Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Process

Lots of people have asked over the last several years about the "process" of our adoption. So, that's what I'm going to talk about today.

As I've mentioned before, we contacted our agency in the Spring of 2005 (it was the only one we ever talked to), met with them shortly thereafter and filled out some preliminary information. I think this was a screening to assure we met their basic requirements like having been married for a minimum of 3 years, etc.... They weren't scheduled to have any classes for another 9-10 months, but ended up calling us shortly thereafter, asking if we were open to transracial adoption. After we discussed this, deciding we were indeed interested, we signed up to attend our class that fall. And then we started waiting.

Our class coincided with my starting Graduate School, which was good in a few ways. First, we still hadn't told anyone other than my mom about our plans to adopt (a post for another day) so it was easy to just pretend that the class we were attending were graduate classes (hubby was also in grad school, just finishing up). Second, it just helped to keep my mind busy. Our class met once a week for approximately 8 weeks. We discussed topics such as open adoption, legal risks, dealing with our own losses due to infertility, etc... There were 3 other couples in the class (btw, all of us had our babies placed with us within 6 months of the end of the class). I have nothing but absolutely positive things to say about our classes. They were informative, supportive, and just exciting because I felt like we were actually making progress!

During the second to last class, our social workers handed out the paperwork. And, as you can imagine, it was a mountain. We had to answer questions about what kinds of "situations" we were open to (legal risks, health issues, openness, etc... ), our individual medical histories, our financial situation, stuff about work, our reasons for wanting to adopt, and so much more. Unless you've been through it yourself, you can hardly imagine all the flippin' paperwork we had to fill out, and all the seriously personal questions we had to respond to on paper. It felt like all the world would have access to everything about us, though I realized that wasn't true. It was still a lot to have out there. And, while I understand why all that info was needed, it kind of makes me a little bitter, all that we had to go through to become parents.

I just knew in my heart that the paperwork needed to be completed and turned in before Christmas (2005). And, though the personal nature of the paperwork sometimes bothered me, having to actually do it was fine. Really, it felt like something over which I FINALLY had control. After we'd turned in everything - including our photo album (the beginning of my scrapbooking obsession) - we had our home visit with both social workers. This was really nerve-wrecking and I don't remember the last time every corner and closet of our house was so clean. In the end, the social workers hardly even looked around the house and were so very kind and friendly, as they had - and have - been about everything else. But again, we were back to the waiting.

At this point, what we were really waiting for was our reference letters (from both of our jobs, neighbors, financial institutions, personal friends). On a Tuesday at the end of January 2006, at approximately 11am, one of the social workers called and said everything was "in" and we were "officially waiting". I was initially irritated when the other social worker called back about 45 minutes later. She promptly explained that we'd actually been chosen by birth parents that morning who wanted to meet us that weekend. The irritation quickly melted into hysterical excitement.

I think I've pretty much told you the rest of how the kid came to us. Though, I haven't yet included the "process" of once he was born and became legally ours. I'll do that another day.

Today's lesson is one hubby learned the hard way recently. And, if you're my FB friend, you probably read it on my status update a few days ago. However, it just cracks me up so I'm going to share it here, too. Here it is: you should never shake a peach tree while standing under it. This will likely result in your being hit in the head with peaches. Instead, consider standing to the side, you know, so the peaches fall on the ground, not your head. The visual is still making me giggle.

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