It’s hard to say when the process of adoption officially begins. In a way, it started for me when I first googled “how to adopt a baby” in an attempt to figure out what the process was. That was around six months ago, after loosing our first pregnancy. What I learned from that google search was that there’s no one way to go through the adoption process, and all the options and different strategies made the whole thing feel overwhelming and scary. I put the idea aside.
But each time things got frustrating I took another look at adoption options. Finally I decided it was time to really learn more, and about two months ago we took another big step and attended info sessions at two different agencies. These were insanely helpful, and we finally started to feel like this might be an option we could handle. They also prompted a lot of thought and conversation, and finally helped us narrow down the type of adoption we wanted. We knew we wanted an infant, that was for sure. Foster to adopt, where you act as a foster parent for up to a year before you can adopt the child, was the first we ruled out. The goal there is to get the child back to their birth parent, and adoption is the second choice. I just don’t think I have the emotional stamina left in me for that at this point. International adoption, though intriguing on the surface, lost a lot of its appeal with a closer look. It could take longer and become more expensive than domestic in many cases, and often the child was 1-2 years old by the time you could bring them home. In the end, we decided on domestic infant adoption.
We also discussed the different options for outreach, the advertising adoptive parents must do to find a baby. Different agencies and lawyers all use different techniques, and it’s hard to decipher what will be most effective. In the end we decided on the agency that made us feel the most comfortable, and came with a strong recommendation from a friend. We began working on our home study application.
Last week our home study officially began with our first meeting with the social worker. It was a casual sit down at her office, we told her about ourselves, she let us ask questions about the process and what to expect from raising an adoptive child, and we were given a pile of forms to take home and fill out. It wasn’t the intimidating beginning that my google search had been, and left us feeling like we were finally moving towards an attainable goal. We’ll have three more meetings with her before she submits our homestudy report and we’ll be eligible to adopt.
This week will be one more beginning when I meet with the outreach coordinator on Wednesday. It’s hard to say when it really began, but I think it’s safe to say the process has begun. Looks like we’re really doing this!