Home Study Complete!

Whew! We had our home study today. It was great to meet our Social Worker face to face. The whole thing wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. She asked some questions about us and our plans for the baby, took a tour of the house, and looked over our dossier documents to make sure everything was there. She was very nice and I feel really good about the whole thing. And to top it all off, our house hasn’t been this clean since we moved in!

The next step is to get our last piece of paperwork for our dossier (the packet of papers about us that goes to the Vietnamese government). This is called the I-171H, and it is up to the Oregon State government to get it back to us (ugh). Then our dossier goes on a couple of trips to various government agencies before being sent to Vietnam for translation and finally to the Vietnamese government for final approval. Then we get a number that will make us officially paper pregnant, which means we are waiting to be matched with a baby.

These are the photos of the house that we sent in our dossier, look how clean it is!

Our Little HouseOur Living RoomOur Kitchen

Home study is on the calendar

Well that was fast. Not but three days after sending in the last of the agency paperwork do we have our home study scheduled. Booyah!

It feels very good to get this scheduled. I said to our social worker at the agency ‘It feels like we’re making “real” progress now.’

We’ve got roughly three weeks until the home study. Our plan is:

  1. Get as much (hopefully all) of the dossier paperwork completed so our social worker can take it with her afterwards.
  2. Clean the house. Three weeks should just be enough 😉 I’m joking, right? Right?!

Step One … Complete!

Close-up of doctor’s letter

Joel sent the last of our agency paperwork in on Friday! Woo Hoo! Our criminal background check came back exactly two weeks from when we sent it in, and just worked out to land on the same week as we got our medicals. They looked good, no mistakes that we could see.

Getting our medicals was a bit of an adventure for both of us. It’s a long story, but in the end we both got what we needed and hopefully the agency will be happy with it!

Joel dropped the paperwork in the mail Friday and the next step is to have our social worker look them over and schedule our home study!

Yahoo Groups are icky

Here’s a little self-serving rant. Can I just say that I despise “Yahoo! Groups”? Kate and I belong to a client-run yahoo group for members of our adoption agency. It’s a wonderful group with a wealth of great information and constantly buzzing with activity. The content and people of the group are simply awesome. Very active, very supportive, and let’s not forget super-friendly.

What I don’t like is the format and user interface of Yahoo Groups in general. It’s like a giant mailing list mated with an ugly, hard to use Web site.

User management

Your default posting name is your “Yahoo! ID”. News-flash: this means everyone will know you as the first part of your Yahoo email address … which probably isn’t your main email address anyway. You probably only have a yahoo email address in the first place so you can use things like yahoo groups. This means most people are known by catchy monikers such as “34bearzfan56pdx@”.

Ah, but you can change the email address you use to receive email digests so it’s not your yahoo email address. Why does this matter? Well because yahoo groups displays the first part of your email address up to the at (@) sign for all of your posts. This is because it’s sort of a mailing list. But I feel most people use the Web interface exclusively.

Finding all posts by a specific user is not intuitive either. You have one way to find posts by a user. Click on the miniscule “Advanced” link by the search box. There you can search by user. But shouldn’t this be available when I click on a username from a post? You know, from the user’s profile page? Yahoo, what the heck are you doing?


It’s funny, the message handling is the most frustrating part of the entire experience, but I have the least to say about it because it’s so obvious in it’s suckyness. Yahoo groups are trying to be a forum … but it’s also a mailing list. The issue is that it’s failing at both.


Personally, I feel most yahoo groups would be better served with a good and proper forum. And I’ll say it again: the content of the adoption yahoo group is just awesome. I only wish I could access the wonderful things they’re talking about with less frustration.

Ok, I’m done. Sometimes you just gotta’ vent! 🙂

Sorry for the Silence

Hi All,

Things have been pretty quiet since the garage sale and we haven’t had much to put up on the blog. But here’s just a quick update as to where we are in the process. We have almost completed the first round of paperwork. Our last letter of reference is on it’s way to the agency, our employment letters are done, we’ve finished all of our book reports and questions, we got our passports and other vital records. We’re waiting for my first check for this school year to come so I can fill out our financial report with the proper information, our criminal background, and our medicals. These should all be complete by October 12th. Once that happens, we can start the home study process, woo hoo! We are getting closer everyday.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive. We’ll keep you posted as things progress!