Wednesday, January 28, 2009

giving up control

I've got to let you in on a little secret. Not a secret that worked out well, but a secret none-the-less.

Last week our social worker emailed me and let me know that she would be meeting with a birthmother this week, and even though Charlie and I hadn't finished all our paperwork, she wanted to show them some photos of us! Wow! I didn't know we could even be considered this soon, but she wanted us to send photos and a birthmother letter. She also warned us that the birthmom already had a couple in mind, but that she wanted to show her everyone.

Charlie and I worked on our birthmother letter, which is a really difficult letter to write. It's hard to express all your feelings about adoption, and the longing for a baby without convincing the birthmother that she should just raise the baby herself. There is a great temptation to be greedy and just say "gimme." But you can't. And even when I have been thinking about adoption since I was little, it's hard to anticipate how the birthmother will interpret your words. Trust me, it's difficult. I mean, I need a thesaurus to get more words about how difficult it is.

So we sent off pictures and the letter and we knew that Emily (social worker) was meeting with the birthmom today, and that she would let us know something either tomorrow or Friday. It was a hard couple of days, because we didn't want to get too excited, but at the same time we knew she was due in 8 weeks. If we were somehow chosen, we would need to expedite everything else and have all the money ready in that amount of time, too (that part scared my husband a tad.)

I spent the week praying for God's will. Everytime I prayed I asked God to help the birthmom make a decision that was right for her, and for the baby. I prayed that He would help me deal with whatever choice she made. I prayed that when the baby He intended for us came along, we would know it.

And He came through. We did not get chosen. But I am ok. I am a little sad, but I am not broken apart with grief. Obviously God intends this baby for that other couple, and He's the one who is in control. It's hard to give over that control and leave it up to someone else. It's stressful to think that we have to be chosen, but my Heavenly Father chose me, and He can choose a baby for us. He will.

So, now we will finish up our paperwork properly and continue saving those pennies and nickels. I get fingerprinted on Monday, and then the State Bureau of Investigation has to clear us. Fun times.

Just wanted to let you all know what was going on. I am sorry that I didn't share earlier, but I didn't want it to be real. I didn't want to start all the planning in my head, buying all the clothes, getting all the baby stuff. I couldn't do it. But I wanted you to know.

And now you do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

take a stab at it...

Yeah! Our packet was approved and we are now in the second big round of paperwork. I just got it today, and it is quite a packet of forms. There is one 39 page questionaire that we need to fill out before the social worker comes to talk with us at our home. Yup, you read that right. THIRTY-NINE pages. I read through it a little bit today and here are some sample questions:

  1. How were you disciplined as a child? Do you agree with this type of discipline?
  2. How did you meet your husband?
  3. Describe your first date.
  4. What do you think your wife likes most about you?
  5. Have you ever been under the care of a therapist or counselor?
  6. Did you have any pets growing up?
  7. Decsribe the layout of your house...where does each person sleep?
  8. What is in your backyard?
  9. How long have you had your job?
  10. Who will raise the kids in the event of your untimely death? How much money do they make?
  11. How do you resolve conflict in your marriage?
  12. Who pays the bills and makes financial decisions?

And this is just a sample, people. The social worker told us that it would be kind of fun to do because you will learn a lot about your spouse. Should be interesting just to get Charlie to sit down and answer his half.

But, YIPPEE, it means another step is behind us and we are continuing to move forward!

Oh, and where does each person in your house sleep? I'm dying to know...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

parenting classes

We have been taking a couple of parenting and adoption courses online. Our adoption agency requires several hours of education credits before you can complete your homestudy (where the social worker comes and talks to you.) We worked through two in the last week: Let's Talk Adoption and The Conspicious Family. They were both fairly informative and made you think about a couple of things.

Let's Talk Adoption
This was a course that deals with how you talk to your adopted child about being adopted. Some of it was meant for parents adopting older kids and addressed issue like how to talk to them if their parents abused them or committed crimes. Mainly, it was about keeping the lines of communication open so that your child feels like they can ask questions about their birthparents and how they came to be with you. The trend in adoption is to talk to your child as early as possible, so that there aren't any secrets about where they came from. No one has to watch what they say or worry about whether they've exposed any hidden truths. Charlie and I both feel like adoption is a blessing to us and we will share it early and often.

Conspicuous Families
This class was interesting and I think we both enjoyed it. The main theme was when you adopt a child that is a different race, it will be obvious to the world that the child is adopted, and there will be lots of questions about that fact. Some will be rude. Some will just be curious. And the course helps you work through how to answer those questions without being offended and to educate people at the same time.

For example "How much did you pay for that baby?"

Answer "We paid for the social work time and the legal fees, not for the baby itself."

It was a pretty good course and it made me think. I often ask questions of the women around me that have adopted and they are very forthcoming with the information. But I did have to ask one friend about the appropriate way to ask those questions. I mean, when you see a blond lady with an Asian daughter, it's pretty likely that she's adopted. I guess the woman could be married to an Asian man (that's possible...totally!) but usually adoption is the case. But how do I walk up and ask what adoption agency they used or what their experience was like without sounding completely uncouth? Yikes. My friend Sarah helped me realize some of the same things the course taught us, but in return. I will be the one answering the questions this time.

Lots more to learn. Lots more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

waiting again

This round of paperwork is now in the mail and will soon be in the hands of the agency. We will wait about two weeks for it to be approved, and if so, then we move on to the next round which will include getting fingerprinted and having physicals.

Pray with me while we wait.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Round 1 of paperwork has been interesting. And kind of a learning process. In this round we had to complete a(n):

the CSC
financial statement
medical history form for each of us
progress report agreement
policies and procedures agreement
legal risk agreement
non-identifying summary
online parenting course form
couple participation statement for parenting courses

I already blogged about the CSC and how hard it was. The other forms weren't too bad, but some took a while to get through. The financial statement alone was 6 pages and asked about all our accounts and insurance policies and tax forms and credit cards. Both my husband and I had to work on that one, sort of tag teaming back and forth while one dug something out of the file cabinet or the other got online to check something out.

On the policy form we had to each initial in about 100 spots indicating that we understand all the specifics of the way their process works. It's a lot to read and comprehend, but I think the process is pretty straightforward. The agency just wants you to understand how they work and what you can expect as you move through the process.

We are getting ready to send it off this week and it should take about 2 weeks for them to look at all the forms. Once this round is approved, then we move on to the homestudy or PPA process, which is going to be even more complex. We will have to provide verification of all the things we just gave figures on and show them our birth certificates and marriage license.

One step at a time.