14 May 2019

answers to some of your adoption questions

As promised, I've started to compile my answers to some of the questions I get most frequently about our adoption story. Because this is one of the most significant parts of our lives, this will come at you in multiple posts!

How did you make the decision to adopt?
There were a few different life experiences that really opened my heart to adoption: working with children in Mexico in high school and college, and moving to DC when I graduated to work with inner city kids. I don’t know exactly what it was from those experiences that planted the seed, but it was just a part of me - I knew that I wanted to have a family that included adoption. When I met my husband, and conversations turned toward the future, I told him that I wanted to adopt, and he didn’t hesitate in his openness to it. It was the way the Lord was leading both us, without a doubt, so for us it wasn’t a matter of “if”, it was a matter of “when”.

How did you know when the timing was right?
We had dinner with some close friends that had adopted and asked them this same question. Their answer was that if it’s in your heart, the timing is now. Start walking through the doors to get there. It could take months or years - that’s never for sure - but don’t sit on it. There has been nothing in life that is an act of utter faith like this - the money, the timing, the right match - this is when you do what you can do and the rest is just open hands and a heart that you have to constantly give over to trusting HIS timing and provision. He hasn’t failed us yet.

Our nudge came after our first son was born. We had visions of a giant family and we were ready to do it all at once (ignorance is bliss, am I right? we were slightly naive.). When our second pregnancy didn’t come as quickly as we’d imagined, we felt like that was the first little push to get things started. We requested info from various agencies, but ended up going through the same one our friends did for a domestic adoption, because we loved the heart and mission of the agency. They were (and are!) committed to doing life with the birthmother before and after baby’s arrival, and that was huge to us. 

Once we decided on an agency, we just followed all the steps they lined up for us. We had to fill out questionnaires, get references from various people, do a background check, get physicals done, and have a couple of visits from a social worker. This is when you’re doing a lot of legwork to get yourself set up and ready before a long period of waiting. Our agency also required a “Lifebook”, which is basically the story of our lives and our family through photos, and a heartfelt letter written to the birthmoms. We made several and sent them off to the agency, and then they distributed them to their caseworkers, and those caseworkers shared them with birthmothers. The mothers chose their adoptive families based on the Lifebook, so it’s a crucial part of the process, and maybe the most fun part to put the effort into. All in all, getting everything in order and sent to the agency took us about six weeks. Once they approved it, we were officially a waiting family.

With our first adoption, we were on the waitlist for ten weeks before we got the call. And here’s the clincher: I found out I was pregnant 48 hours after we were officially on the waitlist. So, after we let them know that, they told us we could stay on through my second trimester. The policy on this is different for every agency. I told Nick I would be comfortable staying on the waitlist until the halfway point, and we’d set a date for when we’d call to be removed, which was a Monday. They called us the Friday before our self-appointed date. In case you’re ever wondering if God’s timing is on point, there you go.

Our son was born four weeks later. We got a call that our birthmother was in labor, and we flew out that day. Her labor stopped mid flight, and she ended up having him ten minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Again, TIMING. He completely blew us away. We stayed in town for the next ten days, until both states approved us seeking adoption and allowed us to fly home. 

Four months later I gave birth to another boy, and life completely changed. Mama to three boys under the age of three is no joke, guys. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Life got real crazy, but in all the best ways.

More FAQ’s coming soon... Stay tuned!