Making travel plans

It was really crazy to be walking through Sams Club the other day and see Christmas decorations starting to be sold. My first thought was “really?!? It’s not even Halloween!” But then my second thought was “oh my gosh, it’s a little bit closer to our Christmas baby!” Yay! I’m excited about that.

I actually took a leap of faith yesterday and purchased our plane tickets out to Florida. Eep! On one hand, it is a big risk, because if C changes her mind, then we can’t refund these tickets, just get a credit for travel some other time that I hope we can use. But on the other hand, at some point you just have to have faith, and I’m trying to do that. Also, tickets are cheaper now than they will be for the rest of the year, and I don’t want to take the chance of buying them last minute when the costs are astronomical and there might not be seats. Everyone travels at the holidays! It was kind of fun taking that big step and really visualizing the trip. It makes it more real, which is exciting and scary at the same time. Our plan is to go up early a few days before the due date, meet C in person and hang out getting to know eachother, and then just wait and see when baby wants to show up. We’re hoping he doesn’t hang in there too long! Then we’ll be in Florida for a week or two while the papers clear between states and we can fly home. I’m going to look for a condo-type rental so we can stretch out and get to know our new little one. The idea of flying with a newborn stresses me out, but I’ve heard they sleep the whole time, so I hope that’s the case! At least it will give me something to focus on other than my anxiety over flying! I’ve watched too many episodes of LOST.

The other big thing that we really need prayers about is some extra legal fees that have suddenly popped up. We didn’t realize that Florida state laws require a Florida lawyer in order to finalize everything over there. This wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t for that failed adoption in May…that time, we contracted a lawyer to complete that adoption, and when it fell through, he said the fees would go toward our next one. But since we can’t do anything in CA, we can’t use him. Which means that expense goes out the window, plus we have to find another couple thousand for the new lawyer. I wrote an email to him today, explaining how much we need those funds (begging) and hoping he’d be willing to reimburse us. Please pray that he will! It’s frustrating because last time we matched so close to her due date that those funds weren’t even put to use other than setting up one counseling session, so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t get it back. Grr.

This process is certainly stressful! At times it feels like we keep getting pounded by negative stuff. But in my heart I know that we were led this way, that this is the road we’re supposed to travel. So we hang in there and try our best to stay positive.

On a happier note, I’m spending the time thinking of boy names (Josh says Batman Picard Morgan is his pick, haha), learning to crochet stuffed animals (they’re a little lumpy and lopsided, but hey, they were made with love!) and even attempting to make cloth diapers.

We’ve also set up a Honeyfund account (yes, I know that’s usually for weddings) to help us reach our goal for the travel costs. It breaks down exactly the amounts we’re looking at for each step of bringing our little one home. So we’d like to ask that instead of Christmas presents this year, you take a look at that page first…we need those items so much more than baby toys and clothes! And our little boy will be the best Christmas present ever.

View our Honeyfund page at: http://www.honeyfund.com/wedding/joshandlaciadopt

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When the worries creep in

I’ve been keeping this blog to document all the steps along the way, including emotions and tough stuff, so I’m trying to share as honestly as possible to as to give an accurate picture of what domestic adoption is like. Perhaps it will help someone in the same boat know that they’re not alone!

Some of you have followed our journey so far and know that in May, we had a whirlwind week or two where we were matched with a newborn baby girl, but the mother changed her mind and decided to parent. What you might not know is that in the meantime, we have had other situations fall through also. We were chosen by a young mother in Louisiana, but after about a week of contact, she decided to parent as well. Then we had another potential mom in Washington D.C. contact us, but she ultimately disappeared also. The frustrating part is that all three of these situations came to an end using the same pattern…lots of contact at the beginning, then they suddenly stopped emailing/calling/etc and simply disappeared. In the first two cases, we finally heard from our agency that yes, they did change their minds, but I have no idea what happened with the third. Luckily all of these were short matches only lasting a few weeks at most, but it’s still hard to go from having a due date in mind back to no prospects at all.

