[Originally Written: June 10, 2019]
That’s right, our family of three is about to become a family of four!
And when we say, “about to,” what we really mean is *fingers crossed* sometime in 2020.
I know 2020 seems kind of far away. Let’s be honest, announcing a plan to adopt lacks the pizazz of telling people you’re pregnant. The adoption process doesn’t come with due dates, gender reveals, or baby bump photos to track progress. It’s an ethereal idea that can’t be touched or quantified.
Three years ago, when we began the home study to adopt our son, we were so excited to tell people. We called family, took to social media, and informed friends and coworkers,
Everyone we told was so excited. Those close to us knew we’d been trying to get pregnant since 2010, and were aware of the weight we’d been carrying as the months of waiting had turned to years. We were met with many congratulations and affirmations of our decision. Yet as the news settled in we noticed a common response emerge:
“That’s so great! But . . . what exactly does that mean?”
Those close to us shared in our joy, but there was often hesitancy — an unspoken request of, “Help me understand.”
We tried our best to update and inform others on the process, but the problem was we didn’t always understand the adoption process ourselves. We had a great support network of professionals helping us along the way, but there were so many unknowns and wait-and-sees.
The moment we met our son for the first time, we knew without a doubt that all the rigmarole was worth it. We were convinced from the beginning that we would adopt again. And this time we want to bring you on the journey with us. We want to talk about what ADOPTION IS and how it has shaped our family.
So let’s start the process together this time. This week, we filed our home study application with Families First of Atlanta. The home study is the initial paperwork, background clearances, and medical exams that will legally clear us to bring a child into our home. The home study is a rigorous process that can feel like jumping through hoops. That’s why we like to say that at the beginning, ADOPTION IS . . . filling in the blanks.
In the months to come, we’ll check boxes, acquire documentation about our employment, marriage, and medical statuses, and provide signature after signature. Some of the data will be about factual things like our full names, dates of birth, and blood types. Other items will rattle us. By the time our home study is complete, we’ll be required to make decisions about our preferences as it comes to our child’s race, gender, and family background. These are questions few parents outside the adoption or foster care system have to deal with, and they don’t come with a clear road map.
In spite of this, we feel confident going into the process a second time. Despite all the unknowns, we want to use our experiences as an opportunity to resource, educate, and encourage others and ourselves. We hope you find answers, hope, and camaraderie in our journey, and that together we can begin to fill in the blanks on what Adoption Is.