This is how blog writing looks around here,
we are all cuddling on the front porch
Our home study is getting close to the end!! We worked so hard to get all of our documents in so we could start the meetings and I was frustrated when it took over 2 weeks for the agency to assign us a social worker. Wes has a huge board exam (Step 2) on July 15 and after that he starts his next internal medicine rotation. I was calling every few days and they kept saying "yes we have your papers and they are on the directors desk". We finally got a social worker and she actually lives in Naperville (about 20 mins away) and she is originally from Michigan!!! AND she is a BIRTHMOM!! AND SHE HAS A BENGAL CAT!! She was like "yea let's get these meetings done"!!! Originally we were told that our meetings would have to be done at their office an hour away, but since she lives so close to us we are doing all the meetings at our house which is SUPER nice!! So here is the breakdown and details of the meetings:
Meeting 1 (last tuesday)
This meeting lasted 3.5 hours! Our brains were fried by the time it was over. It was mostly a meeting for her to get to know us and start explaining more in depth about the process, and we had some really deep, lengthy conversations about trans-racial adoption (adopting a baby that is any different race that us), drug and alcohol exposure, and open adoptions. She also answered my question about What actually is a home study? It's a document, usually around 14 pages long, that shows exactly who we are past and present, and certifies that we have been thoroughly investigated and are licensed to be parents. The social worker actually writes the home study and she will say what kind of child we qualify for (so hopefully she writes YES we can handle a child of any race and YES we could handle a child with drug exposure Etc).
We talked about things like what we can expect if we get a baby that has a different skin color than us and what that would be like for our family. Like the fact that we will be looked at and noticed wherever we go, people will make comments (good or bad) frequently. People will say things like "oh you are so good for adopting a kid that's xyz race" and we will have to respond with something like "no, WE are the lucky ones!" etc etc. And then of course the big things like how do we raise a child with darker skin in a white family/community. Maybe one day we will live in a more diverse neighborhood but where we are now is pretty mostly white, so how do we help our child to feel like he/she belongs and help them to figure out their identity? We talked a lot about mental illness history and drug/alcohol exposure and the long-term effects that we can expect, and we have to decide what types of situations we feel will be right for our family. This is really tricky because it feels so wrong to turn down a baby for any reason, but some of these can bring serious complications so we have to be able to make an informed decision either way.
We also talked a lot about open adoption and how GOOD it is! I feel like I should write a whole post about this since so many people ask me about it and are shocked that we are okay with it. But in short, it's really really good and we are hoping we can have a relationship with the birth parents and maybe family. If a child can grow up knowing who the birth family is and where he/she came from then there doesn't have to be any dreaming and fantasizing about what their bio family would be like. And I'm sure you can imagine how it could be so much better and healthier for a birth mom to know that she can still watch her child grow up from afar.
Meeting 2 scheduled for July 11 - this meeting will be all about our biography and lives.
Meeting 3 scheduled for July 15 - this will mostly be our home inspection and signing lots of papers.
Then we are done!! And she just has to write our home study.
We signed up with Christian Adoption Consultants!
We got lots more paperwork to go through but the most important was the list of agencies to choose from. We narrowed it down to 4 agencies to sign up with right away. The reason for going about it this way verses working with one agency is that we get way more exposure so hopefully we can match quicker, and we don't put any money down up front. Most agencies make you pay a sign on fee that's anywhere from $5,000-$15,000 and it's nonrefundable. These agencies waive their sign on fees for CAC families. Also we KNOW that these are ethical agencies that aren't exploiting expectant mothers (which is apparently not uncommon). The agencies we are starting with are in Florida and Texas. We can't wait to start waiting. lol.
Our Profile Book is DONE!
I spent probably 20 hours designing and writing it. It was HARD, but very fun. The big dilemma that I ran into was I made a landscape 11x8.5 book and I wanted it to be softcover (less $), but when I went to order the book I found out that they only do landscape books with hardcovers. Hardcover books are almost twice as much and we need 20 books so that makes a big difference. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what to do and ended up deciding it's not worth my time to re-design it just to save $150 bucks. The book will be delivering in the next 2 weeks and I can't wait to show you all.
Puzzle Fundraiser Update!
We are more than halfway done with our puzzle fundraiser! Again, I can't thank you all enough for helping us. This adoption would literally not be possible without all of your help! If you missed our original post about our puzzle you can find it here