Friday, June 24, 2011

We are starting the "Pregnancy Paperwork."

May 23, 2011

As most of you know, Jeremiah and I are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. We are absolutely thrilled about this and can’t wait to bring our child home. I thought I would write a quick update about our adoption journey thus far. We’ve just started the process, so I don’t have much to blog about. However, I want to document (for myself) each step in our process.

Jeremiah and I met with our home study caseworker last Monday, May 16. We feel like she’s on top of things and will be extremely helpful throughout our adoption journey. She gave us at least 6 folders full of information to fill out. In addition, she gave us a gigantic packet of articles to read. I think we’ll be doing a lot of reading this summer! We spent at least 10 hours individually filling out our marital assessment and autobiographies this past week. We also completed the application for the Babyfold. I’m glad we spent so many hours completing the paperwork last week. We were able to turn in our application and get the process started! Our caseworker said our local home study should take between 2-3 months. After that, our home study is sent to a few different places. This could take another 2-4 months.

Today, Jeremiah and I attended an all day adoption training class. It was insightful and gave us a better understanding of the adoption process. We were given multiple packets about Ethiopia and international adoptions. In addition, our caseworker talked with us about various things including what needs to be done before we go over to Ethiopia (for us and our child), what medical/emotional/social needs our child could face, how to develop proper attachment with our child, and what needs to be done after we come back with our child (birth certificate and finalization of citizenship). We met 4 other couples that are just starting the international adoption process. One couple is adopting from Ethiopia. I really enjoyed getting to know them and learning about why they were adopting. I love learning about people and hearing their stories. We left with numerous “homework assignments” and we felt pretty overwhelmed. However, I think every couple felt this way. We are taking a break from the paperwork tonight, but will start filling out our international adoption agency’s application tomorrow. I’m so thankful that school is almost over. I will be able to devote more time to the paperwork and read more of the articles our caseworker gave us. Our next home study visit is on June 6. I believe our caseworker is going to start interviewing each of us separately. I think she will also take a tour of our house to make sure it’s safe for our children.

I’m so excited that we’ve started the paperwork, completed the required training, and already have our 2nd home study date set. It’s a long process, but I know it’ll be worth it. I just can’t wait to get our referral and actually see our child’s sweet little face. Obviously, I can’t wait to hug my child and tell him/her “Mommy loves you!” However, I know it will be awhile before I’ll be able to do that. I feel so blessed that God has placed adoption on our hearts. Believe me when I say that I know this journey will not go perfectly or smoothly. I know there will be bumps in the road and at times we will become frustrated. In spite of these things, I am just so thankful that God had picked me to be this child’s mommy. I can’t wait to add another little one to our family.

*While we were sitting in our training today, I was thinking about all the little kids overseas (and in the U.S.) who don’t have a parent to love on them. Many kids only have contact with a caregiver for an hour a day and that is not enough. These poor kids need a mommy and a daddy to love on them. just makes me so sad. When we got home tonight, I snuggled with Olivia on the couch. I put her to bed at her normal time, but I could hear her talking in her crib about 45 minutes later. I sat outside her door smiling at the sound of my little girl talking to herself in her crib. Then, I went into Olivia’s room and picked her up. I hugged her tightly and rocked her while thanking God for my precious little girl. I am so thankful for moments like this when I can love on my girl. I can’t wait to love on my future child and let him know how much I care about him too. I don’t normally go into Olivia’s room after I’ve put her to bed. I just craved spending time with my daughter. I wanted to be close to her and just thank God for what he has given me.

*Many people in the adoption world call the stage we are in right now the "Pregnancy Paperwork" stage. Instead of being pregnant and going through all of the hormonal changes to have a child, we are completing paperwork to get our child.

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