We got all our paperwork we will need to complete and kind of an idea of how things will go. Here is what is ahead, and what the whole process entails(as far as I can tell):
- the paperwork- they want to know everything about us. Our financial information about our house, cars, assets, debt, checking/savings, credit checks, etc. We have to get FINGERPRINTED and have a criminal record check. Psychological, emotional and infertility evaluations are required. We must give references of people who know us and think we would be good parents....hope we can find some one! The longest portion is a 10 page self study to be completed by each of us. That thing asks questions that I am not sure I know the answers to!!!
- the training- to ensure that we are well equipped iguess, they take us through 8 training classes about everything from parenting adopted children to transracial adoption. I am really excited about this part. We will go to support groups in addition to our training.
- the interview- Once we turn in our paperwork, we will set up interviews with the infertility counselor and with the domestic adoption counselor, separately and as a couple.
- the home visit- Then one of the social workers will come out to our home to see that we have a suitable place to raise this child. I hope size doesn't matter! We are very cozy in our home!
- preferences- at some point Eric and I decide how much openness we want to have with the birthmother, what we prefer about a child (race, age, health status, etc.)
- the write up- once all of the above things are complete, the director lady will write up what is our offical 'home study' and we will be placed in a pool of waiting families.
- the wait- the wait can last anywhere from a few months (in some cases a few weeks) to 2 years for us to be chosen. Basically, the birthmother will be shown profiles of families who best fit with her and her baby's needs and desires. At some point she meets with us, face to face, then chooses a family to parent her child.
- parental rights waived- Once we are chosen, and the baby is born, I think the birthmom must wait 4 days to sign to waive her rights as the parent in the state of tn. From that time, it is 10 days to the minute of when her rights are legally terminated. However, the funniest part is that day has to fall on a business day! So it could end up being a little more than 2 weeks, if the birthmom signs the waiver on the 4th day. She doesn't have to though. It's kinda all up to her.
- the finalization- this doesn't take place until after the child has been in our home for more than 6 months. It is done in a court with a judge and everything.
I hope I am not leaving anything out.... I plan to update this blog as we go through each step, so that you all can walk through this with us. We really loved Bethany. They are really all about what is best for the child. They care for the birthmom's and the adoptive parents equally, which I think is so great. They also did a great job of educating us on friday. I am so looking forward to this! They did let us know that 50% of the time, birthmom's decide to go ahead with their adoption plan that was made before the birth....which means that 50% of the time they decide not to go through with the adoption plan and they decide to parent themselves. This was a scary thing for us to hear. We know this journey has the potential to be an emotional rollercoaster like our infertility journey has been, but....such is life! Please pray for us when you think of us; that we would give grace and love when needed, that we would be open with each other and be good communicators, that we would prayerfully make decisions and that we would continue to seek the Lord together and individually.
So....here we go.... our journey for our precious child.... BEGINS!!!!