I finished up my 8 hours of online education required by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption today and received my certification via e-mail only a few minutes later. I have been periodically working on the online training, which consisted of videos and lots of required reading, since last Wednesday night. The training was very helpful and included information from pediatricians who work in international adoption clinics here in the U.S. and other professionals involved in the adoption process. I felt the training was very honest in regard to what adoptive parents of international children should expect before, during and after the adoption process.
Rob and I are also required to attend several training sessions at our adoption agency, and those begin next week. I am hopeful that Rob and I can wind up the last bit of our home study paperwork prior to the training sessions next so that we will be ready for the home visits by our social worker to begin. Rob is trying to finish his family survey, a ten page questionnaire required by our agency, this evening and begin his Hague online education courses tomorrow. We still have a few more documents to pick up from varying places as well and get them turned into our agency hopefully by the end of the week.
As many families who choose international adoption will tell you, there are always unexpected delays or hiccups along the way. We experienced a few of those recently. The first problem happened with our criminal background checks. The police department inadvertently put Rob's information on my form and my information on his form. Luckily, this mix-up was easy to fix and involved filling out the same forms again and getting the police department to fill out their portions correctly this time.
The second hiccup will not be so easy to remedy, but we are hoping that it will be corrected as soon as possible since we are nearing the dossier portion of our adoption journey. The second mix-up came only minutes after we received Rob's long awaited passport in the mail. Initially, we were very excited to receive his passport so quickly...it had only been about four weeks since he had applied. However, after a brief inspection of the passport, Rob realized that the State Department had misspelled our last name. Even with a certified copy of his birth certificate, a color copy of his driver license and his passport application (all with the correct spelling), the State Department managed to drop the second "c" in our last name. Anyone who has ever gone through an international adoption understands how vital it is to have this mistake fixed quickly since any error on any document can have your dossier rejected. Also, I imagine that Rob would not even be allowed on the plane to Bulgaria if this error was not corrected. At any rate, Rob awoke early the next morning and called the State Department office almost as soon as it opened. A nice woman on the other end of the phone asked if we could pay $60.00 to have the process of correction expedited since we needed the passport long before our actual travel date. Really...you made the error and we are supposed to pay $60.00 for you to fix it quickly? Rob was then asked how far we are from Miami so that we might drive there to fix the passport....only about 800 or so miles. At any rate, we are now left to send the incorrect passport back with a new form filled out detailing the error by express mail and hope for the best. My passport has yet to come in the mail so we are praying that the same error is not duplicated on my passport.
But, the good news is that we are farther along in the process than we were a week ago, and tomorrow we will be farther still. Thoughts and dreams of our little boy continue to push us onward. We keep his picture on our computer desktop to remind us of why we are working so hard. It's all for you my sweet precious boy.