Wow, what a week it has been! We had the pleasure of having Arundel’s Dad staying with us for a little while and we got to go out exploring around Seattle. We found some amazing places with great significance on our travels!
The biggest piece of news this week didn’t come from being tourists in our own town, or even from Arundel’s birthday on May 12th. It was the fact that exactly 40 days from the first day we met with our attorney, we got the official notice from our social worker letting us know that we have been approved as potential adoptive parents!
We knew that we were almost through the home study process, but we were still waiting for one or two more pieces to come in. Amazingly, on May 11th, the last couple things the social worker needed came in to her, and on the 12th we got confirmation that our home study has been legally approved and we have officially passed the test! Woohoo! That was a huge sigh of relief. There wasn’t a lot that we were worried about with the home study, but we were a bit nervous knowing how easy it is for a lot of components to go wrong. Amazingly, God gave us a very smooth process and in just 40 days, we are on our way to becoming parents having passed the first hurdle!
So, what’s next?
Let me explain a little bit about how we proceed from here. Arundel and I are pursuing what is called an independent domestic infant adoption. This means that we are looking to adopt an infant within the United States, by working with an independent adoption attorney rather than signing up with an agency. The difference between independent vs. agency adoption really boils down to who’s responsibility a lot of the legwork is. When you are working with an agency, they do most of the work that is needed to find expectant birth parents (those who would like to place their child for adoption). In independent adoption, however, that responsibility is left up to us. This means that we will be trying to find those expectant parents on our own. Going this route gives us a lot more work to do, but also a lot more control and flexibility.
In the State of Washington, where we live, it is illegal to advertise that you are looking for an expectant mother who is wanting to place her child for adoption until you have been legally approved through a home study process.
Now that we have been approved, we are able to start networking and advertising. This means that we are going to be reaching out to pretty much everyone we know. Our goal is to get the word out that we are looking for an expectant mother and would like to adopt a child. The way adopting couples usually get matched with an expectant mother is by knowing someone in common. This is why our friends and family play such a huge role in this process! They are the ones who we are relying on to have us on their mind whenever they hear of adoption, in any way. It could be a friend’s grandmother’s neighbor’s hairdresser’s daughter, for all we know. The important part is that our friends and family are willing to get the word out for us! That could be via social media, word of mouth, or handing them a pass-along card (kind of like a business card).
The other thing we will do is start advertising. This will be online, through parent profile websites that show the profiles of many hopeful adoptive parents, and through regional creative advertising. Many people start with a newspaper’s classified section. We will be looking at advertising more closely in the coming weeks, but for now our focus is on networking.
We have even bought a phone that will be solely devoted to taking adoption-related phone calls! This is so that if I am busy, I will be able to clearly distinguish between a phone call that can wait and one that could potentially be an expectant mother. Those calls cannot wait! It is certainly not the latest technology, but it does what we need it to do. And, it makes me feel like I’m in high school again. Haha!
Once we are in communication with an expectant mother who would like for us to be the adoptive parents for her child, we will direct her to our attorney who will then assess her situation to see if it is a good match for our family.
It is still a big road ahead with a lot of unknowns, but we are happy and thankful that each step so far has gone smoothly and quickly. We are praying that in all of these late nights as we build websites and Facebook pages and email addresses, clicking away at our computers, that God would be aligning us for His best plan for this season. Whether we have a long waiting period ahead of us, or whether we will be parents next week — it’s not for us to know. Our job is to trust and pray and do everything we can on a practical level. And, to remember that God is the one who has walked us through every step,to this very point in our lives and in this process.
And He is faithful, trustworthy, and GOOD.