December 12, 2005
Since we've been immersed in all this adoption stuff for about a year (we attended our first info meeting in Nov. 2004), we often forget that people still have some basic questions about adoption. So, here is a list of some "frequently asked questions" (and our answers!) to help you out!
(Q.) Where will you be adopting from?
(A.) We are in the Domestic Adoption program, which means our child will be born in the United States. So far, we have chosen to only send our information to Oregon and Washington offices, so that we don't have to travel very far. However, we are still open to adopting a child of any race.
(Q.) When will you bring your baby home?
(A.) Right now, we are still waiting for a birthmom to choose us. During the process of chosing an adoptive family for their child, potential birthparents look through photo albums and letters from each family. Typically, they will choose to meet us before making their final decision. Then, we get "THE CALL," telling us we've been chosen! The average wait for a baby is about 18 months.
(Q.) How old will your child be?
(A.) We are waiting for a child under 6 months old. Sometimes following birth, babies are placed in "interim care" (a special foster care-type home), while legal paperwork is being completed, so they may be a few months old before being placed with an adoptive family. Other times, the adoptive parents are welcome at the birth, and are able to bring the baby home from the hospital, after legal paperwork is completed. It is all a combination of working with the birthparents' wishes and the state legal requirements.
(Q.) Is it a boy or a girl?
(A.) Yes! :) Since we haven't been chosen yet, we don't know what God will bring us. Just as if we were pregnant, we are open to either one.
(Q.) Will you have an open or closed adoption?
(A.) We would like a very open relationship, if possible, with our child's birth family. Adoptions are very rarely closed nowdays. Typically, it is just a question of "how much" openness there will be. We are hoping to provide letters, pictures, and occasional visits for the birth family. We feel it is a gift to our child to provide them access to learning about their heritage & medical history, and an opportunity for us to love their biological family members as well.
(Q.) Can the birthparents ever take the baby away?
(A.) Each state's laws governing placements are a bit different, so part of it depends on which state the child is born in. Some states require more time before finalization than others. It is possible, that a child may be placed with us- or in an interim home- before the birthparents have completed all their paperwork to relinquish parental rights, and they would still be able to "change their minds" and decide to parent. Essentially, though, once all the legal stuff is finalized in the proper manner, the answer is "No." Eventually, we will go to court with an attorney to finalize the adoption. At this point, the child's name will officially be changed to ours, and their birth certificate will list us as parents.
(Q.) If there is another agency that would help you bring home a baby faster, would you consider it?
(A.) No. We have prayerfully researched our options, and we feel God has directed us to Bethany Christian Services. It has been on our hearts to minister to pregnant women- whether or not they place their children for adoption. Bethany offers counseling and support groups for these women, along with their families- pre-and post-placement. They also offer the moms resources to assist in their decision-making, whether they choose to parent or to place their children. Bethany also provides "shepherding homes" for women who need a supportive family during their pregnancy. Many other agencies ignore the mother, just to "get the baby." It is our goal to be a resource, not to "shop for a baby." We believe God will bring our child home in His perfect time. Also, the state of Oregon has very firm adoption laws. Many adoption facilities around the country are not legal in Oregon, even though their methods are legal in other states.
(Q.) How are you feeling?
(A.) We are excited for our child to come home, and we are eager to see what God will do. The unknown wait is difficult to live with sometimes, since we don't have the "9 Months" that most expectant parents do. We are "paperwork pregnant" and are trying to prepare in faith as best we can. Some days are more hope-filled than others. Waiting for a miracle is difficult! We are thrilled to be involved in adoption- not just as a way to grow our family, but also as a ministry.
(Q.) How can we pray?
(A.) Please pray that God will prepare us as parents, and that He would provide the necessary resources & finances. Remember to pray for the safety and health of our birthmom, along with peace and wisdom in her life. Please pray that she, along with her family, would recieve all the information and counseling support that she needs. We also ask for prayer for all the little details that are involved in bringing a child home, such as timely paperwork, job schedules, etc. We also pray that God would prompt those around us in our church and community to be supportive & encouraging for our family during this time. We have also prayed continually that God would touch the life of our child as he/she grows up.