Today, Chris and I had our fourth and final interview with our social worker for our home study process. She said to us at the end, "Well, this interview has concluded your home study process." Wait. What?! What does that say? Yep. CONCLUDED. Finished. Complete. Done. Sorta. We lack two documents that should be gathered and submitted super soon.
I don't know how I feel. This home study has been such a way of life and has occupied permanent space in my brain. Now it is over. Phew! Huge sigh of relief! I am elated, overjoyed, energized, and excited, yet also weary, war torn, and nervous over what bumps we'll hit in the next portion of the road. I do know that God is with us and while we might be battered a bit and tired of spending evenings on "parent education", He is utterly and completely in control of this and we are so thankful He is allowing us to walk this road.
So, what next? We have to jump a few more hoops and get our home study to the super duper end of the road where it is magically declared finalized. I am excited about the word "concluded" today, but in the next few weeks finalized will really have me feeling giddy. Once that word is attached to it, it is locked and loaded, signed and sealed, not to be touched again (unless we pay a big 'ole fee). Next stop will be US Immigrations for the next 2-3 months where they will review our application and home study and decide whether or not our application to adopt internationally will be approved or denied. While our home study is hangin' with the nice people of USCIS, we will work on compiling all the necessary documents for our dossier.
We have had many, many people ask us about time lines from this point forward and while I can make fantastic estimations, they are just that. Estimations. What I learned about myself through the process of the home study is that estimations are great, and even useful at times, but they often lead to disappointment (primarily for me). So, a lot like when you are pregnant and you don't know the exact date you'll go into labor, but you wait and watch for signs of the coming baby. We know that when all is said and done, we will hopefully one day exit an airplane on US soil with our daughter in our arms. We don't know when, but as the time draws closer, we'll be sure to clue you in that we're watching for signs of labor.
For now I will just sit back and bask in the goodness of a home study process that has concluded.