What is a home study and what is a dossier, you ask? Good question (as our friends at AGCI say).
A home study is completed by a licensed social worker that reviews your lives in detail to determine if you and your family are fit for adoption. Everything that you are is laid bare in sterile black and white as if to say this is it, this is all you are. They look at your personality, your income, your debt level, your marriage, your kids, your house, your neighborhood, your childhood, and so on. This is done through a series of interviews together as spouses, meeting separately, and - the way they find out how things really work in our house - meeting separately with our kids. It also documents our many hours of training. Then everything is summarized in a document that states whether or not we are fit for adoption. The standards must be pretty low, because we passed!
The dossier is a series of documents verifying a number of things. Here is our dossier checklist:
1. Two Power of Attorney Forms (one must be state certified)
2. Application Letter
3. 2 Passport photos each parent
4. Photographs of the family
5. Photographs of the family’s home
6. Home Study of family
7. Employment Verification (father)
8. Employment Verification (mother)
9. Financial Statement
10. Birth Certificate for father
11. Birth Certificate for mother
12. Certificate of Marriage
13. Medical Form for father
14. Medical Form for mother
15. Criminal Check for father
16. Criminal Check for mother
17. Two Letters of Recommendation
18. Post-Adoption Commitment Letter
19. Two Complete Copies
20. Applicable Fees (See Fee Schedule)
Needless to say, we are extremely glad to end this chapter and move on to the next. Each day we are one day closer. It's seeming more and more real all the time.
Thanks for everyone's prayer and support. This is not a journey that we take on our own - it's too hard and too difficult. We certainly feel everyone alongside us. God has led the way, and we are thankful for that.