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Monday, July 10, 2017

How we ended up with a baby

I think Kev and I did this the exact opposite of every other person who is looking to adopt a child. Apparently when people start down the adoption process they tell everyone they know. They make Facebook pages, have fundraisers and basically promote themselves five ways to Sunday. Yea, not us. We told immediate family, our direct bosses and the 3 people who wrote us letters of recommendations. That's it.

We started looking for an agency in January 2016. We looked at a few, had some conversations and eventually decided on Angel Adoptions in Illinois. They had a great placement rate (95%) and they only work with stated who have a 72 hour or less revocation period. There was no way we were going to wonder if a birth mom was going to change her mind for 30 days. Our contract with them was for 2 years.

After we signed with the agency we had to provide a packet of info to the agency, including our bios, snippets of information about us, our home, our family, pets, work, plans for post baby placement and a bunch of pictures. And in the pictures, no booze or sunglasses. Do you have any idea how many pictures of Kev and I exist where I'm not wearing sunglasses???? Like 3. I'm a delicate eyeball snowflake. We had to do a mini photo shoot to get some new pictures when I was at the height of my last fat. Awesome.

After we submitted our info the agency made a packet that they marketed to prospective birth moms but we wouldn't get onto their website until we had out home study completed. This one one of the areas we flew a little blind on. We had no idea how long it actually took for a home study. We signed with the agency at the end of February and I don't think our home study was completed and sent until August. We were still being shown, but we would have liked to have had the home study completed before signing to maximize our website presentation time.

Y'all a home study is intense! Our lady in NC is awesome and she didn't expect to see a completely ready baby room or expect the house to be baby-proofed. She really wanted to make sure there weren't crack pipes laying around and that we weren't psychotic. She came to the house 2x after we submitted a bunch of paperwork, including references and FBI background checks. I made an entire folder on Dropbox where I scanned everything we received and filed it there. FYI, the Scannable app is awesome. Use your phone to take a picture of a document and convert it to pdf. The best.

She completed the home study and sent a copy to the agency and us. I believe she called me "strong-willed" in her assessment. I can't imagine why.

The home study was complete, the profile up and posted and then the waiting really started. What happens is every month, expectant moms reach out and ask for information. Some never move forward beyond that, some ask to see the profiles of prospective adoptive parents, some choose a family and some decide to parent at the very end. You just never know what your situation will be.

We were really cautious. We didn't want to spend a ton of time and money preparing and then starting at an empty nursery. For us, I couldn't think of anything worse. I'd rather scramble at the last minute than stare at an empty room. Anyways... There are a ton of really frightening statistics. We heard that as many as 50% of matches fail with the majority of those being in the final week. That waiting period was really nerve -wracking. just waiting and waiting. Knowing that each month bettered your chances and would this be the month when someone chose you?

We got to March 2017 without even a nibble and we were getting a little frustrated. Angel Adoption reached  out to see if we were interested in updating our profile and sending in new pictures which we were making plans to do. Then, at the beginning of April, WE GOT THE CALL!

Well, it was an email. From Angel saying that they had a potential match with an expectant mother. We called the agency and they put the 2 of us in contact. At that time she was 6-ish months along (they thought) with a due date of 5/23. We talked and at the end of the first call, she said she's chosen us! We were like, "um, really? Are you sure?" and she said she was. It was a really surreal time, we were expecting there to be multiple calls, perhaps we'd travel to meet her, maybe she's choose someone else, maybe she'd change her mind, but at the end of that first call she was confident and we were cautiously optimistic.

After she expressed her interest in matching, we needed to get some things rolling with another agency, the one who facilitates the paperwork and actual adoption and secure an attorney in IL for when we went to court for the interim adoption agreement. After that, we just waited for the baby to be born. And she came early, on 5/4! We went from no baby to baby in about 5 weeks.

Now, I will say that this is probably NOT the way to go. There were a lot of things we didn't know to expect or how they were supposed to work, all we had was a stroller and pack and play that we bought on the 3rd, no diapers, no clothes, nothing. No child care lined up, no transition plan, you name it, we flew by the seat of our pants.

I'd recommend perhaps a little more planning, but really, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, I can't imagine being matched and waiting months and months, full of uncertainty that she might change her mind, that something might go wrong. Five weeks of stress was plenty!

That was a little long winded and the story of actually going to get Morgan is another post for another day!

2 comments:

  1. I bet it is a little overwhelming waiting to get picked... & then you do. How amazing.
    "Strong Willed"... I love that. What's gonna make you the best momma!!!

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