As we have steadily approached the finish line I was relatively at ease... until I was informed none of our references had been received and 3 of my background and registry checks results had not come in. The last couple weeks have been a flurry of phone calls, e-mails, bank runs, Facebook messages, and frantic calls to the social worker trying to sort everything out.
References are hard to come by. Not because we aren't recommendable, but because references have to be non-familial. This became quite a task because we can't write the letters, so asking people that we consider family isn't exactly an option when they will introduce themselves and explain how they know us using terms like sister, uncle, cousin, etc. It makes the paperwork a bit more difficult, but it also helped to show us just how completely blessed we are to have such a large family, both blood and chosen through priceless friendships.
We quickly realized that the three people who had offered to help in any way possible, once asked to provide us a reference, were either too busy and forgot or weren't that interested after all. We absolutely understand, we have been swamped around here too, but we wish they would have told us that they were too busy or didn't want their contact information filed with the social worker and the state, so we could have gotten another reference lined up in a more timely manner (they were given four months notice). When we learned our SW hadn't received anything the other week, we quickly sent urgent messages out to five other people/couples asking, if they had a few minutes to bless us with a reference on such short notice. Several were able to come through with glowing recommendations, literally overnight. They moved some serious mountains for us, and even though they'll all receive thank you notes, words don't really express how amazing it is to have them in our lives.
Background and registry checks, however, are a nightmare! Nothing has ever sunk my heart so deep into my gut than hearing that these had not cleared by today (and that's sayin' something!). Weeks of e-mails, leaving voicemails, and searching for anyone who could answer a question without giving me the run around or passing me off to another agency or department, got the best of my nerves. It is all I can do to not scream at these people... and I've come very close with a number of state police and their office workers today. Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of praying. One year of preparation and six months of paperwork are ALL going to have to be redone- resigned, dated, and resubmitted, if the out-of-state background check and central registry check results aren't sent to our SW within the next few hours!!! At this point, I have paid for all the checks twice and there are still no results to show for it. If our cashier's checks were not returned to our local DSS by mail, then I'll have to pay for it all again as well, and our indefinite wait will begin again. I believe we can possibly squeeze some progress in tomorrow morning, if we can find someone or someway to expedite the paperwork... maybe, just maybe.
I'm growing hesitant to pray for miracles, because I do it so often, but what else can you possibly do at a time like this? It's time to take a knee and see what the good Lord has planned. After all, he is the one who set us on this amazing journey, so I know He has all the details covered. Sometimes, I think He just likes to test the control freak in me. Haha!
PRAYERS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED as we cross the last hurdle partially within our control. Tomorrow everything is officially out of our hands and up to God.