Friday, 27 January 2012

We're Approved for our Home Study

We've received our documents back from the Government of Alberta.  We have been approved to start our Home Assessment for our adoption from DRC and Haiti.  Our Social Worker will be coming to start our assessment on February 10th.  This is moving quickly and we now have to make sure our home is ready.  Oh my....

Monday, 23 January 2012

Completing the Paperwork Again

We've almost completed the paperwork for the second time with the second agency.  We're just waiting for our Criminal Record Check to be returned to us, Authorization from the Provincial Government to start the Home Study, and for our references to send in their portion of the paperwork.
As we've previously been approved to adopt from Ethiopia, our agency asked for the forms showing the approval so that we can start with the home study over the next couple of weeks.  Once our home study is complete, we can apply to be matched to our child.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Our Meeting With Our Agency Did Not Go Well

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012 we went to our agency to have a meeting with our Director.  When we arrived for our meeting, our Director was not there.  She had double booked herself and was not in the office.  The receptionist had us meet with one of their social workers, who we had never met before instead.

The social worker sat us down and asked us why we chose to adopt from Ethiopia.  As we explained our motivation to her, she talked to us sternly in a lecture-like fashion.  She explained to us that the Coordinating Agency for Ethiopian Adoptions that they use no longer is accepting applications for new matches and that our only option for international adoptions would be to look at Florida.  She was very condescending and didn't really allow for us to talk.  We left devastated and went for lunch to talk about it.

That afternoon, I got on the phone with Children's Services with our Provincial Government to discuss options for International Adoption and found out we had received some incorrect information from our agency.  I then contacted a different agency and found out that they're currently working with about 120 adoptive parents, who are adopting children from all over the world.  This new agency was offering a course on Saturday for adoptive parents starting their journey to adopt internationally.

From my conversations with this new agency and Children's Services, we had decided to cancel our application with the agency we were dealing with.  I had contacted them and requested our file and asked for our "non-refundable" application fees to be refunded to us.  They complied and returned our paperwork to Bob and returned the fees to my credit card.

The next day, I requested from my employer to have Saturday off so that we could attend the course with the new agency.

When we arrived for the course Saturday morning, we found ourselves in a room with 5 other couples all starting their adoption journey.  We introduced ourselves and discussed the countries we were looking at.  The Director of this agency discussed why international adoption is so important, what we should expect as adoptive parents, and what her experiences were as a grandmother of a biracial child and foster parent.  This course was just what we needed and it was very comforting.

We did group work in the morning with the other parents to discuss the pros and cons of international adoption.  In the afternoon, we met families with children adopted from: China, Taiwan, Haiti, and Florida.  After this course, we felt so good and I was smiling as we drove away.

We had narrowed down our new search to Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  We also have the contacts of the other couples from our course that are looking at these countries.

I'm now in the process of filling out the paperwork again for the new agency and should have everything completed by Wednesday.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Self-Guided Study - Role of our Agency and the Levels of Government

As we work through the Self-Guided Study book, there are a few points that I felt I should mention.

* We chose to work with a not-for-profit adoption agency that has specialized in open adoptions and has been in business since 1989.  We are working with the Director of this Agency and she has a graduate degree in social work.
* The Agency is doing background checks to make sure that we are fit to be parents.  They also work with us to help us with the required paperwork and to make sure that we are ready and aware of all the processes of international adoption.
* The Role of Alberta Children and Youth Services is to assess whether we should be permitted to adopt and once our Home Assessment is complete, they will provide written information to Citizenship and Immigration Canada specifying that we have completed the study and we are approved on a Provincial Level to adopt internationally.
* The Role of Citizenship and Immigration Canada is to make sure that children are not abducted, bought, sold, or removed from their biological families without consent.  They make sure the adoption is legal within both countries and help to create the parent-child relationship.  This is in the best interest of the child, and, in the case where the requirements under to local and international laws are not met, they will deny the child's visa.
No costs will be charged to us from Ethiopia and nobody should ever profit from the procurement of children for adoption.
We are doing our research and using a reputal not-for-profit business, along with working with our government, to make sure that the appropriate steps have been taken and we have the best interest in mind for our child.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Translated Documents are Completed

Yesterday, I had picked up our translated marriage documents, which had been translated from Spanish in to English and notarized.  I will take the translated notarized documents with us to our meeting on Wednesday.

Also, I had completed my physical with our family doctor yesterday and Bob will have his on January 16th.  The only paperwork still needed by our agency from us is our medical evaluations and the information from our references.

Our adoption agency has begun the process with Alberta Children's Services for our adoption and they have also applied for our criminal record checks and intervention checks.

This evening, Bob and I will be working through our home study binder and getting done the necessary homework that we need to complete for our agency.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Dropping Documents off to be Translated

As we had gotten married in Los Cabos, our marriage license was issued in Mexico and written in Spanish.  I'm using the same Notary and Translator that I used to help with the documents for our wedding to help have our marriage documents translated and notarized for our adoption.  I will be dropping the documents off tomorrow and she will have them returned to me in 3 businesss days, which will be in time for our meeting on the 11th.