We’ve not shared our story publicly up to this point but now that the cat is out of the bag so to speak, I am going to share the process here, with names and numbers. I’ve journaled sporadically but have at least kept track of the important stuff. Some of this is pretty close to my heart and I ask that you, the reader, handle my feelings with care and gentleness. Everyone comes to adoption differently. This is our path.
Journal Entry – June 23rd 2011:
Alan called his parents today. He told them that we are pursuing adoption and that we would like them to fill out some paperwork for us. His dad was VERY excited. Alan wasn’t really expecting that. He got off the phone and we were discussing it when the phone rang. It was his parents calling back… his mom, with tears in her voice. She told him that she was very happy that we were doing this. But it wasn’t what she said that Alan heard, it was the emotion that impacted him.
He realized at that moment that 40 years ago – his parents fought for him. They went through the same process that we are going through right now. And he felt connected to them in a way he hadn’t before.
Journal entry – July 5th 2011:
Oh my goodness!
We are now ‘active’!
We are now on the waiting list of adoptive parents.
It’s a bit anti-climatic. I’ve had a frustrating day of starting but not being able to complete a couple of things that I had set out to do. Once I finally connected with someone, things began happening and then suddenly we were being assured that we are now ‘active’ and if any birthmothers come alookin’ we are there…
Ummm – wow!
And now for the biggest job of my life – a story of me, a story of Alan and a story of us together. – The Dear Birthmother Letter.
We worked hard to pull it together. It was hours of agonizing over the right wording, the right photos, the right layout. But… when it was done, we were happy with it. It looked good. It shared who we were, it was a bit wordy but there were a lot of photos to balance it out. I will not share it here, as it is rather personal. If you wish to see it and have a good reason (i.e.: you are working on yours and wish an example), we would be happy to share it with you. This was what was going to be shown to the expectant mother. This was how she was going to decide to look into us a little further. This was it…
Was it good enough?
Journal Entry – July 13th 2011:
What if we succeed? I was talking to Alan the other day while we were walking and realized that now that we’ve gotten to this point – it is possible that we could be chosen by a birth mother – and I guess that that is my next fear. What if we get chosen? What if we get matched with someone – what if we get a baby!?! Isn’t that a crazy fear? It’s what we want and here I am being afraid of it.
Journal Entry – Early July 2011:
This paperwork for the home study is emotionally staggering! I have never answered questions so intimate as this. It makes Alan and I examine our desires and relationship at a very deep level. Thankfully it is making us love each other even more and not the other way around.
And I know that it’s designed for us to truly examine whether or not we are ready to adopt – I think that it’s proving to us that we are.
We are still examining whether or not we are open to adopting a African American or bi-racial child. I think that we are but I do think that we are needing to learn more about what that would look like from ours, as well as the child’s point of view.
It’s funny, it feels good to keep this to ourselves. It feels good to know that the few people that we have shared this with support us whole-heartedly but I don’t feel like we have to share excitement and disappointment with all of our friends and family.
Once we began to work with Susan, things moved quickly, or so it seemed. We received an email from her within a couple of days, detailing an available situation of a little boy due soon. His mama was hoping for a family where he could have a big brother. That obviously wasn’t us, but I was surprised and caught off guard that it could happen that soon. Alan also received the email and we quickly realized that he needed to be removed from the email distribution, it was too destructive to his work day. We had him removed and I screened everything before bringing it to him. For a few weeks, situations seemed to be coming fast and furious.
Journal Entry Mid July 2011:
Oh the dreaming that has begun. There is a possible scenario. A birth couple – looking at our profile… likely this week. We first heard about it last Thursday. I read the email after going thrift shopping and actually picking up a couple items for a little one… of the girl persuasion. At first I was shocked and in denial, NO – “I wanted a girl. I don’t think that this is a good fit for us, it’s too much money, they’re in Nevada.”
Then I stopped and took a breath. I had been telling Alan that I was afraid of being chosen… that I was afraid of the next step. He was too. Alan was also going through the same turmoil. We decided to send our profile so that it could be presented and see where it would go from there. It will be presented this week at some point. I imagine that we could hear shortly or it could be a much longer time. Who knows.
July 21st, 2011
I have been absolutely useless today. Last night we went to the crow’s nest for happy hour… it turned out to be more like happy hours.
So… I was hurting this morning and then going through moments of abject fear of being chosen by the birth mother who is viewing our profile today. I have been trying very hard to not think about it – not very successfully. I’ve been watching TV and basically being as numbed out as possible. I know that it’s very unlikely that we would hear anything today but it’s possible. Let’s just say – I’m freaking out!
So after Alan and I freaked out last week. We got down to business. We put our profile together so that it could be presented, sent it off to the facilitator in Nevada and took a deep breath. On Sunday we went to Target and I knew that we needed to buy something for a baby boy. We needed to open ourselves up to the possibility of a boy. I am feeling like we have now. We got a very sweet little jumper and it’s now hanging at the front door. It makes me smile every time I walk by it. Then yesterday, I went thrift store shopping and found a few more things. I don’t want to go crazy but I needed to have something in hand for a boy. Almost everything else that we have is for a girl… now we have some boy stuff.
We are pretty much complete with our home study. The social worker came by on Tuesday and went through our paperwork – basically asking some of the same questions that the paperwork did. And then he took a very cursory look around the house and left – 2 hours in total. There are only 2 more things to complete – Alan’s CPR and one more reference that is on it’s way. Then we are totally done with the Home Study and then it’s forward motion from there.
We are now being presented to two more potential families. Whew! 2 situations came in on Friday. They are both African American/mix. One is a girl and one is an unknown. Alan and I had a lot of discussion around it. Part of me does not want to be picking and choosing between the situations and just let our cards fall where they will. However, Alan has some concerns that he will regret not waiting until the perfect scenario. I do not think that is what will happen – I think that we will love the child that ends up with us – no matter what.
We have a family of 7 hanging with us this weekend. They’ve adopted their first and then went on to have a few more kids. It’s been good to see their family dynamics and get to know them. Their kids are lovely, quite well behaved and very enthusiastic.
July was an emotional roller coaster for us. It seemed like everywhere we turned, there was another exciting possibility. It also seemed like things could happen very quickly for us. It meant that we needed to make some decisions, and soon.
To be continued.