Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How This Here Adoption Thing Works...

Recently I've talked to some people regarding our adoption plans... and I've gotten a few responses like these:
  • "Oh! You're approved! So, when do you bring your baby home?"
  • "I don't really know anything about the process. So is approval, like, how the process starts?"
  • "Do you get to pick your baby out?"
  • "Where are you adopting from?"
  • "You say you have to wait... what do you have to wait for?"

So, maybe I can answer some of those questions!

We decided that for our first adoption (hopefully this won't be a one-time thing), we wanted to adopt through LDS Family Services. They are a non-profit agency run through our Church that offers addiction recovery programs, pregnancy counseling, birth parent assistance, and adoption services. They handle domestic adoptions, which means we won't be adopting internationally. Although we could specify that we only want to be matched with a baby from a particular state, our child can come from anywhere in America. We didn't specify, because we don't care where they come from! We're willing to travel as needed.

We are working with a caseworker who is guiding us through the process and will (sort of) help match us with a birth mother (or birth parents) who have decided to place their baby for adoption. I say "sort of" because in all actuality, the birth parents get to choose who will be the parents of their baby. This is the opposite of what some people envision an adoption being like. We won't be going to an orphanage and "picking a baby out"... the birth parents have to choose us.

There are lots of things that we could specify. For example, we could say, "Only show our profile to birth parents who live in Utah, with a female Caucasian newborn 0-3 months of age with no sign of disabilities, and the birth mother didn't drink alcohol while pregnant." Things like that. It was difficult to choose our "preferences" when we were filling out that paperwork. I kept thinking, "Who am I to be picky?!" We thought hard about it, prayed, and carefully filled out what we thought we would be comfortable with. The only thing we got "picky" about was race (black or black mixed with any other race). So, in a way we can "choose" things about our baby, but the birth parents still have to "choose" us. There has to be a match.

How the process works... there are initial interviews and paperwork that has to be completed (and updated on a regular basis) before we are approved. Once approved, that means we are determined to be acceptable by state and Church standards to adopt a baby. That's the point we are at right now. We're in the "finding a match" part of the process. We're not done yet! Approval doesn't mean the end. It's definitely just the beginning.

That's where the "waiting" comes in! There are lots of things we can do right now to "market ourselves" to potential birth parents, to make the waiting time shorter. So far all we've managed to do is just tell everyone we're adopting. We just got some new family pictures taken. When I get them back, I plan on making some cute pass-along cards that say "Hoping to Adopt" and have our blog address and other contact info on them. These can be passed on to all our family and friends... and they can pass them on to anyone who may be considering adoption. There's all sorts of things we could be doing to get the word out there. Remember how in the movie Juno, she sees an ad in the Penny Saver? An ad for a couple who wanted a child? Juno says, "They have ads for parents?" Lol. Yes, they do. And it's kind of weird to put yourself out there like that, but you never know who might see it.

I feel completely awkward writing this, but a couple weeks ago I had a dream. I don't remember anything about the dream other than it being about a birth mother (a young black girl) from Michigan (I've never even been to Michigan before). The next day I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I put an ad on Facebook targeted to a certain age range of girls from Michigan that said "Pregnant? Adoption is an option!" and it had our picture and link to our profile. Let me tell you, IT FELT SO WEIRD to advertise ourselves like that. So awkward. I took it down the next day, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, "As weird as that was - and even if nothing comes of it - who knows if a pregnant girl in Michigan saw that and had a seed planted in her heart about adoption when she needed it?"

Ahhhh! Seriously. So awkward. And kind of embarrassing.

But that's just the nature of doing an adoption this way. We're going to be judged. We have to put our heart out there to be trampled on. We're going to have to learn how to say, "Screw it. I'm putting on ad on Facebook." Lol. Because in the end, this can't be about us. Hopefully, we'll be an answer to someone's prayer and they'll be an answer to ours... but it's really all about the child. I want an open adoption (more about what that means to me later!) and I think doing it this way will give us the best chance of finding birth parents who want to be open as well.

Yes, I know I'm long-winded... but I hope I answered those questions! And when I get our pass-along cards made, every single one of you reading my blog - yes, I'm talking to YOU - should send us an email (xavierandaliceanne@gmail.com) and give us your address so I can send some your way. I can give you some ideas of places to put them and people to give them to as well. :)

Cuz it would be super nice if we didn't have to do all the embarrassing stuff ourselves. Help us out. Ha ha.





5 comments:

  1. I've just put your button on my blog, haha. I love reading about this whole process. I get SO excited about it!

    Love you guys.
    Angie Miller.

    http://millerseverywhere.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Angie - I ♥ you! Thanks so much! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You so just made me cry! Oh, I hope it happens soon for you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I finally figured out the button and put one up! Let me know when you need my address for those cards.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Jennifer - Awww, that's so sweet! You're gonna make ME cry talking about YOU crying. Ha ha ha. I really appreciate it. :) I'll get back to you on those pass-along cards, for sure!

    ReplyDelete

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