Top 10 Reasons We Decided to Adopt

Adoption-i-wasnt-expected-i-was-selectedNow that we are actively pursuing adoption, it feels so obvious to us that we are on the right path. We are so excited to be parents and although this is an alternative way to get there, it is perfect for us. Besides it simply feeling right, there are a few other reasons we decide to adopt.

1. To give a warm, loving and stable home and future to a child that would not have had one otherwise. To change a child’s life.

2. The world’s population is at max capacity as is. Adopting is a way of lessening that burden by choosing to parent a child that is already born or about to be born, rather than going to great extremes to bring one of our own into the world.

3. We agreed on adoption right away. We both feel that adoption is a very special and unique way to start a family. Neither one of us needed convincing.

4. We know that being related by blood doesn’t matter when it comes to love. We know we can have just as loving and strong a relationship with our adopted child as we would have with a biological child.

Continue reading “Top 10 Reasons We Decided to Adopt”

What to Expect?

what to expectThis is all starting to feel very real to me, and to us. After so long hoping to have a baby, we are actually going to have one! It’s really happening. To mark the shift from dreaming about having a baby to actually having a baby in the next 9 months or so, I wanted to buy something. You know, so it officially felt real. With the timing of our adoption, it’s as if we just got a positive pregnancy test. So Jamie and I went to the baby store the other day.

This was a big deal for us. We’ve never had any reason to go to a baby store before. I’ve typically always bought gifts for baby showers online. When everyone around you has a baby or is having a baby and you’re having a tough time getting pregnant, the baby store is the last place you want to be, with all those cute little baby shoes and clothes and stuffed animals. So I was really excited that it was finally my turn to shop at the baby store. I thought I would float through this beautiful little store where I would instantly recognize all of the fluffy little items my baby would need.

In my giddiness at having a reason to walk through those doors, I was totally unprepared for what we would find when did walk through those doors… a million pink and blue things I did not recognize and a million more I did not realize we needed.

“What IS all this crap?” Jamie asked me.

“I have no idea,” I replied. And I didn’t. It was immediately overwhelming.

Instead of floating through and finding the perfect made-just-for-our-baby things, we looked at each other and quickly realized that we were not yet ready for this trip. We’d spent so much time dreaming of having a baby that we were totally unprepared for the reality of it. So our first purchase on our baby shopping trip was a book about what to buy for the baby. Boring? Yes. Yet somehow it perfectly marked the transition. We have no idea what to expect, what’s in store for us, how long the adoption will take or what we need to buy for the baby, but we do know something: our baby is really coming. It’s not just a dream anymore. It’s real. Things are in motion. Buying that little book somehow proves it to me.

Designing our own adoptive parents profile

Image

Back inΒ the day, an agency would match birthmothers and adoptive parents and neither would ever know anything about the other. Everything was shrouded in secrecy. Things have changed a lot in the past 20 or so years. Nowadays, open adoption is the norm, and birthmothers typically pick adoptive parents themselves. Each party gets to know about the other before a match is made and they typically meet in person, with the adoptive parents even attending the birth if possible. It’s pretty cool and much healthier for everyone involved.

When choosing the adoptive parent or parents, a birthmother looks through many adoptive parent profiles to decide who would be the best parents for her child. The profile is super important – it is sometimes the sole decider in a birthmother’s choice. When we first talked to our agency, our caseworker suggested that we hire a graphic designer to create our profile to make sure it looks as good as possible (as good as all the other profiles designed by graphic designers). Right away, Jamie said no way – we should create it ourselves. (I work in marketing so he thinks I have a whole slew of skill sets I don’t always have.)

Continue reading “Designing our own adoptive parents profile”

Picking the adoption agency

choose an agencyAs we worked on our home study, I began to research adoption agencies. Having no idea what to expect and knowing virtually nothing about how adoption works, I was kind of flying blind. Immediately, I found several agencies that excluded couples who hadn’t been married for a number of years, single parents and gay couples. Jamie and I had only been married for a year so we wouldn’t have been accepted anyway, but I didn’t want to work with an agency that discriminated based on sexual orientation or anything else. So, I started to explore blogs and forums where people talked about their experiences with various adoption agencies. One agency kept coming up and was reviewed positively in every post I read.

I visited their website and learned that they don’t discriminate against anyone and they believe that every couple or single person can be matched with the right birthmother. They don’t use a waiting list, bur rather the birthmother chooses the family she thinks would make the best parents and if the adoptive parents agree, a match is made. One big difference I noticed from other agencies is that they do extensive counseling with birthmothers and their families prior to showing them any adoptive profiles at all and they only match birthmothers with adoptive parents in the last trimester. Both of these things help ensure a successful adoption with no surprises along the way. Another bonus is that they have a nationwide network and can work with birthmothers and adoptive parents from any state. A nationwide search means that their average wait time to be matched with a birthmother is an incredible 6 months. That blew my mind: if all things worked out on an average timeline, it would only be 6 months to a match with a birthmother in her last three months of pregnancy. So, we could very well have a baby in 9 months – just like a pregnancy.

Continue reading “Picking the adoption agency”

The dreaded home study: not so dreadful

photo-10When I first heard the words, “adoptive home study” I got nervous. It was a gut reaction, like automatically pumping the brakes when you see a cop car. “Home study” just sounded so intrusive, like they were going to put our lives under a microscope and search for any tiny reason we were unfit to parent. Before we got too excited about adoption, I wanted to make sure it was a possibility. For some reason, I thought getting approved to adopt was a lengthy, drawn-out ordeal with the main goal of finding reasons for disqualification. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’m not going to lie – the long list of to-dos was intimidating. We had to get fingerprinted for the FBI, submit to a thorough background and child abuse registry check in all the states we had lived in over the past five years (which for us was a lot) as well as complete an extensive online course on adoption practices, risks and issues. We had to have physicals and TB screenings, and collect copies of driving records, our marriage record, and the last three years of tax filings. We also had to write thorough autobiographical statements and collect three references from friends. Then we had to meet with a social worker three times, one of which was at our home.

Continue reading “The dreaded home study: not so dreadful”