Sunday, June 19, 2016

Family Update | Adoption

I feel I should preface this post and tell you it is currently 2:30am, and sleep has been a lost treasure these past few weeks..

I'm very thankful to have these next few moments with you to share what has been going on, what we are currently going through, and what is to come for our family.  In the meantime, I feel that it is extremely important to say that though everything is in place, at any moment that could change.  Let me explain.

You may or may not have been on this journey with us since November 2014 when J and I decided to announce publicly our plans to adopt.  Though a happy announcement, it was the ending of our fertility treatments, and the beginning of a new, unknown quest to find our unicorn. We began very slowly, so we could take sometime to navigate our options, and take into account our preferences, and the needs of our journey.

This was not an overnight decision. We have prayed for our rainbow baby, but also acknowledged something I have not shared into too much detail until this moment.  At the very fragile age of 3, my mother was scooped up and placed into foster care along side many of her siblings. Malnourished, neglected, abused, and scared, my grandparents adopted her, loved her, and provided her a new chance at life.  Having witnessed, growing up the challenges, and the way adoption changed her life, I knew that one day I wanted to do the same for another child. To have all the love to give them, when they may not have had that chance before in another situation.. 

J and I had our plan laid out.  We knew when we began our journey we wanted and dreamed of adopting an infant through a private adoption. We both want that more than anything so we can experience that together.  However, we also know that we want to help a child or children in foster care. We would complete our private adoption first then move on to our foster care adoption. Or so we thought.

J and I spent hours reading all the information on a foster care adoption, but truly felt we needed more information.  We submitted an inquiry on siblings we found via One thing lead to another, and we began speaking with many agencies about the process and what it entails, but most importantly the licensing process.  

While waiting for our private adoption, we were approached with the idea of allowing whichever adoption happened first instead of waiting for the private adoption.  Shortly after this conversation we were given a photo of 3 girls currently waiting for adoption.  It was difficult to work through with so many emotions, knowing they were waiting for us, so J and I sat down, spoke with our pastor, and decided we want what God wants for us.  More than anything we want His will to be done.  So we opened the door.

When I started writing this blog post, more than anything, I wanted to say everything I possibly can, with respecting the laws, and requests from our agency.  Now, a few days later, here we are again, and it is the night before social services comes to our home for our first home meeting.  You might remember, that we went through a rigorous home study about 6 months ago, and needed our landlords assistance to fix a few things, so J and I feel more ready than ever for tomorrow.  Sadly that does not stop the anxiety in the unknown.

J and I began our last set of classes June 7, and they go through August 9th.  On August 2nd, all of the families, and friends and our family will gather together for dinner during our scheduled class time to meet with everyone.  Throughout this time, we were given the green light to fill out the application paperwork for our foster care license, and should have that back within one week.  Then we submit the sibling groups that we have, and find out late August who will be coming home.  Yes, I did say siblings, and the thought makes my heart beat a thousand beats per second.  J and I have decided to adopt siblings.  We have pictures of them, and have shared them with family, but the truth is, again, at any second that could change, and they could be adopted prior to our licensing end date.  Our agencies have advised we will be receiving phone calls, and given a very short time span to decide on children looking to be placed for adoption.  It could be as early as September 1 or as late as the end of October, but J and I are fully prepared for that, in every way we can, and until then we are preparing more every single day.  Our family is growing, thank you Jesus, our family is finally growing.

Where does this leave us?  We have been given a date, October 9th in which the children will be in our home by, so we are doing everything we can to prepare for that, if not before.  Buying new furniture, bedding, making sure each child will have their own space, getting a stand alone freezer so I can start making meals over the next few weeks to have when they come home.  It is here.  It is finally here, I honestly can not believe that I am able to type this.

For years we struggled tremendously.. The unknown.  The process.  We always knew the end result, and how worth it, it would be, but I guess I never thought of it that there would be a point in this journey where it would shift from instead of being about the long process, to actually being an end point in sight.  Truly such a beautiful moment, and one I am so happy I documented.

Where does this leave our private adoption?  No where, we are still fully in the process, and thankfully the both aide to help the other.  We are still very much waiting for our rainbow baby, and working hard for that every single day.  The fund is still in tact specifically for the private adoption, the paperwork is still being handed in, and soon we will submit our fingerprints, and profile books for the families.  I do want to say that we are not rushing into it by any means, as we want to give our children, plenty of time to get acclimated, familiar with their surroundings and us as well.  On the other hand, we also know we are not getting any younger either, and want to give all of our children the best lives possible.

There is an amazing group of women, most of whom I have never met in person, that scooped J and I up in October, and raised a tremendous amount of funds for our family, and we can never ever thank them enough.  Thousands, of thousands came together for our family, and even typing that still brings tears to my eyes..  With that said, those funds are still specifically for our private adoption.  The cost total is approximately $30,000, and we will work until the baby is home.  On the side of our foster care adoption, many have asked if you can send items, clothes, toys etc, and I just don't have the words to express how I feel about all of you who have helped and continue to help our family.  Once we get closer, we will setup a registry for the children, which you can purchase items there if you'd like to, but please know we are so thankful for everything that has been done, and by Gods grace he placed all of you in our lives, as he could see the mountains we would have to get through, and guys, we are almost there.

Have you made it this far with me?  Thank you.. I am a literal hot mess, I feel all over the place, and can hardly sit still long enough to eat, or blog, or have a conversation, to ensure I am getting every second out of every day, and remembering who I need to call, what appointments are where, if I have filled out the paperwork, and correctly..  I know I have not been very present on social media, and I miss everyone so much, I just try to share when I can, and pop in to say hello, as you all bring such sunshine in our lives.

Thank you does not seem sufficient.  Thank you for your love, your time, your friendships, your support, your encouragement, your surprises, your sweet treats, your coffee runs for us, and mostly more than anything, thank you, for walking with us on this journey.  The emotions often run very high, and at times we have had to step away and recharge.  Thank you for not giving up on us when things were less than perfect, thank you for not looking the other way on the days we felt defeated and destroyed.  We know we have a bit of journey left, and we know that this is only the beginning, and it won't be easy.  All in all, it will be so worth it.  Ab-so-lute-ly worth it.

Love you! No, seriously.  LOVE YOU!
J and Rachel