In fact, in keeping with our entire international adoption process defying most of our expectations, our initial adjustment as a family with Vic has been much easier than expected.
We've averaged one wake-up per night with Vic, but it hasn't been too painful. I change his diaper while Laura prepares a bottle, and he's asleep within five minutes or so. In short, he is sleeping very well. His appetite is also improving. He is just super-curious about everything, because his entire environment is very new to him. We are experienced believers in the Babywise method, so we are trying to establish a rigid schedule of two naps and an early bedtime every day.
I'm quickly learning that the homecoming did not mean an end to the arbitrary documentation process. It's acute for us because of our overseas military status. Here are some of the tasks we have been working towards:
- Command sponsorship - began application on day of arrival, discovered we need to get EFMP screening. Travel over to clinic to discover EFMP requires and appointment with the doctor, and that requires DEERS enrollment. Check.
- DEERS enrollment - completed Tuesday morning.
- TRICARE (military health insurance) enrollment - completed Tuesday afternoon.
- EFMP screening appointment - completed Tuesday morning (after DEERS enrollment).
- SOFA certificate application - the SOFA certificate is essentially an unrestricted visa issued by the US military authorities here. Laura applied for it this morning at our local passport service. It's a bit unnerving, as they must send Vic's Kaz passport to Heidelberg. However, the SOFA certificate is what will supersede the 90-day visitor's Schengen visa that currently allows Vic into Germany.
If we are not successful, this means we have to get Vic back to the US before mid-December, when his current IR-3 visa expires, in order for him to get automatic US citizenship.
In other news, check out our first family picture below, taken just after our first Mass together this last Sunday.
Here's a quiz for our non-local readers to answer in this posting's comments: notice anything different about Laura in this photo, or earlier ones? Go ahead, guess away, and guess bold.
For our local friends: no spoilers!