We took the plunge and hopped on the adoption roller coaster ride.
We did a lot of soul searching and decided that private infant adoption was the path we wanted to pursue. We contacted 4 different adoption agencies before ultimately deciding to pursue private adoption. Upon initial contact, the first agency told me to contact them again in a few months. When I did so I was informed that they were no longer accepting couples into their program due to the decline in the number of adoptions taking place nationwide. The second agency I contacted was more than willing to work with us until they found out that we weren't married in their church and didn't actively practice their faith. The third agency was very positive and more than willing to work with us but they only accept couples into their program two times a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. We had just missed the Fall cutoff date. The woman I spoke to told me we could still do an interview with her and then if they decided to accept us into their program we'd just have to apply again in the Spring. The fourth agency is a well known national agency but they are also EXTREMELY expensive!! While money should not be the determining factor when choosing to adopt, we have to be realistic as well. We can't afford to spend upwards of $30K and still be able to send both of our children to college some day!!
After deciding that private adoption through an attorney was the best route for us, we met with a reputable local adoption attorney at the end of August and began networking the very next day. The first thing we did was create a Facebook page. We asked ALL of our friends to like the page and share it as well. We also told our priest at church about our desire to adopt as well as any friends and family who aren't on Facebook.
We began our home study in September and were officially home study approved by the end of October. We contacted several other attorneys as well as suggested by our social worker. She highly recommended searching for attorneys through the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. We researched adoption law in various states and then chose 6 attorneys to contact. We wanted to work with attorneys in states where the law is fair to both the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. We decided to email the attorneys because it was the easiest form of communication for us given the fact that several were out of state. We only heard back from one though and since it was around Thanksgiving, we decided to wait until after the new year to try contacting them again. We will be calling them to try to set up consultations at the end of this week.
I have to admit that I'm starting to get discouraged. I knew we wouldn't find an expectant mother overnight but it's been almost 4 months since we started the process and we have yet to even come close to finding a match. We did have two friends who live in different states call us in early November with possible adoption opportunities, but neither of them panned out. I'm trying to be patient but that's MUCH easier said than done.
We've told everyone we know that we're hoping to adopt and we are now looking into a few websites that allow you to post a profile. We're a bit leery of doing that though because we'll be opening ourselves up to the possibility of scams. Our social worker wants us to contact her in March if we haven't found a match by then. She is going to give us a list of adoption agencies that she works with who will accept our home study.
Shane and I pray on a daily basis that we will find a match soon. Mason still asks quite frequently for a baby brother or sister as well. I know in my heart that the baby that is meant to join our family is out there somewhere waiting for us too. With any luck, we will all find each other soon!! Hopefully, by this time next year, I will be blogging about 2 am feedings and how tired I am from lack of sleep :)