Guest Post by Tiffany
Hi! I’m Tiffany, and I’ve known the lovely author of I Can Teach My Child since she was a little girl! Watching her grow, get married and be a wonderful Mom is such a joy (plus, I learn a lot from her blog). Jenae offered the opportunity to add the topic of Adoption to her blog and I am thrilled to share our story.
My husband and I always considered adoption because I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 21. My second surgery was a few years later and while we tried getting pregnant “on our own” and with fertility treatments, it just didn’t work. We took a year off, saved money and re-grouped.
Unfortunately, the journey to parenthood isn’t easy for everyone so please, don’t ever utter the words, “Oh, you can just adopt,” because there’s no “just” in adopting. A homestudy and creation of a portfolio are the first steps. I recommend selecting a social worker familiar with adoption that you like and trust for guidance. The application for the homestudy includes a lot of personal questions about who you are, why you want to adopt and what kind of child you’re looking for (ethnicity, open/semi-open/closed adoption, abilities and disabilities). FBI fingerprints and background checks are also required and take the most time. Finally, reference letters from family and friends are added to the packet and stamped with a notary’s seal. Then, a family is considered Paperwork Pregnant!
According to Adoptive Families Magazine, the average waiting time for a US (domestic) adoption is 18 months. Families can choose to adopt through foster care, private adoption with a birth family and an attorney only or an agency adoption.
We tried private adoption and had two matches fall through. We tried agency adoption and had two more matches fall through. Finally, we renewed our homestudy as required by our current state and found a new agency. They were phenomenal and treated us very well. They matched us with a potential birth mother and long story short, we were given the biggest gift in the world, our little girl! We had one more social work homestudy post-placement visit, attended a brief court meeting and her adoption was finalized September 24, 2009!
On a very personal note, we were incredibly discouraged after our four matches fell through, (the national fall through rate is much less). We cried, we prayed, we struggled through five years of trying to be parents and waited and waited for the perfect child for our family. Our daughter coincidentally, looks like my husband, she talks as much as I do, and she has an entertaining personality. Smart and funny, now two years later, we can’t imagine our lives without her. On our darkest days, I prayed, “Dear God, please! Find us our child, the one only you can hand pick for our family, please bless the possible birth mother out there struggling with her decision and please make us patient enough to wait as long as it takes!” I prayed that countless times a day, believe me!
Our family and friends were encouraging too, the best present we got was a book called We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr. Some dear friends gave it to us for Easter 2008 before we were even matched. I love reading it to our daughter and she always reads the note my friend Crystal wrote.
To anyone wanting to be a parent, I encourage you to consider adoption. There are amazing children in the US and around the world waiting for a family. There’s a well known quote in the adoption world, “However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle,” and that’s the truth! Best wishes to all!
Please see the following references for more information:
- Successful Adoption: A Guide for Christian Families by Natalie Nichols Gillespie
- Adoptive Families (a website)
- You Can Adopt: An Adoptive Families Guide by Susan Caughman and Isolde Motley
Tiffany is a Mom to a sweet 2-year old girl and has been married for 7 years to her very funny husband. She works as a physician educator and has a passion for adoption. Tiffany and her family are looking forward to celebrating their 2nd Famiversary (the anniversary of our daughter’s adoption finalization) in September.