We found out late Thursday that we are "Officially Actively Waiting" for Joseph.
Yes, we thought this would happen weeks ago. Our Social Worker said when she left here on April 23rd - and I quote - "I will be done with the homestudy by the weekend...and you should be actively waiting next week."
Her dog has cancer and has been very sick. So it took her a couple of weeks to get it done. And then it took a couple of weeks for her supervisor (who is only in the office part-time) to review it, and send it back to our social worker for revisions. And then it took a couple of weeks for the revisions and final approval, and then......
As of Thursday we joined the ranks of Actively Waiting prospective adoptive parents in our agency's African American program.
So what does this mean?
We could get a call any day now.
Or....we could get a call a year from now. Or two.
Yes, this is the most challenging part of domestic adoption for me.
International adoptions require more paperwork, because you are bringing a foreign-born child into the US which requires extra paperwork and approvals by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. But with our children from China, after the "paperchase" was complete, we then had a good idea of the timeline until our child would be coming home.
Paperwork-wise, domestic adoptions are much simpler. There is the same homestudy process, and you have to complete a Profile Book (a.k.a. Life Book) that will be presented to prospective birth mothers. But you don't have to prepare a dossier for the other country, and there are no dealings with the USCIS (which takes quite a bit more time and paperwork).
Our agency had us send them 18 copies of our life books, and they are spread out with our agency's representatives all over our state. Our life book will be presented to birth moms....and we now just wait to be chosen by one to parent her child.
And then - as happened with Gabriel - we likely will have a few hours notice that our child has been born and is ready for us to come pick him up.
Just like that.
It's enough to make the faint-of-heart weak with anticipation...and all the unknowns.
I know that I know that the Lord has all this planned to a T...and it is still hard. I simply don't know how people who aren't Christians handle adopting...or life, for that matter.