As far as we know it, here is how our adoption will proceed. (Of course there will be snags and bumps; they're to be expected.)
We began applying for the homestudy in September. At that time we also chose and contacted a private agency recommended by the State of Idaho.
Right now we have about 90% of our homestudy materials finished. We had to do several applications, disclose some family information, write the biographical statements, get criminal background checks and fingerprints, give financial statements, have a physical, request five letters of reference, get health statements for the kids, write a guardianship plan in case of our death or incapacitation, submit copies of all pertinent certificates such as marriage certificate, birth certificates for the kids, driver's licenses, Social Security cards, medical insurance card and we had to draw a floor plan of our house, giving the size of the rooms and an emergency escape plan.
Once all that is received and processed by the Idaho Youth Ranch, we will get a visit by a homestudy specialist who will examine our house and interview us for several hours.
If everything checks out we hope to get approved to adopt by Christmas.
At that point we will be put on a waiting list with the agency. The State of Idaho will give our application to them, either the one in Texas or the one in Louisiana and we'll also write a letter of introduction to potential birth mothers.
Then for us it will be a waiting game. The agencies have said that they have enough minority newborns come through that approved families on the wait lists usually wait an average of three to six months.
Sometime next spring, then, we'll get a call. A birth mother has chosen our family to adopt her baby. Right then, we'll need to book plane tickets to points south and go to the agency to meet our baby. She will likely be just two or three days old. We may or may not meet the birth mother. We'll need to stay down there for a few days to get the paperwork in order to cross state lines with the baby.
Then we'll bring our little one home! We'll get a few visits from an Idaho caseworker to make sure things are going smoothly and we'll visit the court in Idaho to finalize the adoption.
The best guess I can make is mid-May for our little one to arrive. We won't know a thing about the baby until we get the call from the agency. I think we're going to request an African-American girl, so I guess we'll know that much, unless something changes.
So that is all we know right now. We're finishing up our application and thinking and praying daily for our new little one and her birth mother.