Life took some unexpected turns recently (which seems to be a new theme for us), so I’ve been focused on other things, but I wanted to finally share the beginning of our adoption story! We started casually throwing out the idea of adoption last year after our miscarriage, but it wasn’t anything serious as we were still planning to get pregnant again. Once 2016 rolled around and I still wasn’t pregnant, we started to discuss it more seriously. I’ll be honest here. I talked about it, said I was open to it, but my heart was still completely closed off to the idea and focused on getting pregnant. It wasn’t until we decided I would go off fertility drugs and give things a break that I finally started to pray about it and allow myself to let go of my plans of how we would grow our family.
I think anyone who has looked into adoption will agree that it’s overwhelming to know where to start and what path to pick. I reached out to Rebecca and Kristin and several others and basically said, “help! where do we start?!” And you know the wonderful thing I have already discovered about adoptive families? They love talking about adoption and are so eager to help others going through the process! We kept hearing the same thing-we needed to pick if we were going to adopt domestically (from the U.S.) or internationally. We meet in person or had phone interviews with several agencies and learned about domestic versus international adoption, found out what a dossier is, had a few small strokes when costs were laid out and answered questions that seem slightly invasive when you’ve just met someone.
We weighed all our options and prayed and had 90% decided that we would be adopting from China and would sign a contract when we returned from our beach vacation (this was in May). God just seems to have a funny sense of humor about showing me how to let go of my plans! Kayla (best friend) knew we were looking into adoption and happened to send me an adoption blog for reference. The couple had linked to the adoption consultant (FAC) they were using. We had never heard of this and initially dismissed it after quickly looking at their website. After all, we were adopting internationally. I found myself going back to their website a week or so later and reached out for more information, which we read and talked about quickly and moved on. I couldn’t quite let go of it, so we decided to set up a call and get more information. I immediately clicked with the lady, but again, I let my plans get in the way and said no, I don’t think this is for us.
God begin working on me and I didn’t even see it. Y’all, I was getting overwhelmed. It isn’t easy to hear about potential drug exposure, children with heart problems or another opportunities you might face when adopting and there is so much out of our control (type A personality here). I started thinking, maybe I can’t do this. Two things happened. We were on vacation and I noticed a family wearing an adoption shirt I had just seen on Pinterest the night before. They were so nice and talked to me about adopting from China (twice!). Then I happened to see a comment on a friend’s Facebook wall about adoption and asked a complete stranger if I could email her with questions. Without even knowing me, she said of course and then proceeded to call me and talk for almost an hour about adoption and their story. I wasn’t kidding when I said adoptive families are so eager to help. It was exactly what I needed at that moment and I just felt peace that yes, God wanted us to adopt and it was okay that our adoption path was changing from our initial plan of China.
We had another serious call with FAC and talked to a second staff member, which I loved as much as the first. Nick and I were both on the call and he said he felt like he was sitting in on girl talk because we spent some time just chatting! At this point, I felt like this consultant group was the right choice for us, so we sent in a preliminary application to FAC, which was background information and adoption scenarios we were open to. We still completed a few other interviews we had scheduled during this time.
Important to note-I don’t like to waste time and take forever to make a decision; I like to get things rolling. I have been so patient throughout all the research, interviews and discussions. God has given me more patience these past few months than I’ve had my entire life. I didn’t want to make a hasty decision about something so important, so I think he was slowly leading me to this path so we would feel confident in it. I got an email on June 14 from FAC that our application had been approved and they would hold a spot for us on their client list if we wanted it. I was in California for work at the time, but Nick and I talked and were 100% in agreement about saying yes and officially went under contract the following week! It’s official-we are actually in the process to adopt! And do you know what a relief it was to finally spill the beans to everyone?!
Here’s where we are: paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I keep reading that adoption was “paperwork pregnant” and it wasn’t a joke. I have a list on my desk of form after form we need. We are working on all those documents, selecting our home study agency and starting work on our profile book. Our profile book is what will be shown to birth moms and tell her about our family, so it’s a huge piece of the adoption puzzle. (We also needed reference letters from family and friends, so I told a few of my fellow Friends lovers to make sure to quote Joey Tribbiani and include that we were “homosapiens with full size aortic pumps” in their letter.)
We also had to fill out a profile saying what ethnicities, drug exposure, gender, etc. that we were open to. This is hard. It’s extremely hard to put on paper what you will accept or what is a definite no. FAC has been awesome and talked us through many scenarios and helped educate us on what we were looking at or saying yes to.
What’s next: We have to complete our paperwork, home study and profile before we officially become “active.” Once we are active, FAC will present us with birth mother profiles that match our application and then we can decide if we want our profile presented to her. I was told you typically present 12-15 times before matching (when a birth mom selects us as the adoptive parents).
What’s an adoption consultant? FAC isn’t an agency; they network with agencies around the country, exposing our profile to each agency’s pool of birth moms (instead of just one specific agency.) That means baby J could come from any state in the U.S.! Once we are matched, we will sign with the specific agency the birth mom is working with and they will handle the actual adoption.
What can you do: PRAY! Pray for us to have patience and trust as we get started! It’s been easy to focus on the hard parts, like the high costs, but I keep telling myself that God had this plan and we can make this happen.
More importantly, pray for our future birth mama. Pray that there is a mama who will choose us to parent her child; pray for her as she makes the decision to place her child for adoption; and pray for her health. Pray for baby j!
How you can help: Adoption is expensive. I hate asking people for money, so we’ve been trying to find ways that allow people to help without having to sign checks. We are signed up as an Amazon affiliate, which means we get a little kickback when you order through our link on Amazon. #shopforbabyj Use either link on the sidebar or click this link and shop away. And THANK YOU!
I know that was a ton of information, so kudos if you hung in until the end. And for all of you who have reached out with sweet texts, congratulations, and prayers, you do not know how much it has meant to us! I was actually handed a sweet little love gift at church on Sunday (thank you Becky!!) and it made me tear up just knowing how many people are already praying for a sweet little baby they don’t even know yet!