I'd be lying if I said this process, that seems to drag on endlessly, was tiring. Honestly, I'd rather be paper-chasing, feeling like something is actually being accomplished, than just sitting here waiting.
So, here's what's been going on while we wait. Per some new Virginia regulations, we had to have our kids tested for tuberculosis, as well. For Ayden and Elijah, that was no big deal. But I was reading a lot of mixed information online about egg allergies and TB testing, and I was concerned for Sadie, either that she would have a reaction or get a false positive on the test. Our social worker said we could avoid having her tested if her allergist would write a note that Sadie had an egg allergy and didn't recommend that she have the test. We took Ayden and Elijah for their tests, and two days later got their signed paperwork that they are TB-free.
A week and 3 phone calls later, I finally hear back from the allergist that she will not be writing a letter for Sadie, and we should just have her tested. So, I took my 23-month old to the doctor to be tested for tuberculosis today. She did perfectly, not a wince, not a cry. The nurses weren't thrilled that such a little one needed the test, so we grumbled together about the new requirements, crunchy allergists, etc.
This is the very last step to getting the homestudy finished. I've already read the first draft and made my changes, so once we take Sadie back to the doctor, the last blank will be filled in and the homestudy draft will head to our placing agency for their changes specific to the country we're adopting from. After that, it will head to our homestudy agency for their changes specific to Virginia. Then we'll get the finished homestudy, and can move to the next step.
The waiting is hard, because we can't plan for anything. Scott has seminars he'd like to attend for work, and they all seem to be in September, October, or November. He calls me from work to see if I think it will be okay for him to go ahead and register, and I just have to answer "I don't know."
I am the chairwoman of a very large local fundraiser, and the first Saturday in October is the big day. I'm trying to do everything as early as possible so I can hand the event over to my co-chair if I'll be out of the country with little warning. If I miss the event, I will be the first chairwoman to do so since the fundraiser started 44 years ago.
So, here's my current thinking for our timing, based on what I've been told by other families and USCIS agents. Everything keeps changing, so don't hold me to it.
Homestudy finished: July 6 (two months late)
I-800A approval: Sept. 21
Written referral to travel: Nov. 2
So, at this point, Scott can go to his seminar in September, I'll be at my event in October, and we'll be missing Elijah's 7th birthday. I'm just trusting in God's timing for our paperwork and travel, but on different days I feel higher or lower levels of frustration about it.
I work for my mom and step-dad, renting out their three vacation properties, and this month has been especially busy. I joked with my mom that VRBO was going to pay for this adoption, but in all seriousness, it is really helping. We likely have some upcoming expenses, and it would be so nice to not have to fundraise for those, to give all our friends a break from us harassing them about our newest fundraiser.
I needed a day away from the house, so we packed our backpacks, grabbed our hiking boots, and drove 2.5 hours to the Grayson Highlands, to hike along the Appalachian Trail to Mt. Rogers, the tallest mountain in Virginia. 9 miles out-and-back, and a full day of peace with my husband and three kids.
I'm still making dolls, and I'm moving the auction start date from Monday to Friday, since the Reece's Rainbow blog posts their family fundraisers on Fridays. The auctions are going very well, and we'll get this adoption funded, one doll at a time!
Well, that's it! Now back to the grindstone. And the waiting.