OK, I get these two questions all the time (already), so I will answer them first: what is the process and why does it take so long?
First, the process. I'm going to try to boil it down to the essentials (Disclaimer: this is not a comprehensive list. This is an off-the-top-of-my-head list.):
1. Contract with an adoption agency to facilitate your adoption process. This involves an application and also about a thousand pages of disclaimers to sign.
2. Contract with a home study agency (which is, in our case, separate from our adoption agency). Basically, this is step 1 all over again.
3. Assemble a dossier. Basically, this is everything (and I mean every. thing.) about us set out on a ridiculous collection of paper. It includes
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Letters of recommendation from 5 friends/co-workers, and one from one of our kids' teachers. (See......this is why I made sure that Native American project got turned in early. It's a reflection on me. Just kidding....I just didn't want to look at it anymore.)
- A financial statement (think: every aspect of your finances set out on paper)
- Employment letters
- Background checks