Doing the paperwork with a two-year-old running around is...a challenge. We have naptime to do it, and that's about it. People keep asking us if it's easier the second time, and in some ways it is (Ted says otherwise). It's easier because we're familiar with the process. We're not constantly saying, "They want to know what?!" or "Two sets of fingerprints?!" First time round, I went to my doctor for the three sets of medical forms a total of four times. This time round, I only went twice (the normal amount). I know now to be sure to ask the notary when her commission expires. I know this time to get an expandable folder to put each stack of papers in. I know lots of things this time.
That being said, I'm still left shaking my head at the literal poking and prodding into every tiny small intensely private detail of our lives. We are literally poked by doctors. We have to answer all kinds of questions about our medical history. We have to prove that we do not have syphilis or any other venereal disease. Ted has a good story about the poking and prodding he went through during his latest physical (hello? Chevy Chase and "Moooon River" ring a bell?). We have to say how much we have in savings. We have to name guardians in case we both die and also include how much money they earn. Our twenty-something-year-old nephew who lives in our basement has to be poked by a doctor as well, proving that he is "physically and mentally healthy."
So where are we in the "paper chase," what I like to call the "poking and prodding process," or PPP? As I write this, the final copy is being made of the documents we are submitting this afternoon to our home study agency. Soon (hopefully) our social worker, a shining light of a woman with seven kids who has an affectionate eye-roll, a "you can do it" outlook, and who didn't threaten to take our child away when we forgot to show up for our first post placement visit, is going to come by for our official home study. Yes, she just did our last post-placement visit for Abe just a few months ago, but I really don't mind another visit from her. She's fantastic.
We are also nearly ready to send to Gladney our first packet of papers. They divide it all into three groups, which was really handy the first time round since all of it was new to us. However, this time, I now have almost everything in the third group completed but am not supposed to send it for another two weeks. That's just how it goes, I guess. The adoption process is not neat and tidy but neither is much else in life, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is kidding themselves. Don't be fooled. Life is messy.
What's a blog without pictures?
First time officially seated at the big-kids' table. Big stuff. How lovely to leave him here, seated next to his friend Peyton who made sure to prod him to eat, while we sat in the dining room at the bigger kids' table.