I feel like this is true, and will be true, for everyone when it comes to adoption. Every child, every case, every family, every agency, every adoption is so different and unique and case specific. There is no norm, which is frustrating at times, but also part of the beauty that consumes this thing I love so much.
These are some questions I have gotten while walking through Abram's adoption. If you have any other questions, you can ask them in comments or shoot me an email. Also, I'm sharing some more photos from our court date here. (Thanks, Nan!)
What is your advice to someone who wants to start the adoption process? Pray, dig deep, get creative, and start! You have to start somewhere, so just begin. Prepare your heart for a long, messy road. Even if it's a shorter road than most, it will still be long. Even if it's a "less complicated" adoption, it will still be messy. You are taking something broken, and making it beautiful, but it will always stem from brokenness, no matter what. It think it's always important to acknowledge and know that, for you and your child, especially as they grow.
What did you do to start the adoption process? I started to email and call every adoption agency that I was considering. Most would send along packets of information regarding the costs and the process. We went to two different agencies information nights for prospective adoptive parents. When we went to our agency we both knew, without even talking to each other, that this was the one. We went through training classes and a home study, before becoming a waiting family.
How long did it take to be matched with Abram? We started the adoption process in June 2011 and got the phone call about Abe in August 2013. He came home September 2013.
Did you foster to adopt? No, we did not. We adopted through a local private adoption agency in upstate New York.
Why did you choose domestic adoption over international adoption? Both are really wonderful but when it came down to it, for us, we knew that there is a great need right here in our own state for adoptive parents. Also, in general, domestic adoption costs less than international adoption. We tried not to overthink all the options. Unless God was closing a door, we kept walking. As much as we would love to, traveling once, maybe twice, out of the country for unknown amounts of time, while already having three children at home, would have been very hard for our family, and for my husband taking time away from work.
How come it took so long for your finalization court date? Everything is a process when it comes to adoption. Waiting for a court date, and having the legal work done that is due for that court date, included. We also had a unique case where we brought home Abram before his birth mom had her court date. We brought him home, had to wait for her court date, wait for 30 days to pass after that, have three monthly home visits with our caseworker, have several meetings with our attorney, and then finally get a date.
Is your son's birth mother local? Yes, she is.
How much communication do you have with a birth mom in an open adoption? This is all case dependent. At our agency, they present adoptive parents with the birth mother's requests for openness, and have you agree to them, before showing her your family's profile. We will see Abe's birth mom once a year and also send her letters and photos. All of our communication, as of right now, is done through our agency. We will get to see her next week for the first time since we brought Abe home and we couldn't be more excited!
What do you tell your biological children about Abram's adoption? Everything! We talk openly about adoption in our house, and will forever.
I hope that helps answer some of the questions about our sweet Abe's adoption, and domestic adoption in general. Love to you, friends.