The Wait…Month Eight

dreamLast month I mentioned that I was hoping for a Christmas miracle.  Well, Christmas has come and gone, and while we didn’t get the miracle we wanted, we came somewhat close.

About a week before Christmas, we were approached by a second agency that we had been considering working with in the upcoming year.  They had a birth mother contact them about her 2-week old baby that she was considering an adoption plan for.  The agency wanted to know if we wanted to be considered, and if so, that we send them our profile book.

This was the first time I’ve actually KNOWN we were being shown to a birth parent regarding an adoption plan.  The agency that we started with (and are still working with), doesn’t let us know when our profile is shown, unless it’s a situation they’re not sure we’re comfortable with.  If that situation comes up, they would contact us and ask if we would like to be presented and we’d go from there…so far, that hasn’t happened.  Our agency assures us that our profile is being shown, and we love working with them and have only had good experiences, so no reason to think that isn’t the case.  They’re a smaller agency, with fewer placements, so it’s to be expected.

So, anyways…I got the phone call and I spoke with J about it, and we agreed that we’d like to be considered for the “baby born” situation.  We hurriedly send in our profile book to be printed off, so that the social worker could take it with her when she went to meet the birth mother, and J and I sat back, on pins and needles.

Obviously, since this post didn’t start out with “PLEASE MEET BABY X!” you can all guess where this went.  The birth mother, after what I’m sure was excruciating deliberation, decided to parent.  There were a few things leading up to this that made us suspect this might happen, plus the agency warned us that this was a riskier situation due to some issues with the father, so we hadn’t gotten our hopes up to high.  We wish the birth mother well, and only want the very best for her, and we communicated that to the agency.  And, with that…there went the Christmas miracle.

I won’t lie, I was hurting.  I had tried my best to keep myself grounded in the knowledge that these things fall through, it was already a higher risk, and all those other acknowledgements that you remind yourself of when trying not to get in too deep.  And yet, somehow, with all that, I still managed to think that “this could be it!”.

But, overall, it was a good experience.  Not the outcome we hoped for, but we were impressed with the second agency’s handling of the situation and the level of communication we had throughout that very long week of “where do we stand.”  We’re now in the 8th month of waiting, coming up on a year, and I have renewed hope.  Last week, we were closer to being parents than we had EVER been before, so I can only hope that this is a significant step forward towards our dream of parenthood coming true!

Who knows…maybe next month the blog post will start out significantly different!

Much love,
K.

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Our Profile Book

One of the hardest parts about the home study process (for us, at least) was the profile book.  For those of you new to the adoption world, for many agencies, the process of being “matched” with a birth mother is pretty complex.

First, the adoptive couple fills out a sheet on preferences.  Every agency is different, but a lot of the questions are pretty standard.  Some of the standard ones are things that you will be willing to accept of the birth mother/adoptive child, and include things like special needs, if the birth mother has used drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy, mental illness in the family, and whether you’re willing to accept premature babies or birth mothers that haven’t had prenatal care during the pregnancy.  Some agencies also let you specify gender, but ours does not.

After you fill out the form, that gives the agency an idea for who they can share your profile with.  Which brings me to “the book.”  The profile book is what birth mothers look at to get a sense of potential parents for their child.  Our agency only shows the books of couples to birth mothers who meet the “criteria” that the adoptive couple said they were comfortable with, so depending on the birth mother, she could have a lot of books to look through, or only a few.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that this profile book was a huge source of stress for me!  It basically is the sole contact the birth mother has with us as a potential adoptive couple until after we’ve been selected!  It has to show the birth mother how we relate to each other as a married couple, our family and friend support system, our beliefs and traditions, and anything else that might set us apart in the birth mother’s eyes.  So, no pressure, right?

But, we got there.  We put together our book using Mixbook, and were really happy with the quality and the options to personalize the book to our tastes.  The printed book looked exactly how we anticipated it looking, based on the “preview” feature on the website.  Overall, we were really happy (and, we waited for a sale, so got it at a discount too!).  Below you can see a few pages that we put together, just to get an idea!

 

The book was definitely a labor of love, but we’re both very happy with the finished product.  I hope it really gives birth mothers an idea of who we are as individuals, as well as who we are as a married couple.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about us as well!

Much love,
K.

Finding the Right Fit

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.

Much love,
K.