Before all the adoption paperwork updates, I think everyone might want a Gigi update. She is doing so well! We are out of the woods on any bleeding issues that might have occurred from the reinsertion of her implant. The plan is to activate it on April 5th. We are so excited at the new opportunities this might bring for her!
This week was spent getting our psychological evaluation and our physical exams done. On Monday, we met with a psychologist who is experienced in writing evaluations the way that Colombia needs them done. The psychologist we chose lives in another state, so we used the wonders of technology to meet with her. Our Skype conference took place during the time that the kids were filing in from school. So, she got to see the ‘real’ us. Cate wandered in and out showing me beautiful drawings she had made. The older kids would come to the door randomly and shout ‘Who are you talking to mom?!?’ before they’d realize someone live was actually chatting with me. Whoops. But, if you wonder what it’s really like here, well, that’s it.
The purpose of these evaluations with a psychologist isn’t solely to decide if mental illness precludes us from being adoptive parents. Honestly, the other fifty million forms we filled out would have raised that red flag. This is a safety check, yes, but we also filled out a 567 personality index that assesses how well we deal with stress. Yes, 567 questions. It took me about 45 minutes each day for three days to finish it. Joe was able to get it done in one day over the course of about 2 hours. My mind kept wandering and I’m a nervous “test” taker, so I chose to break it into chunks. We then scanned our answer sheets into the computer and sent them back to the psychologist. She will now write the report and send it to both our placing agency and to us.
On Wednesday, I had my physical. I see a Nurse Practitioner that I actually worked with when I was a floor nurse at the children’s hospital. She took the six pages of documentation that is required from her in stride. There is a three page form for the home study, another two page form for the Colombian government, and because I have a past surgical history, she will have to write a letter to the Colombian government saying that it in no way affects my ability to be a parent. All the forms going to the Colombian government have to be notarized. Luckily, we live in a large city where the medical practices are large and employ a notary within them. If yours does not, sometimes you’ll meet resistance on this step. You have a couple of choices. You can offer to bring a traveling notary with you. Those do exist, but they will add cost to your process. Or, you can remind your medical provider that every bank has a notary, free for you, if you have an account there. This is for an adoption. They should be willing to do this for you. If not, you might want to assess if this provider is really in this for you.
I set up all the forms with sticky notes so that Joe could just follow me in 24 hours later and see the same provider. This isn’t his usual provider, but this always works well to see someone that I’ve already seen so I can guide them through the paperwork. Since Joe doesn’t have a regular provider, this is possible as well. This person can then become Joe’s provider and I kill two birds with one stone. **Before we go all ‘this is what men do, never see the doctor, to be honest, I didn’t have one either. We’re self-employed, and largely, healthy people. We switch insurance policies, for us, as often as we can to get the best deal possible. This means changing primary care providers. I have had three in three years. The only difference is, I know who mine is. He always has to ask me. Sigh.**
We both had to have HIV tests, Hepatitis screens and TB tests. If your provider codes those as ‘screening’, they are considered ‘essential health benefits’ and, because of the ACA, MUST be covered by your insurance. This applies to you even if you have employer-sponsored insurance. Yes, this is a blatant plug for the Affordable Care Act. These will be excluded from your deductible even if your employer, or spouse’s employer, provides your insurance, because federal law currently mandates it. So, thanks Obama. And, thank goodness the ACA is here to stay.
We will pick up our notarized paperwork from the doctor next week and then scan copies of it over to our social worker.
Today is our first home study visit. I will write all about what that entails in the next post. The state we reside in recently changed its law regarding home studies for adoption. This means that even though our social worker knows us VERY well, she has to start the home study process from square one. No ‘update’ for us. Such is life in adoption. Laws change. Costs are added. This is what we do.
FullPlateMom, who is going to hashtag this one #ThisIsAdoption, just like on Facebook. You can feel free to follow me there too.