Sitting, Wishing, Waiting…

Adoption process updates! We have now mercifully exited the purgatory of Paper Chasin’ and are entering the vast galaxy of Hurry Up and Wait! Some notable updates:

⇒Our background checks finally made it to the top of the heap, and we received our clearances (huzzah!)
⇒Our portfolio (The Adoption Atlas) and the accompanying “Dear Expectant Parent” letter were both approved and have been sent off to print
⇒We have had both of our required social worker visits for our home study and they were ah-may-zing

…which means…which means…
We have reached THE POOL!

The hubs and I are pleased as punch that we made it through the last three months alive and now we can legitimately begin to hope and pray for the sweet baby who will join our family. As far as when that will be, guess away. 

Our home study was the best part of this whole process so far. Well, the visit from the social worker at least. It was the very last step to be pool ready. Our SW is named Connie, and we love her. She listened. She asked incredibly personal questions in a way that put us at ease. She did not look at my counters for dust, or ransack our home looking for drugs. There are all sorts of stories out there about the day the social worker visits, and most of them filled us with terror. Was she going to judge how clean our bathrooms were? Was she going to ask why our son was chewing on a monster truck? Nope! She really just wanted to know the kind of people we are, and understand our motivation for adopting. She made the scariest experience easy as pie. Thank you Connie!

We have learned a bit more about what to expect from here on out in terms of how “desirable” we are as a family.  The expectant birth mother chooses the family, not the other way around (which seems like common sense to me.) We learned that families in Oregon are generally chosen very quickly (about six months on average) because of the excellent adoption laws in our state that benefit both the birth mother and the adoptive parents. We know we fortunately have a lot of characteristics that birth parents seek out, such as financial stability, home ownership, a strong marriage, that sort of thing. We also know that we have one pretty major characteristic that many birth mothers consider to be a deal breaker…and he’s three years old!

It is true, I’m afraid. A couple with a child may have a longer wait because some birth mothers worry that their baby won’t get as much time and attention as he/she would from a childless couple. If the existing child is a biological kiddo, that can present an even bigger problem, because the birth mother might worry the couple could never love an adopted child as much as a biological child. While I know for a fact in my mama heart that could never be true, I have great respect for the birth mother and the impossible decision she has made. It is so important to me that she be at peace with her decision.  The hubs and I are oh-so- ready to welcome our new son or daughter to our family, but we are always mindful of this one thing: at the very minute we are experiencing one of the most blessed moments of our lives, another woman is experiencing the worst moment of hers. I think that if we were adopting without already being parents, I would likely not have the empathy to respect this sacrifice in the manner it deserves.  Since I am already a mother, I am filled with awe at the strength and courage a woman must have to choose adoption for her baby. It means she loves that baby so much that she has decided to find him/her a family that can provide them with what she cannot at that time. Can you imagine anything more selfless? It’s just another humbling realization of the full magnitude of what it means to adopt.  It’s just kinda awesome.