We went over the orientation form for the home study, basically just going over what the next 2 visits would look like, what paperwork we still had to turn in, and she answered any of our questions.
There was a LOT of paperwork still to do. So after she left Monday night I made a long to do list, and the next day we got to work. I filed our taxes yesterday, which helps with 2 things. We have to include our most recent tax return in our home study AND our refund will be paying to finish the home study (costs $900 to get started and the other $900 is due at the end). Yesterday we also called to set up a vet visit for all 3 of our animals, doctor's visits for Andrew and myself, and made phone calls/emails to references to get those in. We have 4 references that aren't related to us and 2 that are (one from each side) asked to write a "letter of support".
Today the stars aligned. Andrew closed at work (so he didn't go in until 3pm), the girls were at school, and the baby I watch during the day wasn't here today, so we took advantage and got a lot of errands done (and a lot of money spent ;) )
After we dropped the girls off at school, Andrew dropped me off at the dentist. This wasn't adoption related, I just had a cavity I had to get filled and added to the "lots of money spent" part. While I was there, Andrew went and dropped off the forms at the girls' pediatrician that they need to fill out and fax in. Then he headed over to drop off the 911 record forms that they'll mail back to us. He also picked up a copy of our marriage certificate, then I was done and he came to pick me back up.
After the dentist we headed to Pak Mail to get our fingerprints done for the GBI (Georgia) background check ($34 per person). Next we went down to the jail to get our FBI (federal) fingerprints done. This was only $5 for both of us to do it, but then we'll pay $36 when we mail it in to them.
We also picked up birth certificates for Andrew, Alexis and Kaitlyn. We got 3 copies of each, just in case we need more. They're $25 for the first one, but only $5 for additional copies at the same time, so we figured we'd get a couple extra just in case. So $105 later....
I'll have to mail away for my birth certificate, since I wasn't born in Georgia, so that's still on my to do list.
After all that craziness Andrew and I still had time for a quick lunch before we had to pick up the girls from school (they go to a 3 day/week preschool 9am-1pm), so we tried out a local BBQ place (Troy's BBQ for local readers). We've heard great things, but have never been. It was great! Not great for my diet, but taste wise... great!
Still on our to do list before the 21st-
- get our FBI forms notarized
- mail in our FBI fingerprint forms
- mail away for my birth certificate
- replace the battery in one of our smoke detectors
- double check that all of our cleaning supplies are locked up
- make sure all of our references get mailed in
- get letter from Walgreens verifying Andrew's employment/salary
- print our Will and get it notarized
I *think* that's it, but our actual to do list is in the car, and it's raining really hard... so we'll just say that's it.
We just got back from the vet to get all of our animals up to date on their vaccinations... $300 later, they're all mad at us and our bank account is empty ;)
Speaking of money... on the fundraising front, we have a couple things coming up, hopefully soon! Our tshirts should be ready in the next month or so (we have to finish paying for them, which requires our tax refund too), and the website that we're going to be the "featured family" on will hopefully be sometime in March. They've announced all the family's for February and we aren't on that list, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll make the cut for March. They pick the families to be featured based on their need and where they are in the process. We obviously need the money, but there are other families that are leaving next week/month to pick up their babies and still don't have the money needed. OR they have already brought their children home, and have debt because of it.
If you have any ideas about how we can fund raise in other ways, please let me know! As soon as our homestudy is complete we'll be able to apply for several grants from different organizations, so I'm looking forward to that phase... lots more paperwork!
Finally, please keep us in your prayers! This is a long process, but we're trusting in God's timing with everything and leaning on Him to provide. Thank you to everyone for your support!