I feel like every blog post I begin starts with an excuse about why I haven’t updated in a while.
I actually wrote and sent Aaron a post to put up last week, but between the time of me finishing the post and him uploading the post, things were already changing. Therefore, we decided to wait until after this weekend to update.
I feel like the long periods of waiting have come to an end. Not to say that things are going to move perfectly and we won’t have to wait and be patient again during this process, but I do think things are going to progress at a much faster pace than they have been for the past couple of years.
I honestly don’t know where to start so I’ll make a list (type A personality right here…)
1.) We sold our house! It’s funny the plans we make for ourselves, no? Our first idea was to sell our house and get a 3 bedroom apartment/townhome. We even went to a townhome and viewed it, we were so serious! (Based on how everything turned out, I shudder to think about this.) We were nearing the end of saving for adoption and just needed a chunk of money to be fully funded. We thought if we just sell our house and make a profit and get a townhome, we could then start saving up for a new house. We invited our wonderful realtor over to discuss our plans and he of course was very supportive but did give us things to think about. We learned we could still sell our house, make a big profit to finish funding the adoption, but still get a house sooo….
2.) We bought a house. It’s the perfect house in the entire world. It’s in the exact location we wanted, it was under budget, and it looks like the house from Miracle on 34th Street. Okay, it probably doesn’t look like that house, but it was built in 1961, has a ton of character, ton of trees, tons of room, and it’s just beautiful. We moved in there July 5th and have been painting fools. We are so very happy with it and, yes, we have a room picked out for baby!
3.) We filled out a bunch (A. BUNCH.) of adoption paperwork. – This included going to the doctor (twice), getting blood drawn, waiting for those results, asking 4 families to be a reference for us, gathering paperwork from work, the bank, insurance companies, etc. So much paperwork, but again, Type A, so I think we did a good job of remaining organized. (If you know me, you would not be surprised we bought out all of the Post It Notes, tabs, binders, page dividers, hole punch sticker thingys, etc.)
4.) We turned in said paperwork and paid the application fee and the AES (Adoption Education Seminar) fee.
5.) We went and got fingerprinted! This was… an interesting experience to say the least. Quite a few people there that weren’t in the best of moods, but IT’S OKAY! We got done what we needed to get done and we went on our merry way.
6.) We attended AES! It. Was. Amazing. Friday we learned about the different levels of Closed, Semi-Open, and Open adoptions. We learned about the birth mothers, what their backgrounds could be, we learned about the statistics, we learned about successful adoption stories, just so much. We were so confident after Friday about our decision to go through this agency. Our caseworker is wonderful, we learned she’ll be the one doing our home study and we both just feel so comfortable with her. We met who our case worker will be once we get placed. We just had a really good time. We went back for part 2 Monday and that was a little harder. We talked about grief and loss, we talked about transracial adoptions (which we are completely 100% open to), and we talked about potential birth defects and statistics on that. That was the hardest part, just hearing about what our baby could potentially go through. We also talked about our placement books. I am so excited about this part. We make a book about us, our family, our home, our favorite things, and we write a letter to the birth mom. Once our home study is done (30-45 days), we are officially licensed. At this point, we can begin to have our books given out to birth moms. She’ll get 5-7 at a time and will choose a family from those books. This makes me so weepy. I just think it’s so beautiful that the woman giving life to our baby chooses us. It hits my heart and makes me so incredibly sad and so incredibly happy. It’s just the strangest feeling.
7.) We turned in our AES questionnaire and paid our Pre-Placement Evaluation fee! The AES questionnaire was just 10 pages or so asking questions about what child we would accept. We accidently filled this out before AES, but since going through AES, most of our answers have changed just because we’ve learned about different things we were unsure about, we’re more open to some things, and we are confident with our agency.
Throughout each of these steps, we’ve seen God moving. He’s not “behind the scenes” working, He’s absolutely in the front of all of this. None of this would be even remotely possible for us if it wasn’t for Him. It reminds me of the song “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin. The chorus says, “I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind.” This is such a powerful way of thinking of it for me. He’s gone before us and he’s walking this with us. From people who donated, to people who help us sell our home and buy a new home. People whose job it is to be wonderful caseworkers. People who have gone on this journey and have been a source of encouragement to us. It’s just beautiful how God has brought all of these people into our life at the exact moment we needed them. And now that I’m on the verge of tears we will move on!
Next steps: we begin our Pre Placement! This is basically home studies. We go and have individual interviews with our case worker. I think she said we’d do this twice, then she’d come to the house twice and we’d do a joint interview during one of those visits. During this time, we’ll work on our Placement Book! (SO EXCITED!)
As you can see, there are lots of things happening. It’s go time!!