It was a mixed bag of emotions in late 2012 when I emailed our contact at the agency and said “We’re all ready to focus on our application now that we’ve returned from getting married in Massachusetts.” After a bit of a delay, (there’s always a delay, what is that?) we received a hearty congratulations but also the news that this agency has a policy requiring a one year delay after any major life change such as getting married.
The silver lining that I clung to in that moment was that this is actually a good sign for Marriage Equality. It might have been nice on the one hand to be able to bypass this waiting period by saying “Oh well, we aren’t legally married in the eyes of the Federal Government, nor the State of Texas, so let’s just steam right ahead.” But in truth the Civil Rights Activist in me was pleased to hear that my marriage was being taken just as seriously as a hetero one. (Libra – we’re big into Fairness and Equality)
So there’s progress on the Civil Rights front, but there’s also progress on our family planning. We sent in our initial paperwork this past week, which consisted of three stacks of paper: His, Mine and Ours. They included background check release forms and a Sensitive Topics Questionnaire asking if you’ve ever been arrested or drank alcohol, or if you have had “any contact” with mental illness. All of these require written explanations. I’m surprised we didn’t need additional sheets of paper. I tried to simplify, simplify, simplify my answers, deciding that less was going to be more.
Some of the information wasn’t terribly difficult to obtain:
- 2 Years W2’s
- 2 Years Tax Returns
- Credit Reports < 90 Days old
- Complete a Household Budget Worksheet – 3 pages
- Animal Vaccination Records
But some of the documents are a little more interesting:
Disaster Evacuation Plan Document – this one’s a real piece of work. It covers what to do and where the children will group together in the event of several different types of disaster: “Fire, Weather, Chemical Spills, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Acts of Terrorism“. Each clearly defined and requiring separate planning. I was reminded of the nuclear war/Cold War drills from the 1950’s. I was wondering if it really matters which part of the yard/lot or which neighbor the kids should run to if any of this really happened. It’s like hiding under a school desk if an H-Bomb were to be inbound.
I also had to get what my friends and I call “art class” and make drawings of the house and lot. I think I did pretty well, not well enough to post it here or anything, but pretty well. Plus I fear that I’d upload it and you’d end up knocking on my door and asking me if you can play in our 50′ set back or something. You sick bitches. Of course you can come play.
So the good news is that our initial documents all passed at least a cursory inspection and we are scheduled for a three day training class in mid-February. Later comes CPR training, 40 hours each of supervised child interaction and Behavior Intervention Training, Medical Screening, Home Study and much, much more.
Photo via Flickr.