Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's Getting Real! Agency, Workshop, and Real Adoption Work!

Adrienne and I took a week of vacation so that we could officially join the agency that we decided to go with - The Independent Adoption Center.  After a two day workshop on Friday and Saturday, we are off and running with the real work of adoption.  We signed our contract with the agency, wrote a couple of a large checks, and in only two days after our workshop, were able to collect and complete the massive amount of paperwork and checks and screens and records and physicals etc. that we need so that we can be approved to have our homestudy scheduled.  Check out the picture - Adrienne has labeled all the pre-paperwork we had to complete even before they would consider scheduling a homestudy. (This doesn't include the paperwork we had to fill out as an initial application including all of our financial information.)

If you don't know, a homestudy is the official screening process where a social worker comes to your home and determines whether or not you have a suitable house, stable family-life, and a healthy marriage or relationship in order to raise a child.  The guidelines they gave us?  "Don't have a dungeon, lock up your guns and ammo separately, and if you have a pool be sure it is secure."  Easy enough - we don't have any of those things.  Although, I have no doubt that we will also do a massive blitz cleaning and hide the cat box or something.  Oh yeah, that's the other thing, they meet your animals to make sure they aren't total animal jerks.  Maybe we'll have some propofol snausages on stand by for Dizzy (our hyperactive beagle) - not that she's a jerk, but just to keep her mellow.  PS, we don't really have access to propofol and we're not even sure what a "snausage" is. 
Another interesting piece that comes along with the homestudy are these questionnaires about your own childhood, your marriage, and thoughts on becoming and being a parent.  Adrienne and I had to fill these out separately, and when we completed them, we read our answers to each other.  Not that I'm surprised, but it was pretty amazing and reassuring to see how closely we aligned when it came to our thoughts on how to be parents and what we wanted to provide for a child.  It was a pretty touching moment that we weren't expecting - to actually read our answers to each other.  I guess the social worker who completes the homestudy will use these questionnaires to interview us together and separately on the day of our homestudy.               

The last thing I want to tell you is something we discovered at the end of our first day of the workshop:  while the IAC (our agency) will help us write and put together a great "Dear Birthmother Letter" to send to their database of birthmothers and also build us an adoptive parent profile website that will be added to their networking sites, Adrienne and I can begin reaching out to potential birthmothers now.  The IAC will do everything to match us with a potential birthmother through their processes and procedures, but Adrienne and I can do our own marketing and networking too.  Simply, we could find a birthmother on our own as well.  We have already set up a toll free number: 1-888-410-3526 - that women who are pregnant and considering adoption can call to talk to us.  This is the thing:  while we have an agency who will support us in many ways with health vetting, counseling, legal procedures, and hospital plans, ultimately, the birthmother and adoptive parents lay the ground work no matter how we find each other.  So, we are prepared now to find our future birthmother, and if you can help with that as part of our very important network, please pass along our number:  1-888-410-3526! Which is 1-888-410-ELBO if that helps somehow.  Probably not, since ELBO isn't a word, but it's better than nothing!  We just thought it was funny because we could've paid a lot of extra money for a vanity 1-800 number that spelled "adopt" or "baby," but I guess we are too practical.  So, hey, if you have elbows, don't have 'em, or are just a fan, think of our adoption number!  :)     

1 comment:

  1. It really is amazing that you two allow us to be a part of this very important part of your life...