As you've read, we are working on the baby thing. We are still trying the old fashioned way and we are also proceeding with adoption. Can I just say for the record? Sex is so much easier, not to mention a lot more fun. It's quite a bit of work before you can even be considered "ready" to adopt.
We are following in the footsteps of friends of ours and working through Heartsent, an non-profit adoption agency. They mainly do international adoptions, but have branched out to domestic adoptions over the past few years. We opted to go with an agency because we are new and we wanted personalized help, guidance and checklists! (Hey, I'm a producer, it's how I roll.)
What will it take to be "ready" to be a potential adoptive parent? Here's the general list:
--a lengthy application
--3 page autobiographies for each of us as well as another few pages of detailed answers to other questions.
--10-12 hours of classes, including CPR and first aid
--3 hours of meetings with a social worker, in the office and in your home
--House description and floor plan drawings
--Fingerprints for state and FBI background checks
--Providing copies of all vital records for us both (birth, marriage and divorce certificates)
--3 reference letters from non-family members
--TB tests and letters from our doctors saying we are in good health
--Health insurance and bank record verifications
--Signing various and sundry confidentiality and truthfulness docs
--Writing a letter to potential birthmothers telling them all about us and why we would be a great choice
And the toughest one of all:
--Naming a guardian
Once all the documents are completed and in place and we get a "go" from the agency, then we can be considered ready to adopt. The paper work part can take 6-8 weeks (depending on how fast we get it all done) and then when we are ready, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to find a birthmother and adopt. Every adoption is different.
Lots of you have asked about our choices. We are adopting domestically. We are open to any ethnicity. We are open to either a boy or a girl. We are open to a baby from 0 to 1 year old, though with domestic open adoptions, you generally adopt a newborn. We are open to a birth mom who may have smoked or drank in her first trimester (within reason). We figure our moms did, and we turned out okay. Right? Didn't we?
We are about 40% of the way through the paperwork. We had our initial meeting with Heartsent, handed in our application, talked about how they work and got our binder full of info and checklists. In that first meeting, the woman at Heartsent looked through our app and noticed our "any ethnicity" and "drinking/smoking" and said that would help us find a match sooner. Nice to hear. We went to an orientation at Heartsent last weekend and heard directly from adoptive parents who adopted their boy ten months ago. Great to hear their story.
And yesterday we met with the social worker for the first meeting. The talk was mostly about how we met, how we get along, how do we solve problems that come up, why do we want to adopt and why now, what do we think of how children should be raised, etc etc. Good conversation, though I know that was the easy one. The next meeting will be at our house and so this will bring up great questions about the practical household stuff, where will the crib go, etc. (Is it wrong to say the garage? I understand babies can be quite loud at night.)
More adventures to come in this amazing process to have a baby! We are really excited about it, but just a bit distracted by the paperwork!