Childrearing

The Biggest Obstacle In Our Adoption Process: Our Families

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embroidered family treeWhen I was 20 years old, my doctors told me that I had Polycystical Ovarian Syndrome. They warned me that conceiving would be difficult when and if I decided to have children. I got married three years later, and seven months after that we decided to stop using contraceptives. I was pregnant in less than four weeks. After nine months of a comparatively easy pregnancy I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby. Although my daughter’s birth was not without its complications, we were home and happy in four short days. We were also finished having children biologically.

Before we even got engaged, my husband and I discussed our family plans at length. As the adult child of divorced parents, I wanted to know how many kids he wanted, how we would have them, where we would raise them, and more. We agreed then that we would have one child and adopt any other children we wished to have. We warned our families early after relentless questions about our childbearing plans, and we were unwavering in our choices. We knew what we wanted, and we had a plan.

Surprisingly, our families are the only problem we have experienced. My mother pleaded with me to have another baby. She waxed poetic on the beauty of seeing your own features in your child, and she spoke endlessly about the biological connection of blood siblings. My husband’s family was more understanding, but we know we have a long way to go. Unsurprisingly, my stepmother was the first person to openly say that family is stronger than blood and connected by more than genetic makeup. With her blessing, we moved forward.

Like most people, we had heard endless erroneous stories about how adoption is impossibly expensive, emotionally painful, and often results in an uncertain future. None of these stories have been accurate in our experience so far.

We first had to choose an agency. We knew we wanted to adopt an older child, between the ages of two and eight years old, and we knew we wanted to adopt a son because we already have a daughter. We did not care about race, and we were prepared to take on moderate disabilities. However, we did not and do not want to adopt more than one child at a time. After a great deal of research, we found the perfect agency – or I should say the perfect agency found us. By chance I found myself talking to a woman who had also adopted, and she lead me to our agency. We called, gathered all the information we needed about their agency, and were ready to start the process.

I would love to say that the process is quick and simple, but that would be just as misleading as saying the process is agonizing and insurmountable. The process is exactly what you should expect when you want to adopt a child. We filled out a very in-depth application. We had our house inspected for fire safety and environmental safety. We took classes on what it’s like to adopt a foster child and how to handle the issues the child may have. We had our fingerprints checked, took tuberculosis tests, and offered medical records. At this time we are preparing for our in-home interview, the final step in becoming licensed adoptive parents. All of this seems like an endless process, yet we did all of this inside about four months. We could have done it faster, but we chose to work through the process at our own pace.

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