I have wanted to write and post something since the beginning of June, around the second week or so, but have not been able to for a variety of reasons. In order to ensure the legal issues surrounding this placement would not be impacted negatively, we were instructed to not publish anything on social media, this blog, etc. We have shared with a few close friends and family members, but have tried to limit (as difficult as that is and has been!) it to verbal communication with those people. So, here it is:
Yesterday, July 7, my husband and I took placement of a super cute and sweet little boy! We will call him E. To help everyone understand exactly how we got to this point and were able to bring him home, let me take some time to review the process.
Almost 2 years ago, when my husband and I decided to pursue this process to create our family, we had been through a lot of difficult times both emotionally and medically. In determining exactly what our issues were in not being able to have biological children, we both had to undergo numerous medical tests that definitely felt like an invasion. At least that’s how they felt to me…it is such a strange thing to have to submit your body to these different tests and such to try to figure out what is happening when what is supposed to happen (or at least what we think our body is supposed to do, naturally) isn’t happening. So, after all of that and figuring out that we would not have biological children, we made the decision to go through the adoption process.
We chose to go through an agency rather than pursuing private placement for a variety of reasons. If you are investigating adoption, there are a myriad of different options for you, so I would simply suggest that you investigate those options to find the right one for you/your family. So, back to our story…we worked with a Christian agency. We first had to attend an information session to figure out exactly what this meant. After attending the info session, we decided to wait to fill out the application until after I had finished my Master’s. Once I finished that, we filled out the application paperwork and submitted it. Then, we were interviewed by a social worker at the agency. Once that was completed, there was more paperwork to fill out such as the contract with the adoption agency, financial disclosure forms, self-reported medical history, etc. We also each had to have a physical with blood test results sent from our doctors to the agency. In addition to that, there was a fire department inspection and health department inspection of our home plus a visit to our home by a social worker from the agency. We had to submit letters of reference from several non-family members as well as our church. Once all of this was submitted for approval, the agency requires that we attend training classes. These classes were once a week for about 2 months or so. These training classes had homework including reading several books and writing book reports to submit to the social worker. While going through all of these training classes and filling out paper work, we also were asked to make a profile book (essentially a digital scrapbook) about ourselves that would be shown to birth families making plans of adoption. Two copies of this were ordered, printed, and sent to the agency so they could have them ready to show.
We completed all of that, and were approved. Once approved the agency has “waiting families” meetings about once per quarter. Families are asked to attend at least 1 per year, not only to learn the information that is provided during the meetings and meet others that are in your same or similar situation, but to show your continued interest in pursuing adoption. The average waiting period for families for this agency is two years!
Over the time period that we were waiting, we received several phone calls about children that needed a family. It was SOOO hard to be given just a little bit of information and then have to decide, usually within 24-48 hours, if we wanted to continue in the process. With each of the calls, we ultimately said no and the agency found other homes for those children. We believe that those children are in the families that God intended and planned for them to be in all along.
Even after all of this, and waiting for almost two years, we received another phone call from the agency. I was on my way home from a long day at school and was stuck in traffic when my phone rang. I just thought it was my husband calling to let me know he was on his way home from work, but when I answered the phone, it was definitely not his voice. It was our social worker from the adoption agency. After exchanging some pleasantries, she asked a few questions. Based upon my answer to those questions, she provided some additional information asking us to prayerfully consider whether we would want to pursue this to the next steps. As soon as I got home, I ran around the house trying to find my husband, finally finding him in our back yard filling the lawn mower with gasoline so he could start mowing the lawn that afternoon. I gave him all the information that I had been given and asked him to contemplate it while he was mowing. ;-) After some discussion that evening at dinner, we decided to pursue the next steps in the process. After speaking to our social worker the next day, we received a bit more information regarding the birth family, etc., but nothing that would cause us to stop the process. We then scheduled a visit to meet the little boy. At that point he was about two weeks old.
The visit was about an hour with my husband, myself, and the little guy. After that hour or so, the social worker and interim care provider came in and gave us some information about his habits, likes and dislikes, etc. as well as answering questions and so on. We scheduled a visit for the following week. All of this was happening as school was ending for the year, so the timing could not have been more perfect. In addition, I had requested a voluntary transfer to a high school this upcoming year, but never heard anything regarding that transfer. I’m convinced that it was all in His plan for this to happen exactly the way it happened. We visited again with E the following week and scheduled the third visit the next week. We also scheduled placement for July 7. In the midst of all of these visits, we started preparing our house for having a baby in it, including cleaning out and reorganizing. We also put together a registry at a local store and tried to find the different products that worked well for us and that we would need to have to bring a baby into our home. Doing all of this in less than 4 weeks was just a bit of a daunting task!!!!
But it was all worth it to be able to bring this cute little man home yesterday. We will not be posting pictures until we are cleared by the agency to do so. So, you will have to wait to see him. Sorry. :-(
I do want to give a HUGE shout out to those that have helped us along the way by providing support, sounding boards, friendship, etc. And an enormous thanks to Jessica, Amanda, and Christy for all of the hand-me-downs! We could not have done this so quickly without all the things you have provided from clothes, to burp clothes, blankets, toys, a crib mattress, etc. THANK YOU!!!!!!!