We finally decided to adopt. Now what?
We got the application paperwork filled out and submitted. This was the first step in our journey of “hurry up and wait”. We discovered that there are piles and piles of paperwork to complete, and each step required some scrambling and tough conversations. Then we would wait. Being the analytical type, I may have made these steps a little more exhausting than I needed to…but lucky for me, my husband was prepared for that. We started our first adoption in 2011, so please keep in mind that some of the steps may have changed or been improved since that time.
So first we had to decide what type of adoption we wanted to pursue. We looked at international adoptions and what countries we might qualify to adopt from, but we ultimately decided that our hearts were set on the route of a domestic adoption; adopting a preschool aged or older child from our social services system. Our original plan was that we would begin building our family through adoption and that we may add to our family with biological children down the road (On a side note, now that we have 3 adopted children that plan has changed!). Once we had made our decision, that’s when the journey really started moving.
Our initial batch of paperwork was submitted, so the next step was to sign up for the next available Adoptive Parent Training session. I think it was about two months before we were scheduled to attend. There we spent two days learning about the system that children in care were involved in and the process of adoption. One of the facts that really stuck with me was that each child in care was considered to have special needs. Even if there are no other diagnosed needs or challenges that each child may have, they are all children with special needs based on the early trauma in their lives and the separation from their biological families. Attachment disorders, therapeutic parenting styles and FASD were all a big focus during this training. I asked my husband what his favorite part of the training was…apparently, it was the shwarma place next door. (To be fair, it really was amazing!) When asked to try again, his answer was when we had the opportunity to meet some adoptive families and their children. It was nice to put some faces to some of the stories that we had been hearing and a chance to ask about their experiences navigating the system. The home study process was certainly a hot topic for questions when these families came in to visit. That was the next step in the process of adoption. Once the training was complete, we started the next batch of paperwork and the waiting to meet the person who would delve into our lives as individuals and as a couple… On to the home study!
Posted by: Cara