Once we knew we were ready to start the adoption process, we had to pick an agency. It was so overwhelming. It seemed like one of those things where there were 100 ways to do it, and we had no idea where to start. It’s an overwhelming industry, with hefty price tags and huge life decisions. It requires so much trust.
But as you will see, God’s hand was in this adoption process every step of the way. He showed me again and again that He is the God of details. We just “happened” to have a dear friend who has worked as a social worker at several different adoption agencies, and we invited her over for dinner so we could “ask her everything.”
Some of our questions/decisions included:
- Did we want to adopt an infant? An older child?
- Open or closed adoption?
- Use a private agency or go through the foster care system?
- How much do adoptions cost?
- What would the process look like?
- How long would it take? (the magic question)
- What should we look for in an agency?
- What pitfalls could we avoid?
- After the adoption, then what? How can we help our child thrive in her new family?
Our sweet friend patiently answered our questions, and helped me come up with a list of questions to use as we interviewed agencies. Based on our family’s needs at this time, we decided that domestic, private, open adoption of an infant was the right fit for us at this time. We reached out to all of our friends who had adopted, did a lot of googling, and called/researched agencies for about a month.
We ended up choosing the original agency we called that January day.
Once we had committed to our agency (March 2016), we started the long process of filling out all of our application paper work. It was harder than writing my master’s thesis, harder than any work project I’ve ever completed. There were just so many things we had to collect – I had to track down the blue prints from my house. We had to get physicals at the doctor. We had to provide copies of all of our health/life insurance, wills, financial documents, references from just about everybody who had ever met us. We had to fill out pages and pages of questionnaires. All this while both of us were working full-time (plus some part-time gigs… more on that later).
It was a LOT.
We finally wrapped up that paperwork in May and attended an all-day training that was required by the adoption agency, and then… we waited. When it comes to adoption, there is a LOT of waiting.
(More to come…)