Our home study visit! Seems crazy that in a few weeks we will be homestudy approved and officially waiting again.
I have to start out this post telling anyone that is considering adoption, needing a homestudy update, or needing a homestudy done for an international adoption: PLEASE CALL CATHOLIC CHARITIES. I can't tell you how pleased we have been. The folks at Catholic Charities are on top of it. They return phone calls the same day, schedule visits less than two weeks out, and have been so thorough. On top of that, it has been quick. If we hadn't drug our feet as much as we have this second time around, I can almost promise you we would have been done with our homestudy in under a month. Instead, we took our time getting physicals, fingerprints, and paperwork finished up. As soon as we turned it in though, D was emailing us to set up interviews and here I am writing this blog. D is our caseworker by the way.
The other thing about them that I am so proud to say is that they CARE about you, the adoptive family. Not that other agencies don't, but so many times an adoptive parent can feel like they are "bugging" their agency, etc. I totally have felt comfortable at every step with CC. I wanted to give you an example of how honest and ethical they are too:
When I called initially, I was told for an independent home study the cost was $1250 due in two payments. $625 when you started, $625 when the home study was completed. So I dropped off our paperwork and the check for $625. We got our formal packet and started working on that. A few weeks ago, I got a bill for $125. I went back and reviewed our fee statement and honestly couldn't figure out what the $125 would be for, so I asked our case worker. She then told me that after reviewing everything and realizing we only needed an update, not a full rewritten homestudy, that the charge dropped to $750 instead of $1250. Can you believe that? Not only did they drop our fee, but they were honest about it. I was pumped!
The other thing they do is allow you to split your placement fee into half of it being due at placement and the other half is due SIX MONTHS later. How awesome is that!
Ok, so no, I wasn't paid to sing their praises, I'm just so thrilled to find a local agency that is thorough but fast, ethical, and most importantly they are SO REASONABLE on their prices. They really want to place babies with families and they don't want finances to be a reason that people can't afford to adopt.
Oh, and for those of you that speak adoption "TALK", our case worker D has been with them 8 years. Um, hello. 8 YEARS! The turnover rate in this field is crazy so I am very impressed with that statistic alone.
Back to my original topic, D got to the house about 10am. She was super cute and spunky and I could tell immediately that I was going to love her...I mean she likes Dr. Pepper and peanut m&m's...what's not to love? We could have talked all day. Matter of fact, she didn't leave until almost 1pm but it was great. She toured the house, watched Mary Elizabeth put on a show and asked us lots of questions about our first adoption experience and what the next adoption could look like. She was really interested in hearing our plan...what little plan we have. We basically told her we would probably sign with Catholic Charities ($500) after the consignment sale, but also send our home study to any situations that we found through other agencies that have a need for families open to race/medical. She was very supportive. We laughed about being open to twins again (yes, we are crazy) and discussed the fact that we are open to a child up to age 6 or 7. We told her how "chill" we are about this whole thing the second time around...when it happens, it happens. I'm sure this will change, but as we told her, we have to get through the consignment sale first!
So, that's our exciting day. I'm so glad to have that part of it behind us. Now I have to get to work on our profile, the book that expectant moms view when picking families!