Well, today's home visit went very well. I am tired from all the worrying and cleaning, but happy that things went well. Mara, our in-person reference, came all the way to MD (about 1 hr drive) from Vienna, VA, to meet with Margie (our caseworker) for 10 minutes! Now if that ain't true friendship, I'm not sure what is. A very public thank-you and HUGE HUG to Mara for her willingness to help us and give up so much of her morning.
Margie got there at 8:30 on the dot and left at 11:30. We didn't need to clean nearly as manically as we did...but oh well. Now we have a nice, clean house. We did get told that we need to fence in the backyard completely (it's only three-quarters fenced). We were planning on doing this soon anyway, so now we'll just make sure it happens in the next couple of months. What the hell? It's only a couple of thousand bucks, right?
She said that she was going to sign off on/approve our home study today and submit it to her supervisor tomorrow, for complete signoff. Then, it gets shipped to Korea. She said that our file should be in Korea BY NEXT WEEK! Translated: We're about 7 days away from being officially on the Korea waiting list! You couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces when we heard that. For some reason, I didn't think it would happen so soon after the home visit.
I asked her about timelines, explaining that tons of people keep on asking us the magic four-letter word of "when"? She said that my estimate of Fall 2009 was fairly accurate, if not a little bit sooner. She said "I would hope that you'll be traveling to Korea before Fall of 2009, but with the way things are going, the waits are getting longer, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Translated: Sit tight and wait. Famous last words in the world of adopting a child.
I asked her if we would get routinely updated on where we are on Catholic Charities' "list of waiting parents for Korea." (For example, would we be told, "You are now Number 12 of 20 families waiting" or something like that?) She said she does not disclose this information, b/c it's very misleading and doesn't tell you much. It's not like we're on a chronological list...when a referral comes in, they certainly look at the next family on the list; however, if the child has a medical condition that the family has indicated they wouldn't accept, then Catholic Charities moves to the next family. And so on down the line till they find a match. So lots of times, it just depends on the agency making the best match possible based on (a) the child's characteristics/medical issues/age and (b) the family's criteria (what they will and will not accept in a child).
So, stay tuned for more updates! Thanks for checking in.