about my journey towards domestic adoption and other musings

Archive for the ‘adoption’ Category

Thoughts on waiting

Waiting…there is a lot of advice out there as to what you should do while you’re waiting to be matched with a birthmom, and it’s really good advice. For example: prepare the baby’s room, or start to purchase baby items; talk/meet with other adoptive families, or join an adoption support group; read books to prepare for parenting and adoption; spend time together as a couple before the baby comes (since you won’t have much time after); journal or blog your thoughts and emotions; and the list goes on (click here for a good set of resources to help with the wait).

In some form or another I’ve done most of these things during our wait time, but honestly, sometimes none of that cuts it and it’s just hard. It’s hard to be patient and wait for something that is so unknown and out of your control. The last couple weeks have been a real struggle for me and I’ve been feeling really discouraged with the long wait. I had a small bit of excitement when I purchased a baby stroller that I really wanted for a great deal from Craigslist, but that didn’t last too long. I really want to wait “well” and not spend all my time and energy complaining and focusing on what I don’t have. I want to “do everything without complaining or arguing,” including this wait. Beth Moore was talking about waiting during a video session of her Bible Study on Esther. She said that when we wait on the event, our strength will be depleted, but when we wait on the Lord, our strength is renewed (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV). I think it’s a lot about letting go of the circumstances and trusting God. He’s in control, and He’s good. I have to make the choice to believe it.


We’re officially waiting

Although we’ve been waiting for a long, long time (it’s been 6 ½ years since we started trying to have kids and 2 years since we started the adoption process) we are now officially a waiting family with Bethany Christian Services, our adoption agency. We were approved for domestic infant adoption December 16th. It took us longer than I had hoped since we had to wait a while for our background check from Washington State, but that finally came through! Now our profile can be shown to potential birthmoms. The timeframe is totally out of our hands now…we wait to be “picked”. It’s harder than I thought, before this I had paperwork to fill out, or fingerprints to get done, or a social worker visit. Now, we just wait.

Update on our adoption plans

Wow! It’s been a really long time since I’ve been on here. I guess you could say I was hibernating for the winter months.

At the end of 2009, we began re-evaluating our adoption plans. Given the length of time it was taking to adopt through our adoption attorney, we wanted to pursue other options. I spent some time doing research and we contacted two places, in January. They seemed to be good options on the surface, but the more we investigated and asked questions we realized they were not the right fit for us. We decided to look extensively at many options and I was back on the computer researching agencies, attorneys, and facilitators (there are pretty significant differences between the three options). The whole process was quite overwhelming for me. I found it very difficult to look at options objectively. I worked very slowly on it all the while feeling like I was wasting time that could be spent towards the process with a particular organization. But, I also wanted to find the right fit for us and know what we were getting into before we signed up. Once I had gathered basic information on about 6 places, Isaac and I talked through our thoughts on each one and we easily narrowed it down to one. Since I had been doing the research and had all the information, I knew, before we talked which one I was most comfortable working with. All told, the research process took about 3 months, this doesn’t include all the research I had done on international adoption and the research I did when we signed up with the adoption attorney over a year ago.

It was really tempting for me to only consider the options that were seemingly “fast”, but I am letting that go for a place that fits our needs. The time frame of adoption is so hard to predict. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it takes a long time. In most cases for domestic adoption, the average wait time to be matched with a birthmom is one year. We’ll be working with Bethany Christian Services, which is a full service agency. They take care of everything, start to finish. We could have also worked with a referral agency, or facilitator, where we pay a fee for advertising and matching and then complete the legal side of things with an attorney or agency. It can be a little quicker to go that route as they will start looking for matches before you complete the required home study. In our case, we will have to complete the home study (which can take 3-6 months) before we can be matched with a birthmom. In all cases, the birthmom chooses us, by looking at profiles that fit what she (and we) are looking for.

So now that we have chosen to work with Bethany, we have two information meetings to attend this month, then we will be given our formal application. Once we complete that, we can start our “Family Assessment” which is also known as the home study.

We’ve been on this journey now for nearly 6 years. It’s really hard to believe it’s been that long and it some ways it feels like it will never end. So many times it feels like we’ve been so close to reaching our dream of having children. I’m excited about pursuing adoption, and to be on to the next phase of our journey. It hasn’t gone at all like I expected it would, but I’ll continue to trust in God and I can’t wait to bring the baby, that God has chosen for us, into our home. In the meanwhile, I’ll pray for the birthmom we will be matched with, for our baby, and work diligently through the steps of the adoption process.

The process of pursuing adoption

I thought I would explain a little bit about the journey we’ve been on since we decided to pursue adoption. A little over 2 years ago, I went through miscarriage #5. By that time I was done with the uncertainty of pregnancy and I did not want to try anymore and go through the pain of another miscarriage. That whole journey is a story for another day. It’s a bit difficult to put it all into words. As I began to heal physically and emotionally, my heart began to open towards adoption.

Once we resolved to go down the path of adoption we were faced with many options. We had to think about domestic, international, foster care, agencies, private, independent, open, semi-open, closed, countries with different rules and regulations, etc. It was overwhelming. We talked with each other, to people who had adopted or were pursuing adoption, researched, read books, and covered it all with prayer.

We initially decided to pursue international adoption from India and we started down that path. After much research, reading, talking with people and contacting some agencies who specialize in Indian adoptions, we learned that it would be a 2-3 year process and the youngest child we would bring home would be around 2 years of age. We had already committed a lot of time and energy to pursuing this option, but we didn’t feel peace about the long time frame and the age of the child that we would bring home.

From there, we started looking into domestic infant adoption. Again, more research, prayer, questions, reading, talking to people, and we eventually came to the decision to pursue infant adoption by using an adoption attorney. This is usually the fastest option and one that will allow us to bring home an infant from the hospital. This type of adoption is independent and we will have direct contact with a birthmom.

We had a recommendation for an attorney in Southern California who has specialized in adoptions for over 30 years. We had an initial meeting with him in January 2009, filled out some paperwork, and completed a “dear birthmom” letter. Now, we are in wait mode for our attorney to contact us when a birthmom is interested in meeting with us. We don’t really have any idea how long this will take. We’ve been told that the average wait for a baby is a year. So far, it’s been almost 5 months. A very, very long 5 months.

I’m excited to see what God has in store for us!

My story

Most of you reading this blog probably already know at least part of my story. It’s really not only my story, it is Isaac’s too. It’s the story of us, as a family.

Our journey toward parenthood has been long, painful and difficult. For a long time I avoided the word infertile. I didn’t want to be defined as that. But, I’m not. I am fertile. God has blessed us with 6 babies who were taken very early in their lives to be with Him. I’ve been pregnant 5 times. That’s pretty fertile if you ask me. Sadly, my babies weren’t born here on this earth, but that doesn’t make them any less special, or loved. We’ve been on this journey for 5 years now. I don’t know when or how God will bring children into our lives. Right now, we are pursuing domestic infant adoption. But, I’ve learned to hold onto plans loosely, for I don’t know what God has in store for us. I hope that someday it includes the blessing of children.

The road has been so hard and long. But, God has been so good. He has taught me so much through this struggle and brought me much comfort and peace. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s really, really true.