It’s official!!!! Jeff and I are so excited to announce that we’re adopting!!!!!
Oh boy do I have SO SO much to update you on and I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be updating with HAPPY news when it comes to growing our family. So many of you have reached out since my last fertility update to share your thoughts, prayers, stories, concerns and encouragement with us and we could not be more grateful for your support.
We are so incredibly thrilled to now be on this adoption journey and it’s high time I shared how we got here with you! I imagine a lot of you will have questions so I’m going to try my best to answer here the most common questions we’ve gotten from people we’ve told.
If you read my post back in July, then you’d know that after the traumatic events of that month we had already started leaning heavily towards adoption. Well, a few weeks after that post, I sat down with a friend who had recently adopted and picked her brain. I wanted to know the costs, the emotions, the risks, the happiness, the EVERYTHING because we really knew nothing.
Jeff and I went on a little weekend getaway that next weekend and it was the first time in a LONG time where we really had time to talk at length about our options.
Did we want to continue fertility treatments? We had one more chance to try with IUI before IVF was on the table, which we knew we didn’t want to pursue. And we knew they wanted to do some major testing too, to see why I kept miscarrying. Was it worth the risk to my health? How important was it for us to have biological children? Could we afford adoption? Could we afford to keep doing fertility treatments to only follow it with adoption costs? Are we prepared for the unique set of challenges and emotions that come with adoption?
The result of those conversations were this: Why continue to put my body, and our hearts, through so much heartache when we have both always wanted to explore adoption?
When we started really letting that sink in, adoption tugged harder than ever at our heartstrings and things just became so clear. We were meant to grow our family through adoption!
The day after we got back from our trip, we emailed an adoption consultant and started the process.
That’s just kind of how we are and how we always have been. Once we decide on something we go all IN and make it happen. Since making our decision to adopt in August, we’ve built an adoption team and completed the ominous “home study.” We’ve filled out mounds of paperwork, taken an adoption orientation class, had our fingerprints done, taken first aid classes, had a social worker visit our house, bought a car seat (!), put together an adoption outreach plan and made a profile (in book form and on adoption websites). As of November 15th (our two year anniversary!), we are officially considered a “waiting family” which means we are eagerly awaiting and searching for a match!
Now, to answer the many questions we get every day when we tell people we’re adopting!
We are doing a private domestic adoption. We are working independently with an adoption attorney and consultant, not with a specific agency. Our consultant, for those curious, I can best describe as one part outreach expert and one part adoption “doula.” She is there to help us form a plan for birth mother outreach, and also to guide us through the process overall, from a more personal standpoint than an attorney can provide.
Our baby can come from anywhere across the United States and could come at any time. There is no “list” like is often thought of with adoption, it’s moreso like online dating. In our profile, we talk about ourselves, our careers, our families, our plans and our dreams for our baby. We paint a picture of the life we hope to provide for a child. From there, if a birth mother likes our profile, we begin to learn more about her and if all parties feel like it is the right situation, we are considered “matched.” (I should note that there’s a LOT more detail that goes into it, but that would be a very lengthy post so I’m going to leave it at that for now.)
Consequently, that means we could get a baby tomorrow or we could be waiting a year and a half or more. We have absolutely no idea, which is an interesting challenge for this control freak!
We hope to do an open adoption. In fact, our team has told us that most adoptions nowadays are open. The level of openness can vary from sending photos once a year to the birth mother to having regular in-person visits.
We will be adopting a newborn and we do not have a gender or race preference. That trifecta is one of the most common questions we get! We could match with a birth mother who is newly pregnant, almost ready to give birth or even one who has already given birth. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that every single adoption situation is completely different than the next.
So… are you decorating a nursery? Do you have a baby shower? How does this all work?
The answer to all of those…. eventually?? We don’t know? Yes? When it comes to adoption, everything still happens that happens when you’re pregnant but it just kind of comes out of order. Since I’m a pretty superstitious person, the idea of decorating a nursery before having a baby is really intimidating. That doesn’t mean I haven’t started looking and brainstorming things. I think we’ll need to find our “match” and evaluate our situation before making any of those decisions. I’m actually curious if any of you have adopted, how did you handle all of the above??
I did buy a bunch of baby books but have been too superstitious to open them so far! Ha, oh gosh.
Oh and how about this one, “Do you have baby names picked out!?” Baby names are only MY FAVORITE TOPIC OF ALL TIME! We have some names but need some major work there. I’m actually going to do a separate baby name post soon. =) I literally have been waiting my entire blogging career to be able to do a baby name post. Haha!! And you may see a few other family-oriented posts popping up here, too. But this won’t become a parenting blog or anything, so no worries there if that’s a concern!
The process so far has been very eye-opening and it has put me so far outside of my comfort zone. I’m a true introvert, through and through, remember. We’ve been lucky enough to get to have conversations with a few amazing, strong women and learn their stories, and each time I think, “Is this the woman that we will be forever bonded with, for the rest of our lives?” It is challenging, exciting and surreal.
We’ve also learned how scam-filled the adoption world is, as sad as that may be. We are staying hopeful without getting our hopes up with every situation we are presented with. It’s a similar mentality to when we were doing fertility treatments, but the good news is there is so much hope ahead of us this time too.
More than anything else, we are just REALLY excited. Impatient, but excited. 😉 We feel so lucky. We’ve wanted to be parents together for almost a decade now, and trying for nearly two years. It’s crazy to think that it’s actually going to HAPPEN. We’re going to be parents. And it’s even crazier to think that we don’t know when or how, but we’re keeping our hearts open and ready for whatever turns our journey takes!
We are also anxiously awaiting all our tax documents to come in so we can get approved for a mortgage and find a home with more room for baby! But since I hear babes don’t need much space right away anyway, if our little one comes first, we’re going to make it work in our apartment too!
Photos by One Eleven Photography
And there you have it! A mini Mindell is out there somewhere and we can not WAIT to find him or her and bring them home. Thank you all so much for coming on this journey with us, like I said, your support has meant everything to us. =)
I don’t know how curious you guys are about adoption but if you want to leave any questions you have below, I may do some follow up posts on the topic if there’s interest? I dunno! I’m no expert, but I’m always happy to share my experience.
And one more special note!
We knew we wanted to take some fun photos to help us announce the news to you all and we knew exactly who should take them, our friend Jenna! Jenna is the person who helped get us started on our adoption journey, having just been on a successful journey of her own. She has been such an unbelievably kind and open resource for us, answering all of our questions and sharing with such honesty. We have been so grateful for her friendship. It meant so much to us to have her take these photos and be a part of such big news for our family! Thank you, Jenna!!!!