Thursday, November 21, 2013

Officially Waiting!

First of all, welcome to my new blog!  I know it has been a VERY long time since I have posted anything and a lot has happened over the last few months.  As you may know, until about a year ago we were waiting for a referral for the adoption of a baby from Colombia.  We had gone through all of the necessary steps and were just waiting for it to be ‘our turn’ on the list.  However, that all changed.  The adoption house that we were working with in Colombia was shut down.  By default, our adoption paperwork was transferred to the Colombian government program (similar to our foster care program).  We were told to anticipate a 4-5 year wait for a referral from Colombia.  With that information, we decided that we would make a change to our adoption plan.  We looked into our options.  We considered adopting from another country, but we ultimately decided that a domestic (U.S.) adoption was the right choice for us.  We had also been experiencing some issues with our adoption agency, so we also made a switch to a new agency.
Due to the changes that we made in our adoption plan, we ended up having to go through some of the pre-adoption steps again.  The new agency prepared a new home study and we also had to get clearances again.  We actually had a surprise this time when we applied for clearances.  Someone else with Rich’s name has a record with child protective services and that record was accidentally assigned to Rich’s file!  It was fairly easy to clear up, but initially it seemed like our caseworker didn’t believe that this was not Rich's record!!
Unlike an international adoption, with U.S. adoptions the birth parents choose the adoptive families.  We had to put together a profile with pictures and information about us.  Each birth parent that works with our adoption agency will have an opportunity to review the profiles that meet the requirements they are looking for in a family.  That means that we really have no idea how long our wait will be!  We have been told that average waits are about 12-18 months, so that is the best we can plan for.  However, the wait could be much shorter or much longer - we just have to wait to see! 
Usually adoptive families are 'linked' to birth parents a few months before the baby is born, so we will likely have at least a short time period to prepare for the baby's arrival.  That is not always the case though.  We could find out that we have been chosen after the baby is born!  The adoption usually takes a few weeks after the baby's birth to be finalized.  Until then, the birth parents have the right to terminate the adoption, so we will need to prepare ourselves for the possibility for that outcome when the time comes.
We have learned so much about the process of adoption over the last few years!  We still have much more to learn, but we are so excited about sharing our lives with a little one.  There are have been so many twists and turns along this journey.  We know that there is a plan for us - now we just have to have the patience to wait for that plan to unfold.
I am hoping to do a better job of posting regularly. :)  I may not have many updates regarding the adoption while we wait, but I will try to share other aspects of our lives as well.