Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Best Christmas

This past Christmas was my favorite one to date!  Having four kiddos, age 7 and under, was the greatest contributing factor.  If you find yourself to be a bit of a Scrooge around the holidays, I highly recommend finding a niece or nephew or child of a friend to celebrate with, because their enthusiasm and excitement is contagious! The best part for me this year was seeing their reaction to the news that we were adding another babe to our brood.  We have talked about adoption for years and they have witnessed the adoption of their three cousins, so the concept is not foreign to them. However, seeing the look of realization on their faces as Natalie read the poem we wrote to share the news was priceless.

"We hope you enjoyed all your presents.
We picked them out special for you.
To play with, create with, or wear,
With so many new things, you'll have so much to do!

We have one more gift to give you
We saved the BEST one for last.
We're going to adopt a baby!
It might take awhile, or happen fast.

So prepare to be a big sister again,
Or a big brother if you are named Teddy.
We'll soon have another family member
So we hope that you are ready!!"

When she got to the line "We're going to adopt a baby", Teddy's face lit up and a smile spread across it as he asked "Are we really going to!?"  They were so excited and asked so many questions about the baby.  "Will it be a boy or a girl!?" "Will it be a brand new baby like cousin Leni, or a big baby like cousin Jakey?" And the most pressing question of all, "When will the baby be here?" 

The waiting period of an adoption is not unlike a pregnancy.  Today we received confirmation that our adoption application had been processed and we had been approved to begin the Home Study process.  The bold letters stating our application was accepted was like looking at the two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  You had a pretty good hunch that you were expecting, but now it's confirmed! 

The next step of the process will be the Home Study. This will entail a day-long orientation in February, paperwork, background checks, reference checks, more paperwork, a home visit, more paperwork, two more visits at the agency, a psych evaluation, and even more paperwork! The time frame quoted on this was 2-8 months, depending on how quickly you complete your paperwork.

Once the Home Study is completed and approved, we will be added to the waiting list.  Our agency typically tries to match expectant mothers to adoptive families in their 8th month of pregnancy. So if the expectant mother appears to be a good match to us, we will have the option of showing her our photo book, as will the other families on the waiting list.  Ultimately the expectant mother is the one who determines with whom her child is placed, and therefore the wait time on this portion of the process is difficult to quantify. The agency worded it "Couples have been waiting anywhere from 3 months to approximately 3 years or so for a placement. The average wait is currently about one year."

So the wait is like a pregnancy, but instead of 9 months, we are looking at anywhere from 7 1/2 months to 4 years! Haha! Thank goodness it isn't a pregnancy, I can't imagine 4 years of that!! For whatever reason, I am hopeful it will be closer to the 7 1/2 month figure and picture a baby in my arms next Christmas so we can top the awesome Christmas we had this year!  There's no harm in being optimistic, right!?

I've decided to share this journey because A) I can use all the support I can get! And more importantly, B) I am hoping that by sharing our story, others who have considered adoption will dig a little deeper and take the plunge!

This piece of wall art in my living room says it best:

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