Oh the fun of having a nearly complete, very detailed blog post and then to have your laptop die a sudden and unceremonious death.
So anyway… Happy New Year! How are we already smack in the middle of January!? It’s bonkers.
Christmas at Casa Jackson was wonderful and it was quite nice to be stateside with a houseful of family and friends.
It was a whole lot of this.
So what’s happening with the adoption?! I had a long post written on the death machine that was witty and informative. This will be less so, but I would still like credit for the post that no longer exists.
Seriously, we continue to be overwhelmed by your generosity, support, prayers and wisdom. One of the wonderful – yet unexpected – byproducts of sharing our adoption experience is the amount of people that have reached out to us, asking us how they can pray, asking us about our experience with our adoption agency and even asking us to pray for them as they decide whether or not to pursue adoption! Mind-blowing.
For many reasons, I was reticent to put our journey “out there.” Granted this cautiousness was driven mostly by pride and a desire to keep what’s ours ours. I shared my hesitation with an old friend who promptly told me to get over myself, and for her honesty, I am grateful. 🙂 If sharing our story causes others to consider God’s calling in Psalm 82:3 to care for orphans throughout the world, then forget my pride! Let’s get busy and lay it all out there…
For the most part, the questions we receive are fairly consistent, and I’ll do my best to answer them below. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am MORE than happy to answer any of them – and if I don’t know the answer, I will put you in touch with someone who does :).
What is a home study?
Essentially, this is just an assessment that adoption agencies conduct to ensure your family is capable and willing to adopt, unconditionally love and raise a child. It involves several visits with a social worker both in your home and at their offices, pretty extensive background checks and you sharing the nitty-gritty details about your life and upbringing. That description may not sound terribly appealing, but it has been an absolute joy to work with our agency and social worker! And though it may seem a bit invasive, this assessment is not an attempt to discover and expose weak areas in your life. Rather, it is to allow them to ensure you have the tools necessary to move forth with an adoption – and I, for one, am thankful such checks and balances are in place!
As for where we stand, the bulk of our home study is complete! The only item left on our check list is a state-mandated training which will take place in March. After that, we’ll officially be waiting for our sweet baby!
Where are you adopting from?
We are adopting domestically. This means our baby will be American and we will likely be matched with a birth mother in Virginia! There is a chance our baby could come from out of state, but that is unlikely as things stand now.
How long will you wait?
So this is a tricky question to answer because there really isn’t an answer. There is no list with our name and a number beside it that slowly grows smaller over time. Instead, we chose an agency that allows the birth mother/family to choose the adoptive parents. Our wait ends when we are matched with a birth family who chooses us as their child’s adoptive family! It could be six months, it could be two years.
Speaking of this… while Jay and I adjusted to this timeline pretty easily, it has been rather interesting explaining this concept to the boys. Especially curious boys who recently learned the concept of “odds.” They keep asking for the odds/percentage that our baby arrives in May. Or November. Or March. So that’s been fun. We are still navigating how to best walk that line of encouraging anticipation and excitement while managing their gambling predilections. Still a work in progress here…
How does the birth mom/family choose you?
The first step involves the adoption agency counseling the birth mom and learning what type of family she envisions adopting her child. Based on her/the birth family’s desires, the agency presents the birth mother with several photo books of potential adoptive families. These books include what you would probably expect – tons of pictures and a rolling narrative that describes your family. Based on her review of these books and possibly some interviews, the birth mother makes her choice and you are matched! There is obviously a continuum in this process, but that is the gist :).
What kind of a baby do you want?
We probably get this question the most, but the answer is pretty short! We are open to adopting a baby of any race and either gender. While I certainly understand families who have more specific desires when adopting, both Jay and I felt called to be open in regards to our preferences. We will be as surprised as you when we are matched with our baby :).
Why is it so much money?
So yeah. It is extremely expensive. The cost varies (anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000) depending on your agency and where you’re adopting from, but regardless what that number may be, it’s a hefty sum. We have heard from so many people (and occasionally thought ourselves) that it seems an injustice to make it cost prohibitive for people to give an orphan a loving home. But that is a debate for another time and place. In general, these fees pay for home studies, support services for both birth and adoptive families, administrative services, salaries for social workers, etc… For inquiring minds, our adoption will cost somewhere in the range of $30,000.
I know I sound like a broken record, but the vast amount of people who have supported our fundraising and desired to actively be part of our adoption journey has been incredible. I don’t think we will ever get over it – and I’m okay with that.
God has used SO many of you to strengthen our faith, to stretch us beyond the comfortable confines of our world and to be the very picture of love. Thank you!!
Without your support, we would be all…