Here are some tips we have learned along the way that will hopefully be helpful:
- Be overly organized! - Keep every email(sent and received) in special folder in your inbox, keep all the paperwork together but separated into categories. We have an accordion folder to keep each set of documents together with like documents. Keep every receipt. You will quickly find out that you are constantly referring to your paperwork and needing something from it. This will also come in handy when it comes time to file taxes.
- Get to know the people at your bank and post office - These people will be a big help when dealing with paying for you adoption and mailing all the paperwork to various places.
- Write down your questions - You will have questions and lots of them. Especially when it comes to filling out forms. Keep sticky notes handy so you can write the note and leave it next to question on the form. That way you when call your adoption agency to ask these questions you can go through them easily.
- Keep phone numbers, emails, and address in your phone - In a time when it seems like everyone has a smart phone this becomes easy. But it you don't keep the phone number, email and address for you agency, social worker, and anyone else who you deal with regularly for your adoption with you at all times. I think the easiest way to do this is having it in your phone since most people always have their cell phone with them.
- Clarify - make sure you completely understand the answers to your questions, the adoption process, paperwork, etc. Not understanding something could mean redoing paperwork.
- Check your employers FMLA and adoption benefits - See if your employer offers adoption benefits(many do!) If they do see what forms and documents you will need to claim that benefit. Also go ahead and call human resources and see what your FMLA benefits are and how to claim those also.
- Check out TripAdvisor - This is great website to learn about what to do, where to stay, and where to eat while you are in country. Plus it is great for any vacation planning!