Most of you have already heard that we have begun the process of adoption. We're going to try to clear some things up and answer as many questions ans we can here.
Adoption is something we have always planned on doing, and after pregnancy wasn't working out, we were faced with either testing to try to figure out why, and then possibly fertility treatments, or adoption. Since we always planned on adopting at some point, it wasn't a concept to get used to, and we felt like it didn't make sense for us to force ourselves to conceive when there are so many babies out there. After being a nanny, I know for sure that I can love another person's child as my own.
In the spring we started looking into it and talking about international vs domestic and different aspects of it. I joined an amazing group of women who have adopted, are adopting, or are birthmothers, and getting to see adoption work in so many ways over the last 7 months has been really good. I even got to meet for dinner with a few of them who live close, and we had a blast!
We are working with an agency right in Farmington Hills, so its nice and close! We had our introductory meeting in September. We got our formal application and got it filled out and turned in and started reading one of three required books. We had to attend a class about the adoption process in general, and another about transracial/transcultural adoption. At these meetings we got some more paperwork to fill out. There were papers to send to the state for a background check, directions to a place to get fingerprinted, forms to take to our doctors, and then questionnaires about what we want as far as openness with the birthmom and also the birthmom's mental state and drug use. That way when a birthmom comes in, they talk with her and find out what kind of family she wants, and then look at the waiting families and finds those who are open to everything she wants.
We have already completed the first homestudy meeting with our caseworker (who is very nice!) It was a 2 hour meeting at the agency with both of us. In a couple of weeks we have our second meeting, which is also at the agency, and she will spend an hour with me, then an hour with Eric. The third meeting will be the first week of January, and she will come to our house. This is to make sure that the house is a safe place for a child. For instance, if we lived on a lake, she would want to make sure we would have something in place to keep the baby from falling in.
After we have filled out and turned in all the forms, read all 3 books, and finished all 3 meetings, the caseworker will write her report. Then we make our profile. This is what they show the birthmom. It has a few pictures and a story about us. After that, we wait for a birthmom to pick us! It could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years from the time we have a completed homestudy, however, we are open to all races and degrees of openness, and we are younger than many families who have come to adoption, so we have been told by a few people at the agency that we have everything going for us.
Our adoption will be domestic, which means the birthmom lives in this country. She will most likely live somewhere in Michigan. The agency mostly does newborn adoptions, but we have stated that we are willing to adopt a child up to a year old.
We are open to any race. Our area and our church are diverse and we are both open to new cultures, experiences, etc. and so we would be willing to embrace the culture and background of any child we adopt. We also have plans to adopt from Ethiopia in a couple of years.
We are hoping for as open a relationship as we can with our birthmother. We would love to have pictures of her and her family, and for her to be around so our child can ask questions about the family past and know the person who brought them into the world for us. Most adoptions now are open, with varying degrees of openness. There's no guarantee that we'll get as open a situation as we'd like but we really hope to.
There is a book called Adoption is a Family Affair; I haven't read it (we have our own required reading!), but from what I've heard it is a good resource for the friends and relatives of an adopting couple because it explains a lot of what goes on. See if your library has it, or its only $11.20 on Amazon and if you spend $25, it ships for free!
If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask. We will be updating as we progress to keep everyone in the loop.