Jump to today. A few weeks ago we were selected by a wonderful girl who we decided to match with, who is due with a baby boy in December. From the beginning, this match felt different than the rest. “C” is smart, caring, and easy to talk to. She has a very realistic view of what open adoption is like, and is making wonderful choices throughout the pregnancy. We love her already and have been super excited to get to know her and share in her pregnancy for the next few months. There have been absolutely no red flags this time around, which is really refreshing. It’s the kind of match we’ve prayed for. The kind of match that makes us think “oh ok, that’s why the other ones didn’t work out!”

But I can’t help but worry anyway, because the fact that things seem so great makes it all the more terrifying at the thought of it not working out. The last time when she took about a week and a half to answer an email, (and though in my head and heart I knew that she was probably just really busy or hasn’t been online), a little piece of me goes “oh no…this is how it started with the other ones! What if she’s changing her mind?” That wasn’t the case, most people don’t email constantly, of course, but I get scared nonetheless. And find myself constantly checking email. We’ve seen the ultrasound and have started talking about little boy names, researching travel plans…this baby is a real possibility in our future. But it’s a weird balance, because he’s NOT our baby at the moment… you want to get excited, but at the same time have to hold back your emotions, because as we know, it can always fall through. Yet you also don’t want to be completely stoic and not get excited at all. I’ve been trying to keep up with hobbies and learn new skills to pass the time over the next few months so I don’t go crazy, and it always helps reassure me when I get contact with C. So I guess what I need more than anything right now is to pray for faith and trust, to know that God does have a plan for us. It would be really nice to be able to look into the future and see what happens!

I frequent a lot of forums and blogs for adoptive families, and sometimes when couples express how devastated they were that a mom changed her mind, they get a lot of comments from birthmoms (who were unhappy with the way their own adoptions went) saying things along the lines of “well, you have no right to be sad, it wasn’t your baby,” or “your disappointment is nowhere near the pain she would have felt giving the baby up,” and things like that. Sometimes it gets nasty. While technically those things might be true, pain is pain. Hurt is hurt. Whether they had a “claim” to the baby or not, in my mind, it is similar to experiencing a miscarriage, which you have every right to be sad about. These couples dreamed and planned about a baby that they were told was going to be theirs, just like any other expecting couple, then had that dream taken away suddenly. Of course that’s going to hurt! That’s just a reality. Especially when many of the couples adopting may have experienced years of infertility or pregnancy losses of their own. It’s devastating to be suddenly plunged back into that unknown time period of “waiting,” without any idea of when you’ll finally meet your child. So I wish that both birthmothers and adoptive couples would show eachother more compassion and realize that they’re both struggling. It’s not fair to treat the mom like they don’t matter and are just a means to an end, and it’s also not fair for an expectant mom to disappear and not tell the couple they’ve changed their mind. I think the hardest part of the whole adoption process is that you have zero control over anything…your future is determined by someone else, and you can only hope and pray that they make the right decisions for everyone involved.

Anyway, I think I’m just hitting a point this week where I’m a little sad and frustrated that everything has taken so long, which allows those fears of “what if” to come creeping in. Spending time with family and two adorable little babies just made me want December to come quicker! Waiting 5 more months is going to be tough. If it’s not going to work out, I’d rather know now before we get even more attached, but I’m obviously praying that it does work out, and that I can stop worrying about it. We don’t mind talking about the adoption, answering questions, etc at all…it’s not a sore subject, in fact, we’re happy to share our experiences. I don’t get sad looking at the nursery, and the idea of a baby shower doesn’t bother me…we are still expecting a baby, just not 100% sure on which baby it will be and when. My feelings toward adoption are still very positive, but I can definitely say that it’s not an easy process. I still have no doubt that this journey is what God wants us to do, and that we’re on the right path. I just wish I knew how long of a hike that path was going to be!

Prayers for our sanity during the wait and prayers for the expectant mom are appreciated.

