate

(5) state criminal record check (bcii) - we have to go to the local police dept, pay $25 for them to tell us that we don't have a criminal record (which we already know)

(6) child abuse registry report - the bureau of family services has to tell us that we don't have a history of child abuse (again - we already know)

(7) verification of employment - a letter from our employers stating our job title, length of employment, job security, and income.

(8) five non-relative reference letters - we asked five people/couples to compose letters for us stating that basically they think we will be good parents

(9) ohio adoption photo listing waiver - I really don't know what this form is for!

(10) two fairly current photos of your family - does that mean that we should include our dogs in the pictures? They are DEFINITELY part of the family. Now to get them to sit together with us for a picture...

(11) safety audit - the social worker completes this form when she visits. We have to have all cleaning materials "stored in a safe manner" and all "arrows or projectiles for weapons stored in a locked area" (what to do with all the bow and arrow sets we have sitting around...? Let me know if you would let us store these items at your house :). We also must have indoor working bathroom and toilet facilities.

(12) fire inspection - which reminds me that I have to call the local fire dept to have them look at the house

(13) education - we have to compile a list of educational courses attended or books read. I have read at least 15 books on international adoption, so that should cover us!

(14) heritage/self-awareness plan - we have to develop a plan on how we will keep our child's heritage alive once he comes to live in America. Again another one-page limit

(15) copies of dossier medical and financial statements - we have to again visit the doctor or health dept to have several tests done. We both have to be tested for tuberculosis (TB), AIDS, and syphilis. (I had to look up the spelling for the last one :)

So that's a little intro on the home study process. I will explain the dossier later. (The dossier is the paperwork sent to Ukraine)
Here is a little picture of baby girl Katie - isn't she adorable?!?!?! She might be chosen to be in the 2008 Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue calendar ( How about that - we might be living with a celebrity!!


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