A mixture of nerves and excitement swirled as we awaited our first meeting with our social worker this past week. It would be our first of four meetings that we will need to complete our home study not only required by our adoption agency, but also the state, federal, and international regulations. When we think of all the people involved in helping us bring home our little baby it is quite amazing to see it all work. We certainly have our work ahead of us in sending out forms, submitting fingerprints, letters of recommendation, and different level of clearances. I believe it is easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed in this part of the process, as it appears to be a mountain of paperwork to climb, but from our friends who have endured the same process we are encouraged to push forward and that it will go quicker than we think. If anything, it comforting that we will always be working on part of the process, whether it be submitting paperwork, organizing fundraising opportunities, or putting in miles for our marathon training, we know that we are working towards one goal, and in the end it will all be worth the sweat & tears we are pouring in. Our first visit was very encouraging and we seemed to get a lot of our forms filled out. It is very interesting to see all of the cultural, ethical, and sometimes meticulous parts of the process that take a deep look into our past, current, and future lives that will no doubt help form our roles as parents to our future children. It makes me wish that these types of discussions would be part of everyone’s lives that became parents. I don’t look at it as invasive process, but more of a personal discovery that will ultimately lead Heidi and I to being the very best parents we can be to our one-day child. Before our next home study visit can be scheduled we must work on our educational courses that will teach us about the intricate details of adopting a child internationally and how we can best ensure a smooth transition from its home country to ours. We have already browsed through some of the binder as a sneak peak and we are both extremely excited to all the information that will no doubt help us in raising our child to understand its diverse past and help us as parents adapt to the unique challenges and joys of adopting a child internationally. We continue to be encouraged by the overwhelming amount of support from our family and friends and are looking forward to our fundraising events as a way to celebrate the accomplishments that we have achieved and to rejoice in our future baby being one day closer to coming home.