September Adoption Update

Published by Matthew Johnson on

Across the spectrum of personalities and giftings, there’s a rare group of people who love paperwork and administrative tasks. If you give these folks a spreadsheet… or a seventeen-page application form with six optional addendum sheets, they are in heaven. Although Christy is one of those people, the amount of time she currently commits to homeschooling and all the administrative duties in our home puts a significant limitation to her capacity for more. 😆

I, for one, am not in the list of those who love paperwork. There are reasons for this, the most notable being the risk of completing said paperwork incorrectly and the accompanying dread of having to fill it out all over again. However, I quickly learned that administrative tasks and checklists are central to the adoption process. Paperwork, flowcharts, various and sundry applications, notaries, deadlines – you get to do it all as part of an adoption. And a large part of the reason for the recent silence on our blog is because we have been busy doing just that: details, paperwork, meetings, training, and other exciting adoption process adventures.

The Paperwork Game

Despite my loathing for administrative paperwork duties, I have actually led the charge and enjoyed this process so far. This is partially due to the detailed instructions provided by our adoption agency, but more importantly, I have been treating the paperwork like a sort of game. The goal of the game is, of course, a successful adoption of a sweet little girl we love very much.

The individual “moves” of the game involve tact and strategy, such as avoiding the loss of “points” from having to re-do paperwork and applications while advancing on the “game board” by scheduling appointments and meetings as efficiently as possible, all the while taking care to dot every “i” and cross every “t” on the plethora of forms and paperwork. Balance that with keeping a family of seven from going crazy, and you have a pretty exciting challenge. I am pleased to say that the game has been playing out fairly well so far, with background checks, appointments, forms, and other sundry details falling beautifully into place. However, we encountered our first setback today in the form of a rescheduled doctor’s appointment.

In all seriousness, please pray for our family as we continue through the maze of paperwork and appointments, especially for our medical appointments that are scheduled in the coming week. Apparently, it’s pretty common to have mistakes in the medical paperwork and we’d love to get through this without having to redo everything.

Parent Training, Home Study, and Life

But other than paperwork, what have we been up to? Early this month, we started into the required parent training which was, fortunately, over Zoom. Most of the material was new to us and extremely helpful, plus we got to meet a variety of other adoptive parents who already have lots of experience in foster care and adoption. Initially, the training schedule seemed a little daunting, but overall it has been super helpful for both of us and we feel much more confident to step forward as adoptive parents, thanks to the material and the trainers. We are so grateful to our support team of family and friends who have helped care for our children over many hours while we were participating in the training. Without that kind of unseen help, we definitely couldn’t be doing this!

We have also met our social worker and we are right in the middle of our home study, which is a pretty involved process of reviewing our home, backgrounds, health, and a bunch of other details to make sure our family and home are safe for an adopted child. It has been a very educational experience thus far, and we really like our social worker. After the next few visits, we’ll move into the stage of having the home study reviewed by all the experts at the adoption agency to ensure it’s ready for a bunch of scrutiny from our state, US Immigration, and Ukrainian social services. Please pray that the final details will come together and that we would continue to learn and grow through this process!

Of course, the rest of life continues to move forward. We’re full swing into homeschooling four out of five kiddos, from kindergarten to fifth-grade, and it’s going well… even if it’s a bit intense. We’ve had our share of fun adventures too, from van repairs to field trips. God has been so good to our family and we have lots to be thankful for, especially with all the extra activities related to the adoption alongside our regular routines.

Photos of Margarita!

Finally, let’s wrap up this post with some good news… and pictures! Last week, we were thrilled to wake up to some photos of Margarita sent to us by the Host Orphans Worldwide team members who had traveled to Ukraine to interview children for winter hosting. They graciously agreed to bring a package for Margarita with treats and a few small gifts and letters from our family, and they were able to give it to her at her orphanage. It is a huge blessing to us to hear from her and see that she’s doing well. Probably the best news of all is that, when asked by the HOW team whether she’d like to come back to America and stay with our family over Christmas, she said “Yes” with a big smile! We are praying for her every day, and would love to invite you to join us to pray for her safety and growth, that her faith in Jesus will continue to grow, and that she will continue to know and understand that she is loved.