I requested a pre-app. Most of it was just information to read about their programs and all of the disclosures. It all had to be notorized and signed - like 50 pages worth. That seemed odd and overwhelming to me but I'm glad they put everything up front. Then came the application. I was so glad our agency did a little at a time so it wasn't too overwhelming. Because I have lots of free time at work I was able to do our part quickly and they were very quick at sending me stuff and processing their part. DH and I both had essay questions to answer. The pre-app required a statement of faith and the regular app required an essay about what kind of people we are and why we want to adopt. We had to have three reference letters and one from our Pastor. All the paperwork really wasn't that bad. It was pretty basic easy information and didn't take me that long to do. Once I sent that back we had to do background checks, get fingerprinted and write some more checks. Application done, next step homestudy!
At this point I still wasn't 100% on board with adoption. But I thought we might as well just get our homestudy done and then I'll have time to really think about this once we're waiting since the wait can often be long. And whatever you do don't ask your agency how long the wait will be. You will always get the same answer that goes something like this..."well the wait time varies but on average its 1-2 years, some couples wait less and some wait more." A better question to ask is how many children or infants (depending on what program your looking at) they place per month or per year and the average number of waiting families they have at any given time. That will give you a better idea of how long you will wait. And check out their profiles if they have them on a website. Imagine who you would choose if you were looking for a family for your child and see where you fit in. We were told that being young and child free along with willing to do an open adoption would be huge selling points for us as a waiting family. Although it is 100% in God's hands and its all about His timing. The youngest, cutest, most fun couples sometimes do wait a long time.