Adoption Story: Part 2
So, like I said in part 1. We had been given a mountain of paper work which took us a while to finish. We turned it in in February. Also during that month we attended a one day seminar that all of the adoption agencies in Nashville had come together to put on. It was for families who had started the adoption process. We had my parents and James’ parents attend it too because it was important to us that they receive the same information we were. I remember looking around the room at maybe 80-100 other couples who were all trying to adopt. They were all a bit older than us, looked really put together, and through talking to some of them I heard many different stories on what led them to that room. I left the day thinking “Wow, if this comes down to qualification then they have it and we don’t.” I mean I had just turned 23 and was just there because we just wanted to adopt, and felt like it was the time for us. These people were there because they had tried and tried to have a baby and could not. They had planned financially to be parents, worked nice jobs, drove nice cars, had nice houses. James and I worked for a church and did odd jobs on the side. With just the two of us we were making enough money, but only because James was working about 50+ hours a week. All of this to say we were the odd balls in the room. We were also one of the only few couples who stayed in for a session on inter-racial adoption. I had been told that most people adopted healthy Caucasian babies, but this really made it clear to me. To some people just adopting because you want to sounds heroic (never crossed our minds, but people say stuff to that effect to us all the time), some people are offended by it because I did not have to go through years of infertility or some other tragic experience, and some people see it like we do: all children deserve a family and we are good at loving so why not us? I mean God has given us all of the resources we need to take care of a child and he just wants people who are willing to do it. I am not in any way trying to down play the legit feelings, emotions, struggles, etc that are attached to infertility I am just saying that in my opinion I feel it is unfair and sad that a lot of the adoption world would choose to look down on us and others like us when there are so many children in need of a home. Trust me it happened. Some people straight up said things, and some people did not have to because it was on their faces. Just trying to be honest here. I even had one woman say “Abby, why would you adopt? God gave you a womb for a reason.” Whoa. True story.
A week or so after that day we went in to Caring Choices to have a scheduled meeting. It was the second meeting and the first one that James was able to attend. At that meeting they talked to both of us at the same time. It was a brief meeting and went over a lot of the same info from the first meeting. We talked about what the next steps were: 1) fill out the second out of many rounds of paperwork 2) then we would have one-on-one interviews 3) have a home-study 4) then in the fall we would attend classes about adoption and parenting 5) we would then be able to make a profile that would be taken to birth mothers. 6) try to wait patiently.
We got our second round of paper work done pretty quickly and turned it in because for some reason there was a sense of urgency deep in my heart. So they called us to come in and do our one-on-one interviews not long after that. The way those interviews work is James is questioned by our case worker individually while I sit in another room and wait, then I go in and do the same while he waits. The purpose is just so that they can see if both individuals are on the same page about the whole process. I was naturally a bit nervous before we went in this day. But I also had this crazy excitement. While in the car something came over me and I looked at James and said “Hey, I know this is not a realistic scenario at all but I would not be at all surprised if we went in today and after the interview they said ‘we have a baby for you'” Now, I am not an idiot, so I know that is not how it usually works, but something inside of me just knew something was up. *Side note: I worked in a daycare at the time as a floater and was often in the teeny-baby-infant room. Every time I held one of those babies, I got this sense that my turn was closer than I realized* Back to the story, so James being the sweet and logical husband that he is tried to bring me back to earth by saying something like, “babe, they have already told us it was going to be years, I believe like you that it is going to be faster than that, but they are not going to say that today. We still have not had a home-study, taken the classes, done the paperwork. There are so many hoops we still have to jump through”.
So we went in, had the interviews and at the end we set a date for our home-study. They also went ahead and gave us some sample parent profiles to look at so we could think about what we would include in ours. A parent profile is basically a mini scrap-book of your life. You can include pictures and any info you may want the birth mother to consider. Many people decorate theirs and make it really crafty. I was excited about the thought of picking out pictures and stories to include. So, we went home and of course nothing was said about a baby.Our profile WOULD NOT have included these pictures.
Okay, I probably would have included this next one. It includes Nugget, our first born son.
So after that meeting James and I went on with our normal routine. James and I were youth pastors at the time and we both had second jobs. James also worked full time at a car shop and I worked part time at a daycare.( I laugh at the fact that we thought our lives were busy then.) So six days later I am at work in the two year old room and got a call from our case worker. It went something like this ” Abby, I have something to talk to you about. We have a birth mother who has looked at all of the profiles of parents I thought she might like and she has chosen none of them. I mentioned to her that there was one other couple I thought she might be interested in but that they were really young and had only been married a year and a half (that’s me). When I told her a bit more about you she became very interested. I was wondering, if you are interested, if I could come over to your house tomorrow, do your home study, do all of the remaining paper-work, and collect some pictures of you guys to take and show her? I will be giving her photos from you and James and one other couple.” Mind you, I can barely breathe at this moment so talking was not easy either. I think I mumbled something like “yes, that sounds great” . She went on to tell me some more of the details and we almost ended the call before I thought to ask a very important question. You see my mind was not really working, my concept of time had just left, but I managed to finally think to ask “When is the baby due?” This is when she says, “Oh, right. That is the thing. The baby is due three weeks from today. You would bring him home from the hospital. Do you think you are ready to be a mom in three weeks?” “yes.” That was the beginning of the longest week of my life, as I waited to hear if the birth mother had chosen us or the other family. I think I will leave you with that until part three. It only gets better and crazier, so stay tuned!