Tests confirm: We're not crazy!

Another requirement for adoption is having a psychological evaluation and taking certain psychological tests to confirm mental health. This isn’t required by all countries or agencies. In fact, Nepal does not require this, however Russia does. At any rate, even though this is not a Nepal requirement, our adoption agency does require it, so we needed to do it.

The psychological evaluation must be performed by a clinical psychologist and must include the following:
• Interviews
• MMPI-2 test (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2)
• Rorschach Ink Blot Test
• Summary report for each of us describing the interviews and test results

All interviews and tests are deemed to describe our emotional stability, fitness for parenting, social history, feelings about your parenting skills, strength of marriage, self-esteem, commitment level and values.

At first, Andrew and I were a little bit annoyed that we needed to do this since Nepal didn’t require it. Especially since we had to provide so much information for our home study, and the home study interviews and home inspection were so detailed, that, if one could not determine mental health from all of that, then wow! On top of that, it was hundreds of dollars to do the interviews and tests, so that part was frustrating too. (We understand needing to pay for the services, but to pay extra for something that Nepal didn’t even require was what was frustrating to us.)

However, once we took the tests, did the interviews, and read the reports, we were so glad we did it. We learned so much about ourselves!

The MMPI-2 test was a true/false test with 457 questions! It took about 1.5 hours. The interviews, Rohrschach and other test (can’t remember the name) took about 2 hours. All of the tests and interviews were very interesting, especially the Rohrschach and other test I can’t remember the name...we’ll just call it, “storytelling”.

The Rorschach test consisted of 10 different cards that you had to describe. Each card had an ink blot dropped onto it, then folded in half and re-opened creating an image. You had to describe what you thought the image looked like and why.

The “storytelling” test was six different illustrated pictures of people in different settings. You needed to tell a story about the people/setting...what was happening at that moment, what precluded it, and what the future was.

The psychologist told us that both the Rorschach and the storytelling tests were “projective” psychology tests. Our responses would give him an idea of our unconscious wishes, desires and emotions, especially from one person to another. Isn’t that interesting? When he first told us that, I thought, “Yeah, right! Sure it will!”


First of all, the tests nailed us! They described our strengths, weaknesses, emotional stamina, marriage, self-esteem, etc., and even gave hints as to what type of parents we would be!
Second of all, our psychologist pinned us! Based on the interviews and tests, he basically knew exactly who we were. I guess a doctorate degree, 40 years of experience, and some really great, tried-and-true tests actually do work!
Third of all, we found out that we weren’t crazy, and that we’re actually pretty neat people! Yes, we have weaknesses and there are things we need to continue to allow Jesus to transform in us. But the strengths the tests and interviewed showed were pretty eye-opening, and quite special! As the psychologist described what he found in the interviews and tests, I felt like my Father God was sitting across from me saying, “I like who I created!” It was actually very healing.
Fourth of all, we’re smart! I always knew that about Andrew, but haven’t necessarily thought of myself as “smart”. Apparently I am!
And finally, and most importantly, the tests actually showed that Andrew will be a “fun and loving parent” and I will be a “happy and loving parent”. If there was anything that moved me, it was that.

Home Study Report to USCIS; Update on Where We're At in the Adoption Process

Besides receiving a favorable home study, we need approval from the USA to adopt a baby. The approval goes through the USCIS department – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (And even when we receive our referral of the baby, the baby referral will go through the USCIS to confirm with Nepal that our baby is indeed an orphan. The USCIS will require Nepal to show them documentation that this baby is an orphan.)

The governmental form to complete for USA approval is the I-600A form, “Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition”. You complete the form, and send in the following items with it:
• Birth certificates
• Marriage certificate
• Home study report
• Social worker credentials
• Home study agency credentials
• $800 application fee

You can send in your I-600A form and money with all of your documents before having your home study approved. Then, when you get your home study approval and report, you can send that along with the social worker and agency credentials.

I sent our I-600A form, certificates and money on July 14. We received a letter from the USCIS on July 24 saying they had received our application and would begin processing it. It also said they would not complete until our home study was received and they would not schedule our fingerprinting appointment until they received the home study.

Having received the home study report on Oct. 22, I immediately sent it, along with the social worker and agency credentials, to USCIS on the same day. They say it takes 6-8 weeks to receive USCIS approval, so I wanted to get the home study stuff in the mail immediately.

Now, we wait to get our date in which we to go to Yakima or Spokane to get official fingerprints taken.

We’re getting so close to having everything done! I am in the process of sending all of our documents to the Secretary of State to certify that the notary on our documents is a true person and a true notary. This process is called “State certification”. Once I get all of our state-certified documents back, and the USCIS approval to adopt, we will be done with all of our paperwork. This paperwork will be put into what’s called a “Dossier”. We expect to be able to send our Dossier by the end of November.

We will mail our Dossier to our case manager. She will confirm that everything is there, and everything is right. If we need to make any changes, she will let us know. After Dossier approval, she will send it to a native-Nepalese speaking translator. That person will translate everything. Then, it will officially go to Nepal in January and we will officially be waiting for our baby!

Home Study approved!

We received word on Monday, Oct. 19, that our home studies were approved! This is a huge part of the adoption process. We began working on the home study at the beginning of June. We had our interviews in Seattle on July 31. We had our home inspection on Aug. 28. We received the first draft of the home study report on Oct. 16. We sent changes on Oct. 19. Then, our case manager reviewed it for the week, and sent her changes to our social worker. Our social worker made the final changes, and mailed the final report to us on Oct. 20. We received it on Oct. 22. YIPPEE!

If the home study is not approved, you do not get to adopt. While we were sure that we would get approved, there is nothing like getting the actual document that says you’re approved. And, this 12-page final document represents four months of time, and hours of work for me and Andrew, and our social worker too. You might have noticed from an earlier post, we sent 88 pages of content and information in June to our social worker for the home study! Then, we traveled to Seattle for a day of interviews, and had a home inspection at our house as well. And since that time, there has been several e-mails between me and our social worker to answer additional questions, etc.

So...with approvals in hand (and a report of our lives summed up in 12 pages), we are well on our way to our Nepal baby!