Application Away

Last night we submitted our application for adoption with our local agency. A few weeks earlier than we meant to but we felt ready. There was not a lot to this application in comparison to the application for the international agency (which is still incomplete). Technically, we are not a client of the agency until they have approved the application and arranged for us to the pay the application fees. Hopefully we will not be waiting more than a handful of days, however, I am still going to count this as us being “officially” in the process of adopting.

What next? After we get our fees paid with the local agency, we can start gathering the needed documents for the home study and look into taking the training courses online. Also, we’ll get a little bit of needed information for our international application and submit that hopefully next week or the week after.

I’m all of a flutter. Three parts giddy, two parts get-it-done, and a pinch apprehension. I keep checking my email box. Even getting to start the process of adoption seems too amazing to be true. I know I have said before that I have wanted to adopt since I was a child, but to have such a wonderful partner just as invested in raising adopted kids as I am and to have the financial means to do so while being young parents is just the biggest blessing.

 

As I am typing this, my email pinged. We’re already approved and we can pay! There are tears in my eyes. Yes – I am a crier. There will be many tears through this process, to be sure. Our contact says once they have received our payment, we will be assigned a social worker for home study and be given a list of the documentation needed.

This is happening.

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Always a Waiting Game

When we chose adoption, we also had to come to peace with the fact that we would be doing a lot of waiting. (This is more of a truce than peace.) Waiting to hear back on our application and our home study, waiting to hear that our dossier got to South Africa, waiting to get matched with a little person, and then waiting to get our court date for travel. And none of that list has a date attached to it up front.

Now, generally, I am the person who has to schedule everything out in our family. I like to know what the weekends plans are. If we are getting groceries, I like to have that placed in my schedule somewhere. Not necessarily a specific hour and minute, but are we going in the morning? What day? I plan ahead. A lot. Drives D nuts sometimes. But even D got a little apprehensive with not really knowing when we can except to be bringing our child home. Just how long can we except to be waiting was always one of our top questions when agency and program hunting.

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Why adoption?

The first question from most folks who learn we are adopting is Why adoption?

Adoption announcements, like pregnancy announcements, come with a lot of questions. Why has been followed up with, Why not have one of your own? as well as But isn’t that expensive? And sometimes a few unintentionally-hurtful questions get mixed in there. A good friend reminded me that had we chosen to raise biological children, we would still be exposed to awkward questions, well-intended horror stories, and uninvited opinions. So D and I smile through it, do our best to answer questions, and address worries all while being grateful that most of our friends and family are excited for us. Most importantly, we feel blessed to be in a position where we can pursue adoption and be parents to some awesome little person out there that wants a mom and dad.

But, no, really, why adoption?

I have had a desire to adopt, if I could, since about the age of twelve. A lot of things I experienced fed that desire as I grew older. D, bless him, gave it a lot of serious thought when I mentioned it before concluding he felt the same. We did a lot of soul searching together as well, asked ourselves a lot of what if… questions before starting the process. It was never a decision we jumped into where we thought, wouldn’t that great and awesome and helpful? Adoption comes with so many responsibilities on top of those duties one shoulders when they become a parent. We considered very carefully because we wanted to be sure we were a good fit for an adoptive child.

Every now and then, someone tells us we “need” to have a kid “of our own.” This is untrue. Our kid will be our own, our little person, our fantastic addition to this crazy, diverse family. We have long felt that family is not determined by blood. Rather than us needing to have a biological child, there is already a kiddo out there that needs parents. And hopefully, through some great agencies both here in the US and in South Africa, we will be able to be parents to a kid who really does need a pair of people to love them.

Yes, there are paperwork fees and home study expenses. We are lucky enough to have the resources to go through an adoption. We have been blessed with good educations that led us to good jobs. That in turn has allowed us to live in a wonderfully colorful city where we can raise our little person to be whomever they want to be.

There are a lot of other considerations and things that have gone into our decision. We live in a fast paced city – can we keep up with our jobs and our kids? If there is a need for counseling or medical attention, can we provide? Will we have support from our friends and family? From the community? Some of those  questions remain unanswered. However, we still feel strongly that adoption is right for our family. It might not be right for others, just as we feel having biological children is not the path we are meant to go down. And we are excited and heartened, despite the obstacles still in our path.

MSig

D insists I add #becausefutbol. Too much World Cup maybe?