Home Study Two-Thirds Complete…
I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about how things are coming along with our adoption. Well, they are going very well! We’ve had two out of three home visits with our amazing case worker and our last one is scheduled for early November! You know, when I first heard about home studies, I thought they were going to be this mountain to climb and hopefully succeed, but so far, it hasn’t been too terribly difficult. A lot of that has to do with our AMAZING case worker and also my organized nature. I already had a lot of the things readily available that were required to submit for our home study and if I didn’t, I knew where to quickly get them.
So, what has been involved in our home study this far? First we had to make copies of all our legal documents; birth certificates, marriage certificates, drivers licenses, health insurance cards, veterinarian statements and tax returns. Then we asked our places of employment to fill out some forms verifying our employment, asked for reference letters from pastors and non-family friends, got a counselor reference (because I see a counselor), and showed a plan for who would take our kids in the unlikely event of our deaths. These last things we had to rely on other people for and I’m so thankful for all the people who helped with these details!
Finally, we had to get fingerprinted and background checks for both State and FBI, get tuberculosis tests to ensure we didn’t have that disease and schedule physical exams for all members of our household. We also had to fill out a ‘financial diagnostics’ form and a fire safety evacuation plan. We went through a number of child recall lists to ensure that nothing in our house was on those lists and we filled out a special needs approval list stating what special needs we’d feel comfortable taking on in an adopted child. Phew! I know, it seems like a lot, but we just kept ticking the boxes off and making our way through the list. We still have more time consuming things to complete, but they’ll get done and then we’ll be even closer to being approved to adopt!
Finding a Match…
Many people are curious to know where we will ‘find our baby.’ In the private adoption world this is called ‘being matched with a birth mom.’ There are a number of ways to be matched; agency assisted adoption, attorney assisted adoption, or independent adoption. This is simplified from the many sub-types under each of these.
Agency assisted adoptions are like using a middle man to do the matching. We can submit our family profile to them and they can show it to birth mothers whose criteria matches ours. If a birth mother selects us, then we’d meet in person and eventually a birth mother would choose us to potentially adopt her baby. I say potentially because there’s always the possibility that the birth family will choose to keep the baby after birth.
In Attorney assisted adoption things can be similar to the agency adoptions in the sense that the attorney has a pool of families that they can suggest to birth mothers. However, an agency offers extra things that an attorney doesn’t always do. This doesn’t mean that attorney assisted adoptions are better or worse, just that they’re different. It really depends on your unique needs as a family.
Finally, an adoptive family can do an independent adoption. I’m using this term to mean that the adoptive parents somehow found a birth family on their own. This is all about the matching phase remember. Most adoptions will still have an attorney in them at some point and some families choose to have the agency assist in other ways with the adoption outside of the matching process. So, the most commonly thought of story here is that a friend of a friend knows someone who’s having a baby and hoping to make an adoption plan. They introduce us to the birth mother and after meeting we all decide if this would be a good match. Then you take things from there to an agency/attorney.
Honestly, we do not know clearly which way God is moving us yet. We know that we need to get the home study done because all these options will require an approved home study. But how we’ll find our birth mother match still feels like we’re on hold with the exact details. We’re staying open to God’s leading on this one and just taking it all one step at a time. The details that we are clear on is that God has a baby (or baby + another child 2 years and under) for us somewhere and that this baby will be non-white. We have an idea of what race and gender we think we’re expecting, but again, we’re just praying and waiting on God to bring us together with the birth mom that He has for us.
Fundraising – a necessary step in many adoptions. Adoption can be expensive. There are so many little things to buy here and there; so many tests and appointments to make. There are fees to pay for services, training, and other such things. The little bits really add up over time, but the biggest expense will be the Placement (Matching) Fee if we go with an agency or attorney. Obviously these people put in time and effort to help birth moms and adoptive families meet and decide on their next steps. This is their literal day to day job and their work is important. In order for them to continue making these joyful connections in other people’s lives, they need to be paid! So, this is where the price really jumps up as opposed to meeting a birth mother on your own. It’s estimated that we’ll need at least $20,000 baseline for adoption through an agency or attorney.
With this in mind, we’re beginning the fundraising process. We have pretty good reason to believe that we’ll be approved to adopt and so it’s a good idea to begin gathering the money we’ll need in order to pay for the expenses associated with adopting a child. We’d like to be ready for a lengthy wait or for an unexpected and quick placement. This is why we’re beginning to ask for financial help even before having a completed home study.
And so, would you consider helping us adopt our next child? We would be so blessed to receive from anyone that feels led to sow into this very special part of our lives. We have a set up an adoption fund through The Vineyard Church of Central Illinois. You can give in two ways. The first way is to write a check to The Vineyard Church in the amount you wish to donate. If you’d like it to be tax deductible, do NOT write our names on the check (or cash in an envelope). Instead, include a note with the check indicating where you’d like this money to go. You can hand the check directly to Putty or me, OR you can send it to the church at: 1500 N. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801.
The other way to give is online. There will be a fee involved if giving this way, so part of your donation will go towards the credit card fees. The link to donate by card is: https://thevineyardchurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/989/responses/new
Wrapping it Up…
Thank you so much to everyone that’s already been asking us how things are going with our adoption. It’s fun to finally talk about something that’s been on my heart for years! I’ve loved hearing your own stories of adoption and I look forward to continuing to connect with you through the blog or in person. Thank you all so much and please continue to pray with us that God will help us find the right match. Thank you!