home study update

As I mentioned a couple of months ago when we renewed our USCIS fingerprints, we’ve reached the point in our adoption process when we have to start doing some things over again.

The next thing that will expire is our I-600A approval, which is the US government’s pre-approval for us to adopt an international orphan. This was approved back on October 30, 2009, and is good for 18 months. It’s a simple process to renew the I-600A itself, but in order to renew it, we have to submit an updated home study. Since my last experience with USCIS taught me that they’re moving pretty slowly, I want to make sure we have our renewal paperwork submitted in January. That gives them over three months to complete the renewal process before the document expires at the end of April.

So, a few weeks ago I contacted our home study agency about starting the process of updating our home study. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that this process is much simpler and shorter than the original home study. [Seriously, if they had told me we had to have the fire marshal inspect our home again, I might have lost it!] Thankfully, we only had to provide current financial information, provide an update on major changes in our lives (we noted only that Craig’s mom had died and that he had started his PhD), and have a short form completed and signed by our doctors noting that we’re in good health. I worked on the papers this weekend, and we both had our doctor appointments over the past week. We were also able to get started on some of our travel vaccinations through our regular doctors’ office.

We will meet with our social worker in early January, she will make the few necessary updates to our written home study document, and then we’ll send everything off to USCIS. It’s actually been good to have this little bit of activity on the adoption front. After so many months of just sitting and waiting, it was nice to be able to actively DO something.

Oh, and in related adoption news, our agency is having a great month in terms of referrals. There were 5 infant referrals noted in our last weekly update, and wow, was that good to see! The time people are waiting is now listed at 20-21 months, and that’s about what I expected given the previous lull. We are now approaching 14 months of waiting, and it’s starting to seem like this might actually happen someday!

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20 Responses to home study update

  1. Kelly says:

    I totally know how you feel about actually DOING something – that helps a lot. I’m glad the update was easier than you thought. I almost spewed my coffee when you brought up the fire marshall visit – dude, I remember when you had to go through that crazy stuff with your house! Oh, and most importantly, I LOVE the fact that referrals are coming in at a nice clip. Woohoo!!

  2. inventingliz says:

    Glad things are moving along!

  3. Christine says:

    Oh yes… doing something is so much more fulfilling than waiting for something to happen. I must say I *squealed* when I saw how many referrals came in for your agency recently. GO Referrals GO!!!!

    PS – If you had to have the fire inspector back, I’d have flipped too.

  4. colleen says:

    what good news to hear about the number of referrals for your agency!
    and i’m glad to hear that the update is a much simpler process for you too. πŸ™‚

  5. Jenny says:

    fabulous news about it being a good referral month! hoping this pace continues! and SO glad the update isn’t as complex as the initial home study!

  6. Wow, how nice to (like you said) actively do something to help the process! And you’re getting so close! It’s downhill from here, right? πŸ™‚
    You guys are so efficient at getting that paperwork done! Impressive.

  7. sue says:

    you had to have the fire inspector come to your house???!!! holy cow! i would have flipped to have him come out again too! i guess all our states do the process differently. so glad the home study update is an easy one. you’re smart to get it started early.

    i’m so thrilled that 5 referrals came in! that’s wonderful news!!!!

  8. Stephen says:

    I figured you were on a first name basis with that fire marshall. No one said that it wax his proper name of course! Congrats that things are moving forward. You know we received our referral two years ago this time of the year. I hope yours comes soon!

  9. Meg B says:

    We are in the same boat! We updated our homestudy in August b/c I was still off work and I anticipated a whole lot of appointments and running around…I too was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was! We better not have to re-re-update…!

  10. Erin says:

    Almost there Kelly!! I can’t wait for you.

  11. Emily B. says:

    So glad the updating process isn’t too much of a hassle! Yay for movement on the list!! Such a good feeling!

  12. zsmama says:

    Sounds like things are really looking up! I hope the paperwork goes through USCIS quickly. Our recent update was submitted on October 6th and has yet to be processed. Ugh.

  13. Mary K says:

    It *is* great to feel like you are actively working on things, rather than just waiting (and waiting, and waiting). Here’s hoping the next months just fly by for you guys!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Congrats. I had a huge fear of having to redo things and dealing with CIS, but everybody seems to make it through the updates. I just don’t want to deal with CIS unless I really, really have to do so regarding paperwork.

    The first time left me emotionally scarred enough, I made the homestudy written for 0-8 years of age just to be safe. πŸ™‚

    Glad to hear things are going well.

  15. The fire marshall?! Stop it. I didn’t recall that. Referrals rolling in is a VERY good sign. Keep them comin’!!!!

  16. Leah says:

    I cannot wait until you guys get your referral! It sounds like things are really moving there. That’s great. πŸ™‚

  17. Sandra says:

    That’s a lot of referrals! Great news. I am glad the home study update wasn’t that bad.

    I had heard so much about the fire inspection that is needed in your state that I tried to schedule one for when we were paperchasing. Of course here it’s not needed and the fire department thought I was crazy.

  18. Great news, Kelly! I’m glad that updating your home study is so much simpler. Let’s hope those referrals keep flying in.

  19. Janet says:

    I’m glad you had some recent activity and things to do. Waiting and doing nothing feels horrible. Making progress…now that feels good!

  20. kris says:

    So glad the update is easier this time around. And that’s great news that referrals are coming in!!

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