The FBI have officially declared us acceptable, law-abiding citizens, so that's one thing down. Now we are waiting on the forms to come back from Kentucky and Colorado, and friends to write their reference letters, and one financial sheet which I have yet to finish, and we will be done.
I think. It seems hard to believe, but I think that's all we have left to do.
That financial sheet! Ugh. It requires me to write down a monthly budget.
We don't do a monthly budget. I have a vague idea of how much comes in and what generally goes out, and what, if anything, we have left over for extraneous purchases.
I have this internal alarm system that goes off as soon as I suspect that we have reached a critical money shortage stage, and then begin to declare that we have no money and must stop buying stuff.
I'm exaggerating slightly. I do check the bank account and all that. Over the years, I've begun and then abandoned several budgets.
But at the moment, I don't have a regular budget that allots money for clothing, money for gifts, and money for travel and all that. That all gets purchased when the need for them corresponds with the ability.
So, either I fill out the sheet in the painfully honest, technically correct figures of last month, say- which gives them quite a lopsided view of our finances.
Or, I average it all out and give them a nice, neat little sheet that accurately reflects our over-all finances, but certainly no month in reality.
I'm sure they're looking for the latter, but each time I go to fill it out in that way, my didactic, dictatorial conscience informs me that I am not being exactingly honest about my finances, and on my adoption form, no less!
I don't know about Disney, but I myself would not have chosen a cute little cricket as a personification of my conscience. Mine would be something like a cross between a Puritan and piranha, on steroids and possibly glowing with nuclear radiation.
Keith has promised that sometime today we will tackle the dreaded sheet together, and wrestle both the numbers and my mutant ninja Puritan into some kind of working order.
Once we have everything turned in, we wait while our adoption agent actually writes up the home study. Then she meets with the board and they discuss whether or not we will be approved.
I'm not sure how long this process takes. I would guess a couple weeks. I'm hoping to be done by the end of this month, but that's probably not realistic. It will probably be some time in September.
In the meantime, I'm hoping we will also take the next step with our placement agency, in anticipation of our home study being approved.
The next step with them is to finalize our decisions that relate to the health and background of the birth mother, our final budget and how open the adoption will be. Those answers determine which potential birth mothers are shown our profile.
We've already sketched out and discussed our answers, but we must officially close the form and then move to putting together the profile itself.
That is the step that requires boatloads of pictures with cute captions.
Oh the agony.