We began our adoption journey in the summer of 2012. We made inquiries with several local adoption agencies to no avail. We were told by one that they were no longer accepting couples into their program due to a decline in the number of adoptions nationwide. Another informed us that we weren't eligible to adopt through them because we weren't practicing members of their religion. Yet another only accepts couples into their program once in the Spring and then again in the Fall. At the time we contacted them, they had just concluded the Fall session. The last agency that we contacted was WAY out of our budget range.
We were honestly starting to wonder if we were wrong in thinking that God had led us to adoption. Then I spoke with a friend who was in the process of adopting a baby girl. She and her husband had gone through minimally invasive fertility treatments for a few years and ultimately decided that God was calling them to adopt. Miraculously, the day after they decided to pursue adoption, they found the woman who has since become their birth mother. They chose to adopt through an attorney and she urged us to pursue that route. We quickly decided to do so as the agency route had been filled with roadblocks.
Towards the end of August we met with an adoption attorney. She has been helping couples build their families through adoption for over 20 years. After speaking with her, both on the phone and in person, I definitely felt like we were on the right track. She explained the process to us and answered all of our questions. While she doesn't actively match prospective adoptive couples with expectant mothers, she does keep profiles on hand in case an expectant mother contacts her looking for an adoptive couple. She urged us to network as much as possible and to tell everyone we knew that we were hoping to adopt. She also gave us the contact info of a local agency who conducts home studies. As soon as we got home that night we created a Facebook page as well as our profile and sent her a copy via email. We then contacted the agency the following day to begin the home study process.
I have to admit that I was dreading the home study. In fact, over the years, each time that we considered adoption it was the home study that ultimately kept us from pursuing it. We were just uncomfortable with someone judging us and determining whether or not we were fit to be parents. Looking back, I now know we just weren't ready to follow the path that God had set for us. The home study was NO WHERE near as bad as we had always imagined. Our social worker was extremely nice and down to Earth and very easy to talk to. We met with her three times for about an hour and a half each visit. We talked about our childhood experiences, our families, our struggles with fertility, our parenting styles, our reasons for pursuing adoption and our preferences for adoption. She is an adoptive parent herself so she totally understands the entire process as well as all of the emotions associated with it.
As part of the home study, we were required to do ten hours of training. We could do a combination of watching DVDs, reading books and writing a short report, and online training. Due to our willingness to pursue both biracial and open adoption, our social worker loaned us several DVDs which addressed both subjects. The DVDs were quite eye opening to say the least. Both Shane and I were offended by some of the viewpoints presented but as a result we were forced to evaluate our own beliefs and values and desires for our family. While the DVDs gave us plenty of food for thought, the books we chose to read gave us even more. Both were in depth looks at open adoption and also frequently addressed the obstacles presented in biracial adoption. While I can't say that we are completely prepared for every scenario, I do feel that when our future son or daughter finally finds us, we will be able to face any obstacles that come our way as a united front.
It has now been almost six months since we began our adoption journey and we are still eagerly waiting for our precious miracle to find us. We set the nursery up before our home study and each time our six-year-old son sees the crib he asks, "Do you want the baby to get right in?" He can't wait to be a big brother!! We have been networking as much as possible and spreading the word through Facebook, our church, and all of our friends, family, acquaintances and coworkers. We also posted our profile to a site called Hoping to Adopt. We have had such a tremendous outpouring of support that it is truly humbling at times. Countless friends have shared our Facebook page and adoption profile multiple times and several friends have gone above and beyond in helping us locate an expectant mother. We had a few friends contact us in November with possible adoption opportunities but neither panned out. Nevertheless, we will not lose hope. We have faith that we are on the right path and that one day soon we will get to meet our new son or daughter and our little man will get to meet his new baby brother or sister. Until then, we will continue to take baby steps to complete our adoption journey!!