We cleared three hurdles in our adoption pursuit this week:
1. The Bethany-required psychological exam. It took about 2 1/2 hours and consisted of an individual interview, the Myers-Briggs personality test and a 350-item personality test.
2. Our first homestudy meeting. This was our first real conversation with our social worker, and she's great! We got guidance on filing our I-600A with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. This is like a pre-qualification step -- you're basically asking the government for permission to adopt. The process includes getting fingerprinted, so once we file the forms we will be anxiously awaiting our fingerprinting appointment. We hope to finish our homestudy visits this month and use February to compile our dossier.
3. Bethany training. In addition to the Hague online training (which we completed a week or so ago), Bethany requires additional training: two 2-hour sessions at their offices with other families who plan to adopt internationally and six email sessions. Last night we discussed grief and loss and adjusting once our child comes home. One interesting tidbit we learned: it is recommended that the adoptive parents be the ONLY caregivers for a while to help the child bond. They weren't specific about how long, but I can imagine how hard that will be. I read about one family who did not allow anyone else to hold their child or change a diaper for three months! Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one. I want to do what's best, of course, but it may take some serious weaponry to hold off the grandparents.