I am very happy to say that as of yesterday, we are officially contracted with a new agency! After all the agonizing I did over choosing a new agency, I'm equally happy to say that I've made peace with the decision and that it feels really good to move forward. We needed these last 3 weeks just to process what happened, deal with the losses and decide whether there was even a way for us to move on. To have a plan in place, and to be taken steps forward again is such a great comfort to us.
With those "steps forward," however, comes an insane amount of (paper-)work again - and I'm can't say I'm making peace with that fact! Imagine working on this huge, months-long project (like a Master's thesis, for example) .... and then imagine the immense relief you felt when it was finally done. That was us in December. Our dossier was turned in, the paperchase was done, we were ready to focus on the rest of our lives again. And here we are, just a little over two months later ... starting it all over again. It's quite disheartening. It has literally taken us the better part of 2 weeks just to go over the mountain of paperwork required to sign up with this new agency, sign, notarize it all and prepare it for shipment. The contract alone was over 60 pages and required about 100 signatures from EACH of us. And that was only one of about 6 lenghty documents included in the process of signing up with a new agency. But thankfully, that's done ... as as soon as they receive the contract early next week, we'll be ready to discect our dossier again and see what needs updating. I'm still hopeful we'll be able to reuse a good portion of it, but I do know there will be a good number of documents that will need to be re-done. So we'll see.
We've also started working with our home study provider (a different agency licensed here in state) on updating our home study ... and it's another one of those things: It feels like we JUST finally finished our home study and here we go, having to update it already?!
Lastly, we're working on a couple of fundraisers, one of which will hopefully hit my blog some time next week :) I've been in touch with a couple of organizations that provide fundraising support and platforms for adoptive families, and I think I've narrowed down our choice. We've also received our first grant award yesterday, which was VERY exciting ... as so far, we've only had regret letters from two organizations, and not heard anything from most of them. The grant we receiveid is "only" over $2,000 ... which is a whole lot of money in normal life, but unfortunately only small fraction of expenses in adoption-terms. Also, we won't actually get the money until AFTER our son is home, so it's not really going to help us raise the large amount of money we need to accept a referral in a few months ... but will only work toward paying down our adoption loan. However, it's still $2,000 off the total bill ... and more than anything, it's the first financial gift we've received since all this happened (along with another one that came at the same time) ... and it really encouraged our hearts to know that maybe ... just maybe we can actually do this?!
Overall, things are looking up. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and a bit of a dead-line as our month-long trip to Germany is coming up in 6 weeks (planned and payed for before any of this happened) ... and we'd really like to have our dossier and home study updated before we leave. Let's get to work!