Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ooh Darling, 'Cause You'll Always Be My Baby (Volume Two)

When Jay and I decided to pursue adoption, we had no idea what all it would entail.  There were so many choices – so many decisions to be made.  Did we want to do a private adoption or go through a DHS program? Did we want to do a domestic or international adoption?  Were we willing to adopt an older child or did it have to be an infant?  And even after all of those decisions were made, there were hundreds of adoption agencies.  We had no idea how to choose which one was right for us.  

And we were definitely not prepared for the costs involved.

How much am I worth?

We decided pretty early on that we wanted the youngest baby we could get… everyone wants to bring their new baby home from the hospital.  That meant that a domestic private adoption agency was our best bet. We both said that nothing else really mattered (other than the baby’s health), but in my mind, we were going to bring us home a chubby cheeked, bouncing baby girl!
I thought my baby would look just like this one. 
Isn't she the cutest?

Finally, after weeks and weeks of research, we chose an adoption agency based in San Antonio, TX.  We contacted the agency and wrote the first of many giant checks (somehow, despite our pastor’s salary, we were able to keep up with the exorbitant expenses involved in the process.  Jay’s parents, a grant we received, and friends and family, along with every penny we’d ever saved in our lives contributed to the cost and helped us see it through).

Apparently, this is the sign you're ready to be a parent.

In November, we started our adoption home study, which consisted of everything from background checks to physicals to whether or not our electric outlets were properly covered.  Jay and I often joked that if everyone had to go through all of this in order to have a baby, the world would be a lot less crowded!  All of the paperwork was completed and turned in on the last day of December.  Once everything was turned in, we were told, “Now comes the hard part.  The waiting game.”  Birth parents wanting to place their child for adoption would be given dozens of scrapbooks to look through, each one representing a hopeful couple, and they would be the ones to choose the family for their child. On average, a couple would wait anywhere from six months to two years before being matched with a baby.  

And so we waited.

For eleven days.

I remember the day clearly.  I’d had surgery on my arm that morning and was in a huge water cast.  I was kind of out of it, so Jay was home, taking care of me (making sure I had my go-to sick foods - sugar cookies and peanut butter crackers and stroking my hair while I tried to sleep off the anesthesia).  I had gotten up to go to the bathroom, and when I came out, I saw Jay, sitting on the edge of our bed and staring at the door.  

            “What’s wrong?” I said.

            “The agency just called.”

            “Oh. Why?  Did we forget something?” I asked.

            “No….somebody picked us.”

            I nearly fainted. 

 Finally I got settled back into bed while Jay filled me in on the details of the call.  A young preganant woman had chosen us and the agency would be over-nighting us a packet with all of the details of the case.  We would have 48 hours from then to decide if we wanted to pursue it.  

            “So…” I said, half-jokingly  “Is it going to be a healthy little white girl?”

            “No,” Jay said, “It is going to be a sick little Hispanic boy.  And he’s coming in seven weeks.”

To be continued….

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