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What a week! Update on our almost-adoption

Hi everyone, we had a really tough week or two lately. We didn’t post about it or tell many people, simply because we knew things were up in the air. But Laci did write a few blog posts during it all, and she’d like to share the story now that everything has been decided. Our hopes is that this blog will share the ups and downs and give a true glimpse of what it’s like to go through the adoption process, even when it’s hard. We’re doing ok at the moment and feel like things happened the way they were supposed to. Please continue to pray for us that the right situation will come up soon and we’ll get to meet our baby! Without further ado, here’s the story of this last week.

UPS AND DOWNS AND ALL AROUND

What a whirlwind! Two weeks ago, we got a call from our facilitator in the late evening that a birthmom had chosen our profile…and that she was due in two weeks! We spoke to her on the phone and decided it was a good match. The mom was in CA and it was a baby girl…we were excited about the way things seemed to fit really well, and that we wouldn’t have to travel out of state (if it’s an out of state adoption, due to different laws, we’d have to stay for a week or more in a hotel room with the baby before coming home). All seemed to be going well…the mom was cooperating wonderfully with the agency, getting her paperwork and med records in, and seemed very sure of her desire to place the baby with us. She even told us that she picked us because we referred to ourselves as “a dorky couple,” which we loved.

We began doing some last-minute shopping, getting the newborn necessities we’d need. We were a bit in shock that it was so close, but super excited. Luckily the nursery was pretty much ready to go, and friends had given us a lot of the bigger items we hadn’t collected yet when they first heard we were adopting. We even had a ton of adorable little girl clothes that a friend had given us months ago. Laundry was done, the house was disinfected, and bags were packed. We were just waiting for the call and would head out on the road. We were getting pretty excited! There were a few days there where neither of us could sleep.

A week went by. Our lawyer, who is responsible for getting all the necessary papers signed, tells us they haven’t been able to get ahold of the mom for a few days. We check in with the facilitator, who says the same. She’s tried 2 phone numbers, email, and texts, with no response. Don’t worry yet, she says, maybe she’s just stressed and overwhelmed. So we wait. Getting more and more concerned and worried each day when no one hears from her for a few more days.

Today is the due date that was specified on the medical records. But the mom had originally told us she thought the due date was May 13 (Mother’s Day, ironically…sigh). So even though no one has heard a thing, we have no idea whether she’s had the baby, is still pregnant but just scared, or is ever going to call us and let us know what happened. We’re stuck wondering, and will probably continue to wonder until the due dates pass and it’s obvious she’s had the baby and didn’t call. Even getting a text saying “I changed my mind” would be so much better than this uncertainty, waiting for the phone to ring and keeping our lives on hold just in case. Just to know she’s ok and wasn’t in some horrible accident or lying in an alley somewhere after getting mugged. We could at least be able to move on and accept that this isn’t the right time for us. But instead we’re forced to stay in this hopeful/sad mode where we don’t know what to feel because there’s simply no information. There’s nothing we can do but wait.

It’s been tough. We’re trying to stay occupied and distracted as much as possible so we don’t sit and dwell on it. I think it’s probably safe to say that it’s not going to work out this time, but pray for us that we can just get through this week so we can start to fully accept that and look forward to the next situation that comes up. We didn’t tell many people about this match for this exact reason…nothing’s ever guaranteed. I suppose it’s better for it to fall through now, before we drove for hours and met the baby, it’d be harder then. And it’s a blessing that we didn’t lose any finances, as everything we paid will still go towards our next match, luckily. Some adoptive couples end up losing thousands when matches fall through. And I think it’s also good that we had such a short wait time, so we didn’t get to know the mom really well and I think it would be harder having pictured “our little girl” for months.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers, everyone! We know that someday the right little one will come into our lives and we’re excited for you to meet them eventually!

