Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Adoption Story

Before Ryan and I were married we decided we wanted to eventually adopt and/or foster children.  There are so many children in state custody in desperate need of good homes.  According to Child Welfare Information on September 30, 2009 there were an estimated 423,773 children in foster care.  That's a lot of kids needing love.  We feel a strong calling to do what we can to help those children.

Fast forward.  We got married and I gave birth to two healthy baby girls.  About a year after our second daughter was born we started talking about our plans for more children and the conversation kept turning to adoption.  

In the fall of 2010 Ryan and I began the process of becoming adoptive parents through the state's department of human services.  It took about 8 months to complete the required classes, background checks, home study, and paperwork.  Then in June of 2011 our adoption case worker called with the good news that we were officially approved!  

As exciting as it was to be done with the approval process, we knew it could take years for our family to be matched with a child.  And since we wanted a male child younger than our own the window was pretty small.  But I had faith that the right child would come to our family at the right time, and I was willing to wait.

Here's a little info in case you aren't familiar with the foster care system.  Usually, when children are taken into custody they are placed in a foster home while the parents are given time to improve the situation.  The main goal is to reunite children with their parents.  Sometimes reunification isn't possible and parental rights are terminated and children are changed from foster to adoptive status.  This process can take years.  Since we are adoptive parents, but not foster parents, we cannot be given a child until parental rights have been completely terminated and the child is in adoptive status.  

So imagine my surprise when I got a call from our case worker last week.  

We have been chosen to adopt a little boy!

Earlier this week we met with two case workers to go over all of his information. {For security reasons I'm not going to share any details.}  After talking with the workers and reading the very large file we have decided to proceed with the adoption. 

The next step is to meet with a therapist to go over his file again.  This is standard procedure to ensure we understand everything in the inch-thick, somewhat-confusing file.  

Which means more waiting.  Which is much harder to {patiently} do when you know there is also a child waiting on you!

After we get that meeting out of the way we'll be able to meet our little guy!  And then it won't be long until he becomes part of our family.

We are so excited!

So for now we are preparing the girls for a little brother and preparing the house for another little person.  Over the weekend I cleaned out the former nursery-turned-guest room and have been transforming it into a boy's room.  The girls keep asking when their little brother is coming.  They tell us about all the things they will teach him and show him and share with him when he comes.  

This is definitely an exciting time for our family and we feel so blessed.  I know the next few months will be a whirlwind of emotions and activity.  

I can't wait to begin this new chapter!  Thank you for letting me share my story with you!

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