Friday, January 29, 2010

The List

Here is a list of paperwork we have to prepare so they can begin to process the update of our homestudy. Bear in mind that we are already approved as a resource family, and have completed three adoptions in a little over the past year.
  • Application (about 25 pages)
  • Autobiographies (long form and single page form)
  • 2 criminal record checks
  • 6 child abuse clearances
  • 2 FBI clearances
  • Physical exams
  • Five letters of reference
  • Letters from all household members
  • CPR/first aid for infant/child/adult
  • Copy of driver's license
  • Copy of car insurance
  • Copy of car registration
  • Copy of homeowner's/renter's insurance
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Current water test
  • Copy of SS card
  • Copy of pay stub
  • Copy of credit report
  • Copy of educational certificates
  • Vaccinations of pets
  • 2-3 photos of family and home
Yup! That's how you get the ball rolling. Bear in mind that the child abuse clearances (6 for our fam) want you to list every address since 1975, and every person that you have had live in your home, with their full name, age, sex, and relationship to you. They let you attach additional sheets! Considerate of them, doncha think?!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How I Feel About Adoption

Currently, we are updating our homestudy, so that we can remain an active resource family with our agency. Since our first study was done, there are quite a few more bits and pieces they require. One such new requirement is that each member of the extended family that resides in the home write a letter explaining how they personally feel about adoption. The prize for "Most Entertaining" goes to... drum roll please... Boo.

"I feel that adopting a child would be an excessively excellent idea. Although we have a plethora already, the ****** house is always open. Children would be taught endless virtues, and also the value of hard work. Education, integrity, and honesty are also taught. Guaranteed (with a little hard work, of course) children who were adopted by the ****** parents would be totally transformed. Take me, for instance. Just like everything else, I feel that adopting a child would also be a whole lot of work. The adjusting, the money, the time, the money, would be very strenuous. All in all, this is how I feel about adopting a child."

Apparently the money is a double concern, and did I mention that if you were to be adopted by our family, you would read a lot of Jane Austen?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Here We Go!

We are moving along with our plans to make some cash for Haiti.
  • Phase one, giant cookies. We make this pizza sized, colossal cookie as a gift now and then. It's very popular with just about everyone. We're taking orders for Valentine's week, and making them with Valentine M&M's. I'm going out tomorrow to scout material costs so I can price them.
  • Phase two, purse parties. My dear eldest daughter and I are hosting home parties to sell purses made by Haitian seamstresses, to help them be self supporting and to help fund the relief effort.
  • Phase three, bring on the bling. My three youngest daughters will use their jewelry making skills and creativity to make (truly) gorgeous jewelry. They plan to sell this and send all the profits to the Haitian relief effort.
This effort involves all of the children in baking, creating, selling, and maybe even a few unglamorous jobs like dish washing and house cleaning. Our plan is to be done by the end of February and see how it goes. Then, who knows. Maybe phase four?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nothing Matters...Everything Matters

This past week began with a friend from Bloggyland, running the Disney marathon to raise money for a mission in Haiti. It is a ministry to pregnant women (among many other things), and they were trying to raise the funds for an emergency vehicle that would reliably transport women to the center when they were in labor, as well as other emergencies. Many women, with no reliable transportation of any kind, end up delivering at home, or on the street as they try to make their way on foot to the center. Often the babies are delivered in the dark, as there is no reliable electrical power either. That was Haiti on a good day. In the eleventh hour, our family decided that we wanted in. We wanted to donate a little of the excess we enjoy, and so we hit that Paypal button, and watched our in-the-computer friends with even more interest. I had been checking the blogs to see how the event went. It went well. The huge sum of money was raised. There is to be an emergency vehicle, praise God. Next came a blog about unwinding in Disneyworld with the family, and I could smile, and remember doing the same. Then came a blog to pray for Haiti, and everything changed.

How hard to be in the "happiest place on earth", and be filled with fear and grief for loved ones in Haiti. I cannot imagine. I have no ties to Haiti, not really. I have friends who have adopted Haitian children. I read blogs about several missions to Haiti. I have friends and family members who traveled to Haiti on short term mission trips. I have sent a few dollars throughout the years, to help here and there. But even I cannot pull myself away from the news reports. I scan the mission blogs for ways to help. I consider ways to pull some money together. It seems like so little in the face of it all. It almost seems as though it doesn't matter.

I am acutely aware of how comfortable I and my family am. I have better medical care for my pets than the people of Haiti have for their children. I have so much food, that I have to clean my fridge of leftovers...well not much, but some. Everything in my life screams, "You have more than you need." I am tempted to feel guilty, but guilt just makes me want to shut it off and feel hopeless. It must matter that I am here, living this blessed life. I need to take stock of the many good things we enjoy, and not forget them. I know I can pull together some money, and money is probably all I can do to help. I could write a check and mail it off. But I am smart, and able bodied, and I have time (no really I do). Is there a way to multiply that money so that it keeps growing? Is there a way to draw my coddled American family into the labor? Six more able bodies, and mostly able minds? I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking about it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm in a Good Mood...

...and gosh darn it, no one's going to knock me out of it. I've had a hugely productive week and an even more productive weekend. Not that it looks like much is going on, because most of it was paperwork, but as you know, THAT is a huge thing. I challenge anyone to ask me for one single scrap of paper that I can't put my hands on, and quick. Plus I threw a lot of stuff away too, which is always therapeutic for me. Friday I spent most of the day cleaning the girl quarters...even crawling under beds and hauling furniture away from baseboards. On Saturday I ventured into the black hole that is boy territory, and after about eight hours, felt as though I could breathe in there. Lest I mislead...neither set of rooms was a terrible mess, only disorganized, with too much stuff. My children cannot part with anything, and they must have it all close at hand. I am a minimalist, and would cheerfully strip down to a mattress on the floor. My family keeps me in check, and so we have furniture. This week brings more jobs to tick off the list, more papers to file, more rooms to shake out and reorganize. It's really cold here, and my little goats don't like it. I don't like it. Maybe I am trying to hasten the coming of Spring with all my cleaning.