… AND BACK UP…

Wow. Just when I started to accept that this particular adoption was not happening, I got a call this morning from the agency. The mom had finally contacted the lawyer! It turns out that her phone had been disconnected due to an unpaid bill, and she had also given birth earlier in the week. Wow! She also reassured us that she still wants to continue with the adoption plan, saying that “the baby is precious and deserves a chance at life…and so do I!” Wow. We’re a little in shock, we were starting to accept that it wouldn’t happen! But we’re excited. I’m so glad to hear that everything’s ok! It sounds like mom wants to spend Mother’s Day weekend with the baby before saying goodbye, which is hard for us, but I totally understand. We’re going to get a lifetime of Mother’s Days with her, so of course she deserves that chance too! I just hope it doesn’t make it harder to say goodbye…it probably would for me if I were in her shoes. That fact does make me incredibly nervous.

So now we’re back to getting things together, cleaning the house, and trying to distract ourselves and get through the next few days without exploding from excitement and anxiousness to get on the road and meet the little one. We’re also TRYING to hold back a little, knowing that nothing’s guaranteed until those papers are signed. It’s weird because you want to be happy and excited, but at the same time, you don’t want your heart broken. We were pretty dejected earlier when we hadn’t heard in a while, thinking it fell through, so that’s got us in this weird inbetween phase where we’re “cautiously happy.”

I’m honestly just happy to have heard SOMETHING. I think even if the mom changed her mind at this point, I have more peace about it than if we had simply never heard back…we would have always wondered if she was ok. Thank you Lord for the news! Baby girl is healthy and doing well, as far as we know.

Just think, in just a few days, we could be PARENTS!!!

… WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR…

Just got the official confirmation…it’s not happening, she’s keeping the baby.

Wow, this has been a really tough week; lots of emotions from excitement to worry to sadness. Up and down and up and then down again. I really feel for this little baby who is going to have a really difficult life. It’s so sad, knowing that. But I also understand that she just couldn’t let her go. Please pray for the mom and baby and her other daughter, that she’ll be able to find the resources she needs to be able to care for her kids. We’re obviously sad, because we were packed up and ready to go at any moment, expecting to meet “our” baby girl. Instead we’re going back into the waiting game, which is hard because we have to let the dreams we had of this particular baby go (I even bought a little tutu, excited that it was a girl), but I know we’ll be ok and will get to meet the baby who was meant for us eventually. It just wasn’t the right time. We learned about the process and know what to expect. I just hope it doesn’t take TOO much longer! We’re really looking forward to being parents. I think we were ok with waiting longer before all this happened. Once your heart shifts into “almost parent” mode, it’s hard to go back to having no particular baby in the foreseeable future. This must be a tiny glimpse of what it’s like to have a miscarriage.

This process is certainly not easy; not for the faint of heart. But we knew that going in, and we still feel like we’re being led to do this for a reason. I know God will make it clear to us in time. We’re trying to stay positive and remember that God has a plan. I just hope that all the tough dramatic stuff is out of the way now, and the next time will be smooth and successful!

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Update…Waiting for “the call!”

It’s been a while since I updated, but the good news is, we’ve gone “live!” That means our profile book is done and sent out, our website is complete, and we’ve even recorded a video and audio message for potential birthmoms to look at. Now comes the hard part…waiting. The past couple of months have been full of checklists of things to do for the adoption; lots of paperwork and appointments and classes, so now just sitting here with nothing to do but wait for that call is going to be odd. It pretty much comes down to the moment when a birthmom sees our profile and decides she likes us, which could be tomorrow or could be two years from now. There’s no way to know! Please be praying for her; she’s somewhere out there in the world, possibly struggling with a tough decision right now.

In the meantime, we’ve been trying to keep busy and learn a little more about baby care. We took a basics class at our local hospital that taught us all about swaddling, diapering, and how to calm a fussy baby. We’re looking forward to trying some of the things out (though we hope Josh doesn’t drop the baby while trying to put a diaper on, like he kept doing with the doll, haha)! Laci has also been working on decorating the nursery in a cute Pixar “Up” theme, complete with a wall mural, a My Adventure Book that will eventually become a scrapbook, and even a little birdhouse lifted by balloons. It’s become a relaxing place, and the cat especially loves to sit in there and catch some rays from the big window!

