In short, it feels like nothing has changed. Our first year of being adoption approved has come… and gone. We have completed an annual update for adoption approval with our agency and my heart was so sad. I really wanted to be the anomaly that got matched with a birth family almost immediately and really just knocked this thing out in a year!
The First Year
In the back of my mind, I wasn’t so sure that it would happen. But then we got a call this past spring about a baby already born and needing a home! I began composing my social media announcement posts in my mind and envisioned the generous rejoicing that so many would do along with us. But… that wasn’t to be.
Even with the second potential match I had hopes that maybe this would be it. The baby would be born before our year expired and that still seemed like hitting some sort of ‘one-year goal.’ But, no. The match just didn’t feel like it was for us and we removed ourselves from the birth family choices. I came to find out that those birth parents decided to parent after all. I suppose that was God’s grace and direction for us in that moment. God knew that we didn’t need to get our hopes up and then start the process all over.
Beginning Year Two…
So, here we are, more than a year since our first adoption approval and over two years since we first sat down with the agency and explored our adoption options with them. I didn’t know… I didn’t know how long this process really would take. I didn’t know all the ins and outs of domestic adoption on the matching side alone. I know more now, but I still will learn so much after the match and throughout to adoption finalization.
When I think of what’s ahead in this process, I feel tired. I feel unmotivated. I feel a bit disappointed. Perhaps that’s because I’m not waiting only on this one thing, but it feels like all the big decisions in life are on hold right now. And that’s not even to mention that the entire world is in a ‘wait’ to open up again due to this pandemic.
But, I hope things are changing. I hope the waiting period is quickening, like the term used when a pregnant mother feels the first flutterings of movement from the baby inside of her. My kids are asking me regularly now, “Mom, when are we going to get our new baby?” They have so much desire for a new sibling. I keep asking God, “When? How long?” I feel like the answer from God is changing from ‘Wait’ to ‘Soon.’ Oh, I hope I’m hearing him correctly!
Even in the natural, I’ve been starting to nest a bit more in my home – another thing pregnant women do as they get closer to delivery. I felt a strong desire to change my kids rooms around and get things set up for a baby. I haven’t done that in the past year at all. I just figured that we’d set up the space once we had a match/baby. But now I just want to have it set up and ready. So, we have made changes and the crib is waiting in the room (unassembled at this point) for our next addition. I still have the changing table and nursery items ready to welcome that sweet child. And as I write this, I’m in my rocking chair that I’ve used with all my children The nostalgia is real!
On the outside, I’ve had a growing number of people asking how our adoption is going. I wish I had some exciting news to share! But, all I can say is, “We’re still waiting, and we’re now approved for another year! We completed our annual home study update.” People are happy to wait with us, wonder with us, and ask after us. That asking is actually really precious to me. I know that I’m not the only one waiting. I’m not forgotten as I wait, but others are hopeful along with me. Others are actually somewhat invested in this process too. And so… this blog is my answer to that question. It’s hard to answer thoroughly in a quick conversation, but I hope you’ll enjoy a bit more of the fully-rounded answer that this space provides.
How You Can Help…
If you feel like you’d like to do something with/for us while we wait, we’d LOVE to have you partner with us. We continue to need prayer. Prayer for the birth triad (birth mother/family, baby, adoptive parents). Prayer for our hope and anticipation to remain intact and that we don’t become resentful or despondent that the process isn’t done yet. Prayer that all the finances will come when they are needed. We estimate this will cost between $15-$20K.
I also need people asking me about the adoption, whether anything has changed or not. That real life touching base reminds me that I’m not alone in the process and it helps me to keep my mind on the great changes that will come. I really am looking forward to and feel so ready to have our baby with us! I’m itching to get started on parenting my adopted baby and talking about it with others helps to keep that feeling alive during the waiting.
Lastly, we need help with the finances. We’ve received about $3,500 so far. We are incredibly thankful to those who have donated already. The money has been used for adoption related expenses, like getting our home study approved and then updated, as well as the many health and documentation expenses that come along with just getting the approval process finished. If you’d like to give now, you can do so at this link or send a check written out to The Vineyard Church (please do not write on the memo line what this is going towards, but instead include a note about where the money is to be used) and sent to the following :
The Vineyard Church 1500 N. Lincoln Ave. Urbana, IL 61801
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’d like to submit our profile with a lawyer who gets referrals from crisis pregnancy centers. These are the women that I’d really like to help (by being an adoptive parent choice) as they walk through the difficult decision of whether to parent, make an adoption plan, or abort their baby. There is a retainer fee for this lawyer and we’re just shy of having enough in our account to pay that. So, finances are still needed, even in the waiting, but much more so once we have the baby matched and place. That’s when the placement fee (the biggest of the expenses) occurs and then we’ll have the lawyer fees to finalize the adoption (perhaps the next biggest expense or at least in the top 3-5) as well.
I do not want to forget to say how very thankful I am to all of you for walking along with me and my family in this adoption journey. It’s had unexpected twists and turns, but I know that I’m not alone and I know that God has placed this dream and call in my life. Whatever comes of all this, I’m so thankful to be strengthened by God and surrounded by friends and family. Thank you all and I’ll keep you updated!
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