We’ve made the announcement– we are adopting!! The congratulations have rolled in, we’ve been showered with encouragement, and our community is rallied and ready to go. But now that we’ve made our hopes and dreams known, the question becomes, “So what’s next? Where are you now in the process?” I mentioned in our last post that Josiah and I knew we would become “adoption educators” to one degree or another once we began this process. So, we are more than happy to share the information we’re learning and collecting along the way. Before I begin, however, I want to make it clear that adoption is an incredibly complex, nuanced, and individualized process. No adoption story will look the same so, as I share about our experience, understand it will be only a slice of the adoption world. But we hope our “slice” teaches you some of the adoption basics and encourages you to do your own research to learn more.
In order to let you know where we are, there are a couple terms to understand. We are pursuing a domestic infant adoption. Again, this means we will be seeking to adopt a baby who is born in the United States. In order to begin any type of adoption, a family must first begin with a home study. A home study is a screening of the life and home of hopeful adoptive parents by a licensed social worker. This process helps to evaluate whether or not a couple or family will provide a safe, loving, and healthy home for a child that may be adopted. Upon the completion of a home study, a couple/family is deemed ready to adopt and can be placed with a child. For us, the placement of our child will be facilitated by a private adoption agency. A “private adoption” simply means that we will be working with birth mothers who are voluntarily and selflessly placing their child for adoption. A “public adoption” would mean that we would work with the Department of Social Services to adopt a child that has been placed in their custody. Since we are working with a private agency, we will be putting together an “adoptive parent profile” to allow expectant mothers to get to know us better. This profile will include pictures of our life and family, as well as information about Josiah and I and the life we hope to provide for our child. If an expectant mother views our profile, talks with us, and decides we’re the people she would like to have raise her child, we will be matched with her!
Now that we have a couple basics laid out, let me answer a few questions we’ve been hearing most frequently to help you know where things are at in our process!
When you do get to bring your baby home?
We are currently in the process of completing our home study AND putting together our profile for our agency. On average, a home study takes around 3 months to be processed and completed. This potential time frame will provide us with the opportunity to put together our profile, fundraise, and prepare for our baby to come home. Once our home study is complete and our profile is made active, it could be a matter of days, months, or years (though I hope it’s not years) until we are matched with an expectant mother.
“Who are you adopting? When is the baby due?”
We’re not sure! As I mentioned, there isn’t always a set timeline when it comes to adoption. It is our hope to quickly and efficiently navigate the home study process, but once all of our paperwork and profile materials are submitted, it really does become a “waiting game” of sorts as we hope to be matched with an expectant mother. We know, however, that God never wastes the waiting so we intend to “redeem” the waiting by preparing for our baby’s arrival! You will find us reading books, watching webinars, preparing a nursery, and going to the Lord in prayer as we anxiously await the day we meet our child.
“I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ask, but how much will this cost?”
We will never shy away from questions, but obviously we may “reserve the right” to evade an answer at some juncture. This one, however, is a statistic you can google! On average, a domestic infant adoption can range from $25k-$35k, depending on a number of factors. Obviously there are situations where it can be less or more than that range, but for the most part, that is what we are planning for.
So, where are we now? We’re plowing through paperwork, planning and executing fundraisers, and becoming more and more excited by the day that at the end of all this work, we will be PARENTS. That sweet thought is what has been carrying us through as we stay up late to work on cookie baking (our current fundraiser) and paperwork. Every form, fundraiser, and phone call brings us one step closer to becoming “mom” and “dad.” Oh what a day that will be!