Geoffrey and I decided to adopt from Guatemala after lots and lots of research. Our first step was to have a homestudy completed. We chose Adopt an Angel as the agency to complete our homestudy. Now folks, a homestudy is an intense process, first off G and I were given an assignment to write autobiographies. That took us several weeks to complete... then we had to CLEAN THE HOUSE. Our home had never been so clean and orderly..and probably won't ever be that way again. I swear, I refolded my underware twenty times and organized my linen closet. The social worker came to the house January 21, 1006. She came in, we spoke for about an hour...she asked to see where the baby's room would be and left. She barely left the couch...I was relieved and pissed at the same time.
So after the interview, it was time to start collecting documents for our dossier. Here is a modified list for your viewing pleasure:
Certified Copies (Issued by Government agency):Birth Certificate Marriage Certificate
Notorized Documentation (must be dated same day as document date)
Record Background check (from Local Police department)
Health Letter for both
Pestigos (Referal letter from 2 friends)
Seems simple enough, right? WRONG. First of all, there are required medical tests that you have to get a doctor to order. Then you have to draw the blood...wait for the results...and then get a doctor to agree to write a letter about the results and say you are "fit" to be a parent. THEN you have to get each piece of paper..(the above mentioned list) notarized...how do you get a document signed by your doctor notarized? Glad you asked..you have to find a traveling notary. Make the appointment with the doctor...bring the notary with you yaddah yaddah yaddah. THEN after all the documents are notarized...and you have made sure everyone's signature can be read, things are spelled and dated correctly and your notary's commission doesn't expire for at least a year...you can send all the documents to the secretary of state for certification. Certification basically means they are validating that the notary is kosher. THEN after you get those back from the SOS you have to send them on to the Consulate of Guatemala for legalization. Tired yet? Well, its super fun when your friend who is writing you a reccomendation letter gets her letter notarized..you then send it off for certification and the notary is no registered...grrrr...then you have to tell said friend that she needs to redo letter, find new...legit notary and send it all back to me.
Did I mention having to get fingerprinted by USCIS? Yeah, gotta do that too. Fill out an I-600, request and appointment..wait weeks and weeks for your fingerprinting appointment...then weeks and weeks for your clearance. Then when you have finished all of that your agency calls to say there is a new form and you have to do all the notary stuff all over again! Whoo hoo! It took me from the end of January to May 5th to complete our Dossier.