We’ll update you if we hear anything new. In the meantime, we’re hoping to get the news that we want to adopt out there to the world in the hopes that the right birthmom will find us. Please pass along our info if you know of anyone who might be looking to make an adoption plan. Even if we’re not the right fit, our agency is great and has a lot of wonderful programs, scholarships, and counseling to offer.

Here is our link: http://www.lifetimeadoption.com/families/detail.php?ID=646

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Homestudy First Visit

We had our first homestudy visit last night, which means we’ve officially started the process, yay! It went much better than I thought, and Cady was on her best behavior. I took her for a long walk beforehand to tire her out, and as a result, she slept through most of it and barely barked at the social worker. It also helped that she said she had done dog shows for 15 years, haha, so Cady just sniffed her hand calmly and wagged her tail. Phew! (For those of you who have never met Cady, she wasn’t socialized well as a puppy and tends to growl and sometimes bite strangers when she’s nervous)

I was prepared to sign a lot of documents and answer some pretty personal questions, but WOW, I had no idea the homestudy was THIS in-depth! There are even questions down to obscure details like my brother in law’s birth date, how many museums are within driving distance of our house, and what would we do if our son or daughter was not asked out on dates often in high school. I kid you not, that is actually on the form. (Should I answer “Great! Then Josh won’t need to use the chainsaw!” haha)

It struck me last night that you’ve really got to have a thick skin to be able to do adoption or fostering, because you feel really judged every step of the way…it’s true! Even though it all is in the best interest of the child, I don’t know any other experience where your life is scrutinized to this amount, and where you pay for that lovely experience, haha. I’m not meaning to complain too much; I understand the necessity to make sure that we’re not drunken axe murderers. That makes sense. I’m just floored by how crazy it is that parents who give birth are not required to do background checks or attend parenting classes before getting pregnant! It’s a crazy world.

Anyway, that’ll probably take me at least a week or two to type up all the answers, gather important docs, get fingerprinted, and buy necessary things for the house like a fire extinguisher and first aid kit. On the agency side of things (Lifetime is technically not an agency, they’re a “facilitation center,” but for the sake of simplicity I’ll just call it an agency), there’s a whole other set of papers and forms and references. But I’m a lot more excited about that part, because I get to start making our profile. It’s a scrapbook full of photos all about our lives, telling potential birthmoms why they should choose us. And it’s right up my alley, as far as designing goes…I get to show some personality and use my creative skills. Yay! We also get to make a video, so I’m trying to think of some good ideas for that. It’s kind of hard to sum up your life in two minutes!

I’ll keep you all updated as we move along. Thanks for your continued prayers and support!

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Waiting

Sigh. Got some difficult news today. The loan we’d been counting on getting to be able to cover the up front adoption costs got denied. We were really surprised, because we have excellent credit and have even been approved to lower our student loan payments recently, but those student loans skew our debt to income ratio too much to qualify for the amount we need. Banks are being a lot tougher on the requirements lately. They suggested trying for a home equity loan, but that’s not an option because we just bought our house this year, so no equity yet. This basically changes everything…it puts our plans on hold for probably at least another year or two, which is hard to accept. I was so excited to begin moving forward! It also means the grant we were awarded will be given to someone else. 😦

Definitely need some prayers right now. We’re still going to do our best to continue fundraising and saving up, it will just take us a lot longer to reach our goal…I just don’t know how anyone is able to afford adoption on their own! It’s so incredibly frustrating that it costs so darn much to adopt a child! Very sad…but trying not to lose hope. We just have to make a new plan, and try to be patient.

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We got a grant!

Hallelujah! We just found out this morning that Lifetime Christian Adoption Agency, who we’ll be working with for our adoption, has awarded us a $2500 grant to help offset the cost of the adoption. We’ve been praying for this since we heard that there were funds available, and I’m so happy about it. Adoption can cost A LOT. Like the cost of a small new car. And with our student loans, a mortgage, emergency vet visits (stop eating things that are bad for you, doggie!) and sudden house repairs eating up our savings, sometimes it has felt a little hopeless seeing how much we still need to raise.

