I should probably make a page of FAQ’s. One I’d put on it is: What’s the difference between your Home Study and Dossier?
The easiest way to explain it is this: the HS is for your state and the US Gov’t, the Dossier is for the foreign country you are adopting from. For the HS, we have a social worker from an agency in the Cities, a sweet gal named Ava. She came out a week and a half ago and spent a couple hours here chatting with Scott and me, then asked the kids some questions when they got home from school. “How do you feel about adopting?” “What kinds of things do you like to do?” etc… A funny part was when they got home after school I told them to grab a snack and come into the living room to chat with us. They both grabbed apples and plopped down on the floor. Ava was like, “nice choice for a snack!” I winked and said that we had told them ahead of time to make a healthy choice. LOL. Scott and I had to give her our life history basically… where we were born, raised, jobs since high school, immediate relatives and their names, where they live, what they do for a living…family life growing up, parenting styles, state of the marriage, etc. It was kind of fun, actually! So, then she typed up our “study” and had to put with it all kinds of info we sent to them: background checks, financial statements, tax returns, employment verifications, medical reports, birth and marriage certs, references, MN DHS application, DHS family disaster plan, proof that we had finished our online training courses (12 hours worth)…that’s about it. No big deal. 14 pages later, she sent the draft of our HS to our MT agency early this week. Our case worker there is reading through it and it should be ready for the official copies to be sent (to the USCIS- Dept of Homeland Security- with our I600A – application to U.S. for adoption) this week!
The dossier… includes the finished HS along with: a letter written by us to the Haitian government (IBESR) formally requesting permission to adopt a child, certified recently issued birth certificates and marriage certificate, a letter written by our doctor with the lab results from our blood tests that screened for 4 different communicable diseases (all negative in case you were wondering), a letter written by a clinical psychologist we met with, more employee and reference letters, passport pics, 2 other ID pics, family pics, a letter from our bank, and power of attorney forms. All the letters had to be PROPERLY notarized by a notary with a stamp at least 2 years out from expiring. That was probably the biggest pain of all of it! Imagine kindly and apologetically telling your banker that for the 4th time they didn’t notarize correctly and we needed another one. I could do an entire blog on the proper way to notarize a document. Thank goodness my sister in law, Carly, is one and could do many of our documents for us… and correctly… the first time.
WHEW! Now that I read through this, it’s astonishing that we got all this done in 4 weeks time. Doreen helped us a lot here- often tipping me off ahead of time on stuff we were going to need 🙂
So… today I scanned in our notarized documents and emailed them to MT for them to double check before we FedEx all of it there this week. Unless we need to get something redone!
Help me, Lord! if we do.