Saturday, September 11, 2010

Baby Steps

We took the second concrete step toward adoption today. We mailed off the application to Adoptions from the Heart this morning. They should have it by next Tuesday, and we hope to hear something from them about scheduling the home study by the end of next week, though that may be a little too eager a timeline. Still, we are committed to an agency and we are ready to get things rolling.

After lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings we went to Babies R Us to do some shopping and to start a baby registry (#45946804 if you want to know). We spent a good three hours plus looking around and adding items to the registry. We decided on a turtle theme for the nursery decorations and started comparing strollers and other items. Once we get matched with a birthmother and have a better idea of when the baby will be born, we'll get more specific about things.

For now, we're just excited about the baby. Currently we have a boy baby name of Gabriel and a girl name of Olivia. We'll keep talking about it and praying about it.

I almost forgot to mention that when we got home we found a bunch of baby items from Target on our front porch. There was no card or note of any kind. Apparently some of our friends (we suspect we know who) bought these for us and left them on our porch. Thanks to them! And thanks be to God, Who has blessed us with all good things.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

On the Cusp of the Adoption Process

Susan recently read Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman. It is a bitter sweet autobiography. It got Susan thinking more openly about adoption, and shortly after finishing the book she broached the topic with me. We talked about our failure so far to conceive a child and our common desire to love and parent a child. So we started doing some research online and asking our close friends to pray for us. We got a book on adoptions from a Christian point of view (thanks, Betsy!) and read it together. We spent most of one Saturday afternoon just reading about the process.

We decided for sure that we want to adopt, and we started seriously looking at the agencies in the local area that we might use. We narrowed it down to threee: Bethany, Coordinators2, and Adoptions from the Heart. We also let our families know that we were moving toward adoption.

Last night Susan and I met with a social worker from Adoptions from the Heart. She was quite friendly, and was willing to listen to our questions and answer them fully and frankly.

One of our biggest concerns was the level of openness that is now apparently quite typical between adoptive parents and birthmothers. The social worker let us know that the minimum openness is simply information shared indirectly, though the medium of the adoption agency itself. We would send into to the agency, which would be forwarded to the birthmother, and vice versa. She said that more openness, including e-mail addresses and post-adoption visitation, are options that most adoptive parents are comfortable with after getting to know the birthmother a bit, but those are purely optional. We are comfortable with having the option.

We like the fact that Adoptions from the Heart provides long-term counseling for the birthmothers, both before and after the birth and adoption process. And they offer quite a few resources for adoptive parents as well, including lessons on handling the ramifications of cross-racial adoptions.

We were both favorably impressed with the answers to our questions about the agency and about open adoption in general. I think we are ready to take the next step and complete the application and turn it in to AftH. After that we will start scheduling our Home Study appointments and figuring out how to collect the $22,000+ that we'll need to pay at the time of the placement.

Parenthood is a new adventure we are both excited to see shape up in our future.

For now we are praying for the process and for the child God will add to our family. Please pray with us.