One of the things I have read over and over while researching adoptions, is to be sure to find an adoption agency (if you’re going the agency route) that fits your family. Which, makes sense, because these people are going to get to know you and your family VERY well.
I started off by asking friends who have adopted previously to share experiences. I figure, these people are my friends for a reason, so I can probably trust their advice. Unfortunately, our one friend went with international adoption, so their agency wasn’t much use for what we are wanting (domestic adoption). That said…I didn’t let that deter me, and kept asking.
On top of this, I utilized The Google. The Google knows all. There are several adoption agencies in the area we live, and I wanted to research them and look for reviews online. There is never going to be a place that everyone is 100% happy with, so I usually take user reviews with a grain of salt, but if someone is consistently rated bad, that doesn’t really look good.
So, after all that, I had a short list of about 5 different agencies/law firms that I was interested in exploring. I started contacting them and speaking with people, just to get a feel for each agency. I filled out preliminary intake forms (along with J) and sent off a few. We did have one setback with one agency. They request that both parents be affiliated with a Christian church. I am Catholic, but J isn’t religious. So…that was a strike against us, and we ended up removing it from the list.
Then, we had an opportunity to go to some information sessions to meet with people in person. We ended up picking an agency through that process…we just knew that they were the right ones to work with. We both felt very comfortable with the people there, and they hit on a lot of the key things that we were looking for (focus on domestic adoption, small pool of adoptive parent applicants, etc.). We pretty much went home from that information session and started filling out the application paperwork!
So…where are we now? Well, the application paperwork has been submitted. We should be starting the home study process in early March. That process can take 6-8 weeks, so around the May timeframe, our profile should be ready to go and we can start the wait for a match! The agency we went with uses profile books created by the adoptive parents (this seems pretty standard), so that the birth mothers can look through the books and pick out the couple they would like to parent their child. I’ve already started pulling photos that we can use for the book, as well as writing down ideas of what we’d like to say, just so that we’re not scrambling at the last minute.
I’m excited! I’m hopeful. I really feel like this is it for us, and that we’ll actually be parents before the end of all of this. It’s definitely an amazing feeling.