Agency Update

in loveAfter the home visit was completed, our social worker told us to check up with the agency in a few months to see how things were going.  She had a few comments on our book during the home study, and said it might be something that was brought up with the expecting mothers, and if it was mentioned by them the agency would let us know and we could make changes to the book.  They were all super easy things, such as some expecting moms like to see full pages and tons of photos of our family and extended families, photos of us with our multicultural friends, etc.  All very easy to update, and all things I had considered, but didn’t add into the book because I didn’t want it to be 100 pages long.

I sent off an email to the social worker and the Director at the agency earlier this week.  I know they’re a small agency and the response time probably wouldn’t be immediate, but I was curious to see how things were going.  The Director responded back yesterday with an update on the situation and how things are going.

It was an update/not an update.  I mean, it was the best she could provide, and I appreciate the time she took to write it, but anything less than “we’ve just matched you” probably wasn’t going to wow me.  They’ve shown our book several times in the last month, and no one has suggested anything they’d like to see differently, so no recommendations for changes.  She said that she’ll continue to get our profile out there as much as possible, but that was about it.  And, I understand that…there isn’t anything she can really do about the number of mothers coming in wanting to put together an adoption plan for their child, or who they pick to parent their child.  We just have to sit back, be patient, and pray that God has a plan for us and that we’re open to it.  It’s hard, and very frustrating at times, but J and I are still confident that this is the right path for us and that it’ll happen.

And, that’s about it.  Still waiting, still hanging out, but making more progress on the nursery!  I’ll post photos once all the artwork is hung on the walls!

Much love,
K.

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The Wait…Two Months In

It’s been two months since our home study was approved and our book went on the shelf.  There are days when it feels like just yesterday we were doing all the paperwork associated with the home study, and then there are days when it feels like we’ve been in a holding pattern forever.  While last month, I said that it doesn’t quite feel real at this point, this month is vastly different.  I wish I could say it was for the better, but it’s really not.

This past month, it has felt like we’re just spinning our wheels.  I hate feeling like I have zero control over any of this.  At this point, there is literally nothing we can do.  The paperwork is done, everything is finalized, we are just waiting for someone to pick us, and there’s not much I can do to speed that up.  I’m going to wait another month before contacting the agency for feedback and whether or not they’ve shown our book, just so they will have had plenty of time and opportunity to show it to birth moms.  I don’t want to bother them all the time about it…our agency is small and I know everyone is super busy.

J and I have discussed what we’ll do if this drags on.  We’ve talked about another round of IVF next year, if nothing comes from it by then.  We’ve also talked about signing on with a second agency, or an adoption law firm, to help see if that speeds things up.  I feel, in my heart, that adoption is the right path for us, but I get tripped up by my own impatience at times.  I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER to be a mother.  After we were married, I waited until J was on the same page about having children (he wasn’t ready as quickly as I was, and that was ok), then after we started trying to conceive, it was years of failures and treatments and more failures, and more money, and nothing to show for it.  And now, that we’ve moved on to adoption, it’s even more waiting.  There are days where I am so tired of waiting, I could scream.  And I try to keep it in perspective, but it’s hard at times.

So…that’s where we are.  Two months in.  It seems like such a pitiful amount of time, when you look at it as only 60 days, but to me it feels as though it’s a lifetime.  A lifetime of watching more friends get pregnant, give birth, parent their children, and a lifetime of wondering if that will ever be a reality for us.  I hope month three brings me some renewed hope and optimism, and I will definitely be working on my patience!

Much love,
K.

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.

Mother’s Day

This past weekend was Mother’s Day here in the US, and for the past 3 years, it’s been increasingly hard.  My first Mother’s Day after we started TTC was so soon after tossing the BCP, being pregnant wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  The following Mother’s Day, it was the anniversary of a year since we started TTC, and when I really started to accept the fact that getting pregnant might not be as easy as we had hoped.  The next year was after a few failed IUIs, and we hadn’t moved on to IVF yet as a possibility.

Then, this Mother’s Day came around.  Three years, 42 cycles, 3 failed IUIs, 1 failed IVF.  It’s been a very long road on the journey to become parents for me and the Mr.  Lots of excitement, only to see that turned into heartbreak, and lots of medical tests and procedures which didn’t produce anything.  Lots and lots of money spent with not much to show for it.  It’s hard to think about, at times, just how draining these past three years have been for us both.  My body has taken a beating, to be sure, and we’ve both suffered mentally.

However, there’s hope.  This year, Mother’s Day came with the knowledge that we’ve passed our home study and are now just waiting on our match.  This year came with the assurance that we WILL be parents, so long as we just stick it out and wait.  This year also came with the hope that, maybe, this year will be the last Mother’s Day that I get to watch everyone else celebrate, while sitting on the sidelines.  So far, I’m staying hopeful!

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.