Your adoption has been (finally) finalized, and I am so relieved. I think that you are too; you haven’t vocalized it, but I can see it. A part of me was skeptical that the day would ever come. I think the adoption process makes a person cynical. But, the day did come and then it went, and now you’re mine forever.
In the days leading up to court, I cried and cried whenever I was alone. I couldn’t believe it was finally going to happen, and I felt all of these walls coming down inside myself. Walls I had up to protect my heart in case it didn’t happen. I didn’t even know I had these walls up. I’m sure you knew. I know you had walls up, too.
Walking out of that court room… I was so overwhelmed with emotion. It was as though I’d been holding my breath for the last year and a half and finally I could breathe again!
It was so special to have our family there with us to share in our day. I’m grateful that your biological aunt and grandparents could come. I know it was important to them for you to see that they support us. It was also really cool that you requested that your cousins be there with you. They are too young to realize just how special it was, but someday they will know how much it meant to you to have them there! I am so grateful for our blended family and all of the love and support that surrounds us.
Our journey doesn’t end here, my dear. Our story is really just beginning. We will have many hills to climb in the future, but we will climb them together.
I’m really quite excited to start my life as a mom. It’s taken a long time to get to this point (my best friend calls it “the most overdue pregnancy ever”). I first applied to adopt in April of last year (2013), but I had spent my whole life thinking about it first. It took six months to receive the first phone call saying that they had finally reviewed my application. After that things thankfully seemed to go faster (though they really didn’t). I’ve been through two very long weekends of training, filled out massive amounts of paperwork (repeatedly), I’m now onto my third social worker (intake worker, home study writer, and now the permanent adoption worker), and last month I was finally approved to adopt!
In between all of the appointments and paperwork, I’ve painted both of the kids rooms, the laundry room and the basement. I’ve torn down and re-built a fence and a deck, I’ve attended several meet-ups with other adoptive or prospective parents, and I’m managing the blog for a new non-profit organization started by one of my new friends. Things have been really busy preparing for my new family; I guess you could say I’m nesting (and drinking more coffee).
My social worker said that my file has been getting a lot of attention due to my wide age-range, so I don’t think it will be very long before I’ve found a “match” and will get to bring them home. I’m spending the interim period saving up for my parental leave and trying to finish off a few projects around the house. I also have a couple of weekends planned at the lake for good measure.
Wish me luck, and keep your eyes open for big news coming soon!
There’s only another four-six weeks before I expect to hear from the social worker about scheduling my first home visit / interview. After that, I expect the process will seem to go a lot faster. I’m already feeling the nerves kick in from time to time, as I realize there’s only a month left of my life as a single girl, free as a bird. After that first contact, I think it will seem so much more real. Despite my nerves, I still feel good about my decision to adopt. A little panicky sometimes, but I think that’s probably normal when one is on the verge of making a permanent and life changing decision.
I have great news. I’ve reached the last chapter in closing out my Dad’s estate, and I will use my inheritance to purchase my own home… a home where I’ll raise my children. In all likelihood, the timing of my home purchase and adoption will coincide, and I must admit that I’m a bit nervous about taking it all on at once. I hope I have a few months to settle into home ownership before I have to settle into motherhood as well.
I’ve been doing as much as I can to prepare for motherhood. I’ve read a few books. I’ve thought about the logistics. I’ve told my family, and I’ve asked for their support. I think my mother and I have finally found a place to bond. I asked her outright if she’d be able and willing to support me (emotionally, as well as with things like after school and emergency care) and her response was an enthusiastic “absolutely!”. I’ve never heard my mother so excited about anything I’ve done. I truly believe she’s going to flourish in the role of a grandmother. We’ve had some pretty in depth conversations as of late. I’ve been able to open up to her about my fears and concerns, and about the practicalities and obstacles I’ll face as a single mother, and for once she’s actually encouraged me and provided me with support and suggestions. Mom’s never been like this before. It gives me comfort knowing that my family will be backing me fully, and that me and my children will have the supports we need. After all, it takes a village…
Last week I submitted an application for adoption. Tonight I attended the orientation presentation. Sometime over the next couple of weeks I will submit a criminal record check, and the next phase of paperwork. In 8-10 weeks I will have my first home visit with a social worker, who will ask some very invasive but necessary questions and then schedule me for “training” which will likely begin in September. After that point, more home visits are scheduled and a report is prepared and submitted for approval. If I “pass the test” then I will be eligible to be “matched” with a child (children). This process could take any length of time, but I am hopeful that my openness to sibling groups over the age of six will increase my possible matches. Once a match is found, I am given full disclosure of the child’s background and current state, and visits with that child’s doctors, foster parents, teachers, etc. will take place. If at that point I am confident that this is my child (children) then I will meet the child and we’ll spend a week or so visiting and becoming familiar with each other, and then I will finally move them into my home. After approximately a 4-6 month period, the final adoption papers are drawn up and submitted to the court. Once the order is granted, I become that child’s permanent guardian, and everything from their birth records to their last name is changed to reflect mine.
I am scared shitless. I am also really, really looking forward to it.
For the first time in two years, I have a plan.
Having a plan used to keep me going. Achieving my goals gave me something to look forward to, and the plan helped me to stay motivated along the way.
There’s something great about reaching a milestone along a journey, and knowing that you’re that much closer to reaching your end goal. It’s like leaving the office with even half of the items crossed off of your daily to-do list, just on a grander scale.
Turning the page and writing my next-day to-do list is the best part of my workday, it makes me feel good knowing that I have a plan for tomorrow… because when you have a plan, you can reach your goals.
It’s going to be a long, hard road, but I’m so there.