Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More paper work please!

Another question I get a lot is: How long is the adoption process?

My two main answers:
1) A couple determines a lot by how quickly they finish their paper work and if they are ready to pay for the next step.
2) Once a couple is "home study ready" and paperwork is finished, the waiting time is determined by how quickly an expecting mother chooses you.

We got word our Formal Application was processed and approved!

After turning in our formal application, I knew we'd be waiting on our adoption classes, but wasn't sure if there was something we could do or prepare for while we waited. I also was wondering if we had to be finished with our classes to start our home study... so I emailed our caseworker to ask.

She said we would have to at least start our classes to get started with the home study, but there were some self study/assessment forms that we could get started on. This is 12 pages of questions that Kirk and I have to do separately, without discussing answers, till we were finished, without changing our answers. This will be part of our interview for the home study later. Truthfully, this is the part Kirk hasn't been looking forward to, only because they ask many personal questions. Not that he has anything to hide. To help people further understand the questioning process; some of the questions are:

  • Family oriented- how we were raised, what strengths and weakness we believe our parents had and instilled in us, how we will parent etc. 
  • Marriage based- how we settle conflicts, communication, our physical relationship, etc
  • Heath related- general heath, diagnoses, etc
  • Home/Community/Safety related- if we are around a pool, have fire arms, who provides our sewer water, have any history of abuse (substance, physical, child, sexual)... 
  • Adoption related- how we came to want to adopt, how family feels about us adopting...
That's just a sampling.  We understand that they don't know us from Adam, so how would they be able to quickly understand us, who we are, and then go tell another family that we are a good couple, ready to adopt?

I'm glad I went ahead and asked what we could get started on, or we could have been waiting around and further prolonged the adoption time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Formal Application

Our formal application was submitted this morning!

1) Pre Application
2) Formal Application
3) Parenting/Adoption Classes
4) Home Study
5) Make Photo/Info Book to show expecting moms

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Domestic vs International

Where are you adopting from? Is one of the first questions people ask...

This blog isn't a list of differences and similarities, or to say one is harder or easier... Especially since I haven't gone through the whole process of either yet, but also the fact we are only doing one of the sides. It's more for me to put some thought process down.

My thoughts keep bouncing around my head. When people hear we're adopting, the second most common question is whether we're looking for a girl or boy. If it was only that easy.

Why I named this blog comes from all the decisions people have to choose from. When knowing you want international, one must pick a country. This could be difficult. But then, depending on what country you pick, you've then probably narrowed down your ethnicities as well.

Choosing domestic adoption in the USA, doesn't limit you that way. Being a hub for everyone wanting an American dream, there is a rainbow of children to be adopted. Then so begin the questions.

Are we open to any child? Any race? Any medical disabilities? How much prenatal care (alcohol or drug use)? Any age? Boy or girl doesn't even begin to skim the surface...

When Bethany Christian Services begins their information nights, they first state that their client is the child. They do what's best for the child. They aren't just an adoption agency. They do foster care and safe family placements. We aren't guaranteed a child, even after being chosen, till all the i's are dotted and t's crossed on the final paperwork. Many people are scared of getting their hopes up and having a failed adoption. I think that's what makes us special. We know the loss and the hurt of losing a child. And I can say with confidence that if a mother makes that last minute change to parent her child... It is her child and I will be proud and be praying for them both. God still has a child out there for us.

So, all that said... BCS also says they try to fit child with the right families. Not the other way around. If there is a right family for a particular child, then the opposite is also true, there is a right child for our family. I've struggled a little with not being able to say "if child x needs a home, we will be their parents". Yes a loving family is better than no family, but there is a right family, and I pray that those child find that family.

We know people who have open their family multiple times to special needs, in particular Down Syndrome. Yes, I prayed that Kendall would have had DS within the ten minutes before our doctor told us he had anencephaly. But now knowing the loss of a child, we can't knowingly put ourselves up to feel that pain again before it is our time.

So I've been trying to read up on some articles and blogs about other cultures and pray about what we are open to currently. So far, we feel the need to be able to relate culturally. So we have said, besides Caucasian, we are open to a biracial child, mixed with white. Not knowing if our child could be African American, Asian, or Hispanic, I can't really focus my attention on learning all there is to that culture yet.

There lies the classes to teach us more about transracial families. The blogs I've read, talk about raising their child around others that look like them and doing things that their culture would also do. I have doubts, that I'm sure many families feel about raising up a child of a different culture would. Are we a family that could raise that child in their roots? Roots in which we aren't accustom to. And I know when we find out what background our child comes from, then we'll be more than happy to read up on and learn as much as we can, to do as much for our child as we can, in that way.

Adopting domestically can be as much internationally as adopting from another country. So I'm eager to start our adoption classes, which might be in June. All that to say, when people ask us about our adoption, we don't know much yet. And we might not till close to the very end, when we are chosen. But what we do know is that God has another beautiful child for us, and we can't wait to meet him, her, or both! (Drew wants a boy, Kristen wants a girl, and we're open to twins!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Assigned A Caseworker!

Today, while on a cable car/bus in San Francisco for missions, we received a called from our agency and was assigned a caseworker!

I love the feeling of being connected now and telling people we are excited to be adopting and how God is working in our lives!

One of the guys at the church we are visiting out here not only has lost a child, as a stillbirth, but also does pallet art! Pray for San Francisco and new church plants out here. 

Please continue to pray for us, our family, our future child and the birth family that is meant come into our lives and us in theirs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paper Pregnant!

No April Fools joke here... We're expecting!

I made sure all the paper work was ready, but then our printer was out of colored ink for attaching a picture, so Kristen and I ran up to CVS to print some and buy some large envelopes. We arrived back in the n'hood pulling right behind the mailman. With all the new houses and construction going on it was hard to get around the mailman right away. We did, rushed home to put everything together, and got outside in the knick of time!

Pre-application done!