Any of my friends who tuned in for an announcement that I've finally shed my distaste for running...sorry to disappoint you. The Hicks Household has only one runner, and that is Jake. Although lately Howie has been telling me "Mommy, I need to run!" So there might soon be two. Still, neither of them is me.
No, right now I'm talking marathon in the metaphorical sense. As you all know we've been working on an adoption for over a year now. We have had quite an adventure so far, but over Christmas we got confirmation of a completed dossier from the Philippines. The next step in the process is a notification that we are approved and on the "Waiting Families" list. We were supposed to have gotten that notification on Valentine's Day. So naturally, last week when we still had not heard anything, we were starting to get nervous.
Then Thursday, we received notice that ICAB requested additional information to supplement our file. I was nervous, but according to our caseworker ICAB is going over all of its dossiers with a fine-toothed comb. So it's nothing about us in particular, it just happens to be a much more "microscope" time right now. That doesn't make things easier, but perhaps a little less stressful because it's what every family is going through right now. Misery loves company? Or maybe it's just nice to know there are kindred spirits out there.
There were several different things that ICAB asked us for. They want some additional medical background on Jake (minor stuff), and they want some extensive medical information on Howie. Basically, they want to ensure that none of Howie's medical issues (he's had a few) will result in long-term issues that could affect another child. The last thing they wanted was follow-up information on our state-by-state background clearances. Perfectly legitimate concerns, I grant you, but here's the kicker: ICAB only gave us a week to supplement our file! Holy moly! And, of course, it's during a week when I'm gone 2/3 of the time. So I spent Thursday and Friday frantically collecting the medical information to get in the mail. (God bless our pediatrician, who got a detailed letter out for us within hours of getting a phone call from me!).
The background clearances have to come from our home study agency, though, and that is giving me some serious heartburn. Last week was Spring Break in Texas, and people (including our caseworker) are just now getting back to the office. I have emailed twice and called once, with no response yet (!!). And I'm on a plane to Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a conference, so I won't be home to see the process completed. Of course, if there were going to be a fire drill, it would be when we are in the worst position to deal with it. The good news is that I have another day and a half home, and hopefully I can get in touch with our case worker by then. In the meantime, we would really appreciate prayers that things go smoothly.
It's nerve-racking. No question. I probably won't rest easy until we get the information emailed/mailed off later this week. But there's some good here too. The requests mean that our dossier has been reviewed. And, if these requests are any indication, it means that, minus some minor details, all the other elements of our dossier passed muster. That's a comfort in and of itself. Now we just have to pray that once these supplements are submitted we will finally get that approval letter we have been waiting for. The "Waiting Families" list really just means the start of a new waiting game. But on the other hand, it also means that we are ready to be matched when the right baby comes along.