Adoption Resources

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Mar 07, 2007



It's NOT just a pregnancy-hormone driven thing, since the one who experienced this "instinct" in our house was my husband. When we found out we were expecting our daughter, all of a sudden we NEEDED a new roof *now* (among other things).

I had no nesting feelings and wondered what the hell was wrong with me, but DH had enough for both of us -- though like yours, his was misdirected at completely non-baby-related tasks.


You could be like me and think of every waking moment of every second "WHEN AM I GETTING THE CALL?" Better to have your mind on projects. I drove myself insane during the 5 month wait of referral to travel call.


Why the compulsion? Because soon you will have NO TIME to do any of this stuff. It's now or never, baby. Or, at least, now or five years from now.

You don't have to just sit around. You can obsessively haunt your agency's board to see the referral dates of the people who got travel calls this week and plot how long it will be before you are called. I actually was able to time the call pretty precisely with this information. It doesn't always go exactly in order, but in our case it did.


I just came across your blog and can relate to so much that you are saying. Get all you need to get done now because there will never be time once a baby arrives in your home.
After 3 ectopics I was lucky to finally become a mother with IVF and just did a FET and am sitting thru the woes of the first few weeks ( 7wks pg). I am also a tubeless wonder and get those same comments about relaxing and it might happen. Some people just never get it I am not the Virgin Mary.
Best of luck with your adoption and INS. I have had my run ins with INS as well, they are the most imcompetant set of people that ever get paid!


Oh, my dear. It is definitely present with adoptive moms. You and I will probably be meeting our kids within a month or so of each other and I have been nesting like mad the past couple of weeks. I am not quite sure what relevance making sure all my Tupperware containers are properly labeled has to my future daughter but by God we CANNOT bring her into a house with mislabeled Tupperware!

I think it's because there is nothing else we CAN do right now.


do it NOW is all I can say - yes, get every last one of those projects done because once baby is here, you will work at glacial speed, and what would have taken you a week will take, oh, 4 to 6 months - seriously. We for various reasons did not do this, and now our son is 2 years old and we are close but it sucked having so much to do during his first two years. now we sit around and think, wow, that was really hard. so you go girl!! get it all done now!


Wonder Woman! That is hysterical and I picture you spinning around in circles with your gold lasso attacking the next project.

I think you may feel the pressure to do it now because you are looking at the potential 2-3 week window while your DH is probably thinking he has 2-3 months! I bet that when you actually get the travel call your DH will suddenly become SuperBuilder! (at least that was how my DH was -- he didn't kick it into gear until 2 weeks before I was due!)

I do remember though that all the things I worried about and nesting activities weren't even noticed when we actually got our daughter home! So, don't be too hard on yourself (or your DH) with all the projects!


I've never adopted a baby, but have adopted puppies and even had my nesting symptoms then! Strangely, when I was pregnant with my twins I couldn't drag myself away from the dog beds in the petshop?! Emotions and hormones and experiences and memories are all so closely connected an influencing each other. When I am in love I'd get severe cleaning urges. Anyway, I hope you get lots and lots done, cause it will take a while before you'll have your hands or head free for other thinngs then your bubb!


Oh can I relate. My Dh seemed to think we had all the time in the world when I was in my 3T and I ended up doing most everything. I was and still am a bit pissed about that. I don't see why adopting would be any different. You are going to be a mommy.....must prepare...must have nice environment for child. You are correct...you have to do it now cuz once baby comes...no time... plus you'd rather be snuggling your baby than installing a new water heater. You are not crazy...you just have a razor sharp focus to get 5 years of home improvement projects done in 1 month. Not to paint with too broad a brush but the men-folk don't seem to have that type of drive for the home-making stuff.

Karin Six

Congratulations!!! I really think you should write a book about all your experiences. You are a GREAT writer!! I really enjoyed reading and felt everything you are going thru... We are thinking of foster parenting soon as our way out of our childless circumstances.

A co-traveler in infertility,



I am a mother of one biological daughter and one adopted daughter and I experienced the nesting instinct just as much with adoption! It is my opinion that this God given instinct kicks into overdrive when we are about to encounter major change in our lives. I just started my own business as a life coach and before I took this major step I felt a strong desire to clean every closet and drawer in my house! As women we should celebrate all that we can accomplish with this amazing surge of energy that accompanies lifes transitions and our need to create a nest that sustains us and our families through them.

Cara Fletcher

We all love to make home improvements because we want our houses to look more cosier and to feel comfortable in them.This is really a nesting instinct.

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Adoption To-Do's


    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!