While the grant will only take a little chunk out of the cost, every little bit helps tremendously! We’re also doing everything we can in the meantime to raise more funds. We’ve held a garage sale, made crafts to sell, and set up tv taping fundraisers. We hope to come up with some more ideas, too. I’m looking forward to documenting things along the way, so that I can one day show our son or daughter all the different things we did to welcome them into our family and how much we wanted them. 🙂

The next step is officially beginning the homestudy, where a social worker will interview us and collect paperwork to make sure we and our house is ready for an infant. That can take anywhere from a month to 6 months, depending on processing time. Then we will be working on creating a profile/scrapbook full of pictures of us and descriptions about our lives to send to expectant mothers who are considering an adoption plan. I’ve been trying to be aware and remember to take pictures often, because as I’ve discovered lately, I don’t have many pictures where we’re NOT wearing some sort of costume, haha! I certainly hope our child’s birthmother likes theater…. 🙂

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Don’t you want bio kids?

I know a lot of people are wondering why we would choose to adopt for our first child, when technically, we’re not infertile. I’ll do my best to explain, so that you can maybe understand our choice a little better.

Yes, I do have some medical issues that make me concerned about what the added stress of a pregnancy will do to my body, and my current doctor agrees that we shouldn’t attempt it at least for a few years, until I have proven to be in better health.

What I need to convey is that the medical parts are just a small piece of the big picture. I have to be honest in the fact that I’ve just never really had much of a desire to be pregnant, so it doesn’t feel like my health issues are “taking away a dream” or anything like that. I know that it is an amazing, magical journey, and I’m always excited to share along with my friends and family member’s pregnancies…it’s fun to watch their belly grow! But I’ve never really applied that to myself. I don’t feel that “urge” to experience it. I know that’s not “normal,” most women want to experience pregnancy, but honestly, I don’t feel like I’d be missing out in the same way that those women who have that desire would.

Yes, we won’t have the ability to pass along our traits and see what a little combination of us would look like. I do have some curiosity about that, but it’s just that…curiosity. We’re both totally ok with not having bio kids, or at least not right now. Both of us feel that we will love our adopted child just as much if not more, because of the journey we embarked upon to find them. And I can’t wait to tell them the story of how we made “Harry Potter wands” to sell at a craft fair to help raise funds to adopt them because we wanted them so much, haha! I don’t feel like we’ll miss out on any aspects of parenting, and we’re so looking forward to teaching a child about our hobbies and discovering their own unique talents. Even bio kids can turn out drastically different from their parents! We will still be going on a 6 months-long, or possibly year-long  journey together to learn all about babies, taking parenting classes just like a pregnant couple would, registering for baby products, making a nursery, and will likely experience the birth at the hospital. We will still experience the joys (and stresses) of being new parents, caring for a newborn, and bonding with our child. They will have a strong support system of family, just as they would if they were our bio kids. We are incredibly excited about all that! I’m not ruling out the possibility of ever having bio-kids necessarily, maybe circumstances will change sometime in the future, but for now we feel strong and secure about this decision; that it feels right for us right now.

The last part of why we’re making this choice is that we feel like God is particularly calling us to this option. Every time I ask God to show me whether this is what He wants for us, something happens to continue to prod us along, whether it’s meeting a couple who tells us they just adopted and helping to mentor us or finding out about more financial credits than we realized. It occurred to me the other night while reading a Bible verse the other night that maybe my medical struggles happened so that we WOULD consider adoption seriously in the first place. Almost in the same way Josh and I found each other…so many little things had to line up exactly right, or we would have never met. We’ve even been through the whole “profiles and matching” process before, since we met online! We had talked about how much we liked the idea of adoption even before we were married, but the medical stuff is what created the push to begin researching adoption. Perhaps there’s an amazing kid out there somewhere that God’s chosen just for us, who hasn’t even been conceived yet. Or maybe there’s a girl out there who will be facing a hard decision soon, and we might be her only glimpse of God’s love, being there for her and helping her through it…maybe that relationship is why we’re meant to do this. Or maybe He wants us to be advocates for adoption in some way! I don’t know why I feel that way, but the more we learn about adoption, the stronger the pull is feeling, and the more it feels right. We will continue to pray about it and seek God’s guidance, as we know there might be difficult moments and maybe a long wait. But I have a lot of faith that He’ll lead us through it and get us exactly where he wants us to be.

