Our Home Study Packet
This weekend we have been VERY productive. When we put Gus down for his nap yesterday, we sat down and organized all of the necessary documents for the home study process.
It brought back memories of when we started the process back in December of 2009 for our adoption of Gus. However, in retrospect, the home study process in North Carolina was 1,000x easier than it is in Georgia.
What's the difference you ask??? Well... in NC, there's a separate process for adopting through foster care and adopting domestically through an agency or attorney. Here in Georgia, it's all the same process and all the same requirements. This means that we had to have a lot more documentation for our home study. Some differences include:
- 911 Call History reports from all jurisdictions in which we've lived in the past five years. This wasn't a big deal to get this info here in GA, but when I called our local police department in NC, they had no idea what I needed or how to get it to me. I spent over a week trying to contact different people at the HSPD before I finally got in touch with the right person- and even then, she wasn't sure exactly how to help but did the best she could.
- 5-Panel Drug Screen- We never had to have any drug screens when we started the home study process in NC.
- Complete and thorough physicals including blood work-up and chest x-ray for TB- In NC, we went to the doctor, they signed off saying we were healthy and that was that. Here in GA, I had to have an extensive physical (and a Tetanus shot) that took two hours to complete!
- Both FBI and GA BI criminal background checks AND fingerprints- In NC, we didn't need fingerprints at all unless we wanted to adopt a child with special needs. Here, not only do we need GA Bureau of Investigation fingerprints and criminal background checks, but we also need FBI prints (which take 6-8 weeks to get and we can't submit anything until we have the cleared report from the FBI).
- One reference from a former employer because I worked with children within the past five years (NC didn't care).
So... it's been intense. However, this week I'm going to the JCPD to get our 911 call history and can check that off my to-do list. Steve and Gus have their physicals on Wednesday and then we just need to go and get our fingerprints done (FBI done at the APD and the GBI done at a separate location). Once that's done... we wait for the FBI to send us our report saying that we're all clear and then we can send the entire packet to our home study agency.
Our home study caseworker is getting married and going on a honeymoon soon and she and I talked yesterday (she called our references and told them to tell us to call her because she didn't have our number) and she said that she'll be unavailable until mid-October. Since we're in no rush to get this done, we said not to worry and when she's back and ready, she'll give us a call and we can set up our one visit for the home study.
That is one REALLY nice thing... because we already have had a home study, we only need to have one visit (in the home) and the cost is significantly less than what we were quoted from other home study agencies.
I'm assuming that there won't be anything to report until mid-October, but if/when I hear from her about setting it up, I'll be sure to blog about it!! The home study really is the hardest part of the whole process... so I'll be glad when all this is done!!!
Steve is on his way to Texas for the night and will be back tomorrow night. I'm glad we were able to get a lot done this weekend because we leave for vacation next week!! I wanted to have it as done as possible so that I didn't have to worry about it while we were gone.
Now I can go and relax!!