The Pants Are Expanding: The Adoption Process
Recently I announced that “The Pants Are Expanding” and that Brian and I are adopting (HERE if you didn’t catch that post). And WOW oh WOW thank you all for the support. On Facebook alone, I had 250+ comments of love on that original post and am still so overwhelmed by the love and support. The adoption process hasn’t been super easy, but we know it will be worth it.
It still seems a little unreal that we are having a baby in June. After all, MY tummy isn’t expanding, I haven’t had morning sickness, and my coffee and wine intake hasn’t changed due to pregnancy restrictions. But it IS happening. I have a nursery in my house, which I will share photos of soon. I have a baby registry that took more time than I ever imagined it would take to create. And I’m still figuring out which stroller and car seat to add to that registry. So many options!
But amidst all of the flurry of preparation – and let’s be serious, the fog of fear – Brian & I are super excited!
The process of adoption is arduous. And we opted for a domestic adoption. No specific reason we did not pursue international, but it just wasn’t on our heart to go that route. Brian & I actually really started discussing adoption at the beginning of 2017. We began investigating and making calls to agencies locally just trying to figure out what the process was and how to start. It’s pretty overwhelming! I discreetly asked around church, and was pointed towards a super sweet couple who had recently adopted a newborn. Brian & I spent some time with them asking a million questions and left their house feeling much more confident about how to get our arms around the process: hire somebody to do it for us. Seriously.
Y’all, I am no spring chicken. We did not have literally years to go through the adoption process. And it is very real that years are spent by couples trying to bring a child home. So if we could expedite this, we were willing to pay a little more for the help. We enlisted Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC) for guidance to navigate this journey, and would recommend them to anybody considering adoption. CAC has relationships with multiple agencies around the country, which provided us with many more options – faster – than if we were to register with one agency and wait for the “match”. Plus, they handle a ton of paperwork on our behalf. And I mean a ton of paperwork.
We started by answering about a bazillion questions and sending a million photos to CAC for them to work on our Profile Book. This is the book that is given to the birth mommas to consider your family for her to place her baby. (More on that in a moment.) We got state and FBI background checks, had a social worker come in to our home to interview us. She called Jackson to interview him. We had our doctors write letters confirming our health, and some super sweet friends write letters on our behalf, presented our financials and submitted photos of our home and neighborhood. It was still a lot to do and keep up with! And CAC was working for us in the background, so you can imagine how much in total is required.
Fast forward and the Profile Book is done. Background checks returned (we passed, by the way – haha). Social worker’s report filed. And we wait. Actually, it was really weird, because at this point we had to give CAC a list of what we wanted in a child. For example, do you want a boy or a girl? Do you want twins? What race(s) are you open to? What age range will you accept? What sort of medical conditions are you willing to consider? So we “ordered” a baby and waited.
Literally a week after we finalized our file, we get an email and were presented with the first “situation”. This is where we learn whatever there is to learn about the birth mom and whatever is known about the dad. We can opt to present our Profile Book or not. You really have to operate from a place of love and no judgement when you’re reading some of these situations, because the circumstances surrounding the birth parents are not always tied up in a pretty bow. Sometimes the birth father isn’t known, there may be homelessness, addiction, abuse – and so forth. Anyway, it was crazy that we were already given the opportunity to be presented!
Brian & I talked about and prayed on this first situation a LOT. Well, we only had 2 days to decide if we were “interested”, so it’s all relative. But at the end of the 48 hours, we actually passed on being presented. Weird, right?! Even though we were excited about the speedy presentation of the situation, and that the mom was due in just a few months and we could be parents ASAP, it just did not “feel” right. So we declined and prayed we would have more options soon. Somebody recently said that trusting your “gut” was an acronym for God Uttering Truths. It sure was in this case.
We really had to lean into our relationship with God through this process, y’all. It’s a weird situation when you think about it. You get information on woman who is making one of the biggest decisions of her life and is potentially offering you her baby. And you have to judge whether or not this situation and baby is right for you and agree to have your information shared with her so she can judge whether or not you are right for her baby. WHOA. And your brain says “what if I make a mistake and this is / is not the baby for me and I do / do not present?!” It is maddening because the mind just runs through so many scenarios of what could go wrong. This is where we had to literally turn off the mind and rest in God. And He is so good.
Once we let go of our fear of a “mistake” being made and rested in His arms, knowing that He already knows the outcome and which baby is meant for us, we knew that everything was going to be okay. There was a calm peace in our hearts most of the time. Yes, it was still a bit nerve-wracking every time we agreed to have our profile presented and waited for the outcome. We actually had multiple birth moms pass on us. Yeah, I know. How could they pass on US?! We’re perfect and who wouldn’t want us raising their child, right?! That was really weird to get the call that “sorry, she did not choose you”. And our heart broke a little each time. But God. We knew in our hearts that God was in control and we just had to wait for Him to say yes.
And then He did.
We got a situation presented that had the absolute least amount of information on the birth parents than any other situations presented to date. Like less than a page of info, whereas the others had ranged from four to twelve pages of details and medical and other history for us to review. And some of the details on this situation did not even line up with what we had “ordered”, right? But by this point in our journey, we were like “if God did not want us to consider the situation, He would not have sent it”. So. We agreed to be presented. And we waited.
In other presentations, we would get a response anywhere from 2 – 5 days. We agreed to be presented on a Wednesday. I got a call Thursday that the birth mom had narrowed it down to two couples and wanted to talk to us. I was still at work, and wanted Brian to be on the call so I hopped in the car and talked to the birth mom (let’s call her B) and her social worker on the way home – and Brian hopped in the car with me when I got home and he caught the end of the call.
Long story short (because this post is way too long, but I couldn’t edit anything further), B and her social worker gave us a call Friday evening and said she had chosen us for her baby. WHOA. We became parents in that moment. Standing in the kitchen with the phone on speaker. Just typing that makes me cry again. So. I’m going to go cry a few more happy tears and will be back soon with our Adoption Story and tell you more about B and our relationship with her.
Thanks for hanging in and reading that novel. 🙂