So the last time we talked about the waiting pool (a month ago), we were "really close" to joining all the other waiting families! And as of today, we're... still really close!
A few interesting developments have happened since last month. First and foremost, we finished our final versions of all the paperwork - no small achievement! Midway through June, we had sent in 500 paper copies of our family introduction letter to OA&FS, along with other various and sundry items they needed from us. We knew that Katie had basically completed our homestudy, and it was just awaiting review from the agency's main office in Portland.
At that point, we were assured that it'd all be done "soon". So we waited a day or two and got a bit antsy, but decided to let things be. A few days turned into a week, and that turned into two. We checked in with Katie every week or so, and eventually it wasn't just "soon": we were "next in line"! I'm not sure exactly what the difference between those two states are, but it seemed like a good step forward.
This is a really frustrating development for us. On the one hand, we've actually gone very quickly through the whole homestudy process - but that's been because of the focused effort that we put into completing all the requirements. Our goal when we started the homestudy was to enter the pool by June, and that would have happened if not for the last name miscommunication. It seems like the agency's organizational skills may be lacking a bit if this sort of error can happen.
On the other hand, now that the problem's been discovered, I expect that it's going to be rectified quickly. Katie (and through her, the other folks from the agency) seem very apologetic about this mistake, and they've said we should be in the pool by Thursday. I'm kind of in the "I'll believe it when I see it" mindset about that, but at least we have a firm date to hold them to now. And really, this amounts to a delay of about 3 weeks or so; it's incredibly unlikely we would have received a placement during that time, and once we're in the pool our future likelihood of being picked won't be affected by the mishap. Given that, the only lasting damage is that our overall confidence in the agency has been diminished somewhat. How that changes over time really depends on how they react to the situation now that a problem's been uncovered.
And on a completely different level, this situation could actually be a good thing for us. Once we enter the waiting pool, we likely have months (or even years) ahead of us before we're picked by a birth family. During that whole time, everything about the "process" will be out of our control. Maybe it's good for us to experience a bit more waiting now, if only to help prepare us for all the waiting to come!
So anyway, look out for another post sometime "soon", when we might actually be in the pool!