I know the adoption posts have been few and far between, but there hasn't been much to say. The phrase, "Still waiting for state approval" is only interesting the first few times. But, I'm happy to report that yesterday I talked with our social worker and I can report that we have cleared a huge hurdle: our home study has been approved by the state!
In practical terms, this means that we are now free to apply for permission to the US government to bring H. into the US. When we receive that approval, which becomes part of the dossier, we can then finish the dossier and send it off. We still have many stages of waiting, but at least it's new waiting.
In emotional terms, I can't tell you what a relief this approval is. I mentioned I had been living with some significant anxiety, but I'm happy to report that it has lessened a noticeable amount since hearing the news last night. The anxiety was becoming debilitating. I couldn't do anything with respect to the adoption. Just thinking about looking at the list of paperwork I still need to gather caused my anxiety to skyrocket to such an extent that I had to ignore it all. I now feel as though I can begin to wade my way through it. I also discovered that I had put my feelings for H. on hold to some extent. There was so much question in my mind as to whether this adoption was going to happen that I found myself holding back in even thinking about her. I couldn't even bring myself to mail the dresses I had made for her. But this morning I packed them up in a box and took them to the post office and sent it off. The package should arrive in about 10 days.
I know that the worry may recur as we still have far to go before we can bring H. home, but for now I'm enjoying the sense of relief and freedom and taking advantage of it to cross a few things off my list.
We are one step closer to being a family of 12.