Shortly after our I-800 was put in the mail, we learned that we were not actually supposed to have our homestudy released to us!?! Our placing agency never cleared our final draft! I turns out that there has been some friction between our homestudy social worker and the social worker in charge of homestudies at our placing agency. Our placing agency has the final say on what the final homestudy looks like because they ultimaltly take legal responsibililty for it once it is attached to our I-800A.
This has all been going on without our knowledge. Our social worker said that she wanted to protect us from everything that has been going on, but on our end it just looked like she has been doing nothing. Apparently the placing agency social worker has been overly picky about the details of our homestudy, and has been driving our social worker crazy with changes. Meanwhile she was getting pressure from us to finish the homestudy, because on our end it just looked like she was not working on our case. So I think she just wanted to be done with all of it, and released an unapproved homestudy to us.
Also, along with the homestudy, a letter of approval from our placing agency needed to be attached to our I-800A before it was sent. No one ever from either side communicated this detail to us.
I'm writing all this not to complain or discourage anyone from this process, ours is apparently an unusual case, one for the record books of things that can possibly go wrong. I really want to chronicle this process in as much detail as I can for our family history, and hopefully you all can learn from our mistakes!
So after many phone calls (and reminders that a child is at stake here) on all sides, I think things have been smoothed over. The director of our placing agency (a wonderful, smart, southern lady) has taken over our case, I think she is the one to get things done. Hopefully all this will come down to is our placing agency just sending the approval letter to the USCIS to join the rest of our paperwork.
I think that there may be an even bigger reason that we have had so many difficulties with our homestudy, I think that God has been trying to buy some time while he has been working on our hearts. There is a certain brown eyed beauty in the same orphanage as Ben that I cannot get out of my head. I have been thinking about her for quite some time, and thinking how great it would be for Ben to grow up with someone from the same place and have a developmental equal. I see her eyes in my sleep, and I can picture her in our everyday life. I keep seeing myself holding her, here at our house, on my lap in a rocking chair. Could He be calling us to adopt 2 angels?
I don't know, but Jim seems to be turning the corner from "no" to "that might be nice." Hmmm.
This would mean some changes to our homestudy (I'm sure our social worker would be thrilled to get that phone call! :)) and to our I-800A. Also, it would mean coming up with $9,000 more. Something that seems impossible at this point. So, we will just have to wait and see where this all goes!