Right now we have a list of everything we need to do for completion of the dossier (dossier being our whole packet of info sent to Poland). Sometimes I look at it and think it will be virtually impossible. Then, somedays I think we've got it all under control! Today, I think we have it relatively under control…but we can only do so much at a time.
If I recall correctly off the top of my head, our dossier will be comprised of 17 items. Some seem easy - like copies of our passports. But, nothing on this list is easy. The passport copies will require more than just photocopying. We have to get a passport oath form from the secretary of state, have it notarized, then send it to the secretary of state for apostilling (which is away of authenticating documents in a format that foreign governments will recognize) with 10 bucks per copy (of course we need 2 originals). Once those apostilled copies are returned, then 1 thing will be done!
Some of the other items include our completed homestudy, immigration approval, notarized doctor exams (following visits to get all the right tests done), reference letters (supposedly one coming from a priest) and multiple background checks, to name a few. Now…we can't get immigration approval until the homestudy is done. We can't get the doctor form filled out until the right tests are done and we transfer our current doctor records. We are doing background checks for our homestudy - so those may be the same ones we need for the dossier. I guess what I am trying to say is that it seems like so many parts of this dossier are dependant upon getting other parts done! It is a bit overwhelming, but I keep telling myself that many people have completed this, so it is all possible!
OK. I realize that hearing about my complaining is not the most entertaining read. So, I will try to focus on the steps that we are getting done, as opposed to whining. I also want to document a little more than just the paper process. I mean seriously, we are adopting a human being here. One day we will look back on the paperwork as a very minor part of this whole deal.
One thing that made this feel real was seeing someone else's referral recently. ("Referral" is what is sent to you when you are matched with a child by the powers that be.) One gal's blog that I've been following reported that they had just received a referral! She posted information and pictures! Wow. Imagine that - one day getting a picture and info sent to you and then having to decide to accept a referral. Or, put plainly, deciding on whether or not to accept a child! OK…there are so many questions and thoughts that come to mind regarding this referral and acceptance process. I will post more about that when we are officially "waiting." For now, we focus on accomplishing the tasks that we have to get done to get to that waiting stage.
We told Ryan's Grandparents about our news last night. They were very happy for us. They had a couple of questions and comments that really got me excited. First - Ryan's grandpa asked if he was ready to be a dad! That got me warm and fuzzy inside just picturing him being a dad. His grandma said exactly what I was thinking: "is anyone really ever ready to be a dad?"
The other question was asking if we have thought yet about names. Names! Yes - we get to do that! I mean, our child will probably come with a name…but we can keep it, change it, Americanize it, whatever! Thinking about names is exciting because it is thinking about an identity - and picturing where we will be when this "process" is all done.
OK - one last thing about our conversation that I want to mention - they want to know the age/sex so they can know what kind of toys they can buy! Toys! I mean, I know it is obvious that kids play with toys. But we are talking about OUR child playing with toys. I've never even imagined grandparents buying toys for OUR child. I think that infertility crap has us so jaded and unwilling to accept excitement. Gotta change that.