I hope that helps to show you where our minds are at and why we want to adopt. I know to some of you that our decision may come as a surprise or seem “quick,” but know that it is something we’ve talked about a lot and feel very solid, united, and good about. We hope you’ll support us on our journey, and are looking forward to sharing the process!

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A ton of information

It’s amazing how many misconceptions there are about adoption out there. Most people, when they think of adoption, probably picture either a little Korean baby or think about some “trouble child” they knew who was adopted and had all sorts of health or behavior issues. I know my husband in particular worried about the last one, since he tends to work with a lot of those kids, being a psychologist. He’s seen the pain and struggles that kids that were born with drug addictions have, or that never formed attachments and therefore can’t relate well with others. So his biggest fear was that we’d be dealing with something like that.

We attended an informational seminar in Los Angeles last weekend, and luckily were able to have a lot of our questions and fears addressed. We learned that there are many types of adoption, including fostering to adopt, international adoption, and domestic adoption. We discovered that what we would want to do is adopt an infant domestically. This means that a birthmother would choose us based off of a profile we created and pictures, we’d meet and discuss plans for the birth and relationship afterward, and take the baby home from the hospital permanently after it’s born. We won’t have to take a child that has special needs or has been subjected to drug use if we don’t want to, which made my husband feel better. In fact, the mothers are screened really extensively, and we’ll get a full medical history before we decide if we want to accept the match, as well as meeting the mother and asking any questions we want to.

Here are a few of the biggest myths and fears out there right now about adoption:

MYTH: There aren’t any babies available in the US, unless they’re special needs.
REALITY: There are about 20,000 babies placed for adoption every year, and most are totally healthy.

MYTH: Birthparents can suddenly decide to take the baby back at any time.
REALITY: While it is true that a birthmom can change her mind before or after the birth (and she should be able to do so if she truly thinks it’s best), she cannot do so after signing the relinquishment form, or TPR, usually done within a day after the birth, depending on state laws. Once the adoption is finalized, the baby can not be taken away from the adoptive family.

MYTH: Adopted children are misbehaved and have all sorts of mental issues.
REALITY: Studies have shown that kids who are adopted show no difference in behavior than biological children. Where the studies get muddied is when they include children who have come from abusive homes or had traumatic circumstances, and were adopted as older children…since the media tends to showcase these things, a lot of people assume that ALL adopted children have these issues.

MYTH: Birthmoms are all immature teenagers, and are usually irresponsible and on drugs.
REALITY: Most birthmoms are over 18. Usually they are not financially or emotionally able to be a parent, and understand that they are creating a better life for their child through adoption…they’re choosing it because they care! There are complex health and mental screenings done before a match or placement is made to assure the health of the baby and the mother.

MYTH: If a child knows they’re adopted or meets their birthparents, they’ll be confused.
REALITY: Almost NO adoptions are closed any longer, as studies have shown that it is harmful to the child to deny them information about their birth. In fact, adoptees who understand their stories and have open contact with their birthparents are much healthier and happier. Open adoptions also don’t mean co-parenting…there are various levels of openness, from sending occasional letters and pictures to full disclosure and meetings. Each family and birthmother will make that choice based on the situation.

Anyway, those were some of the big questions that were answered for us, though we asked MANY more! At this time, we’re going to continue to seek information, talk with eachother and our families, and see if we feel like God is leading us to take the next step.

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