Well, I guess it’s time to make it officially official. We’ve started the adoption process again!! We are officially ready to grow our family and despite a whole lot of questions about what that will look like, we cannot WAIT to see what the future holds!!!! Since I know we’ve been hinting at this for months and months and talking openly about our desire for more kiddos, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions I’ve gotten about what will be our second adoption journey!
Are you using the same adoption process/team that you used the first time?
Yes, we had such a wonderful experience last time that we are using the same exact attorney and home study agency. You can read all about our last adoption process in the posts linked here!
When did you start the process? Where are you at now?
Well…. we sent the first email to our lawyer saying we were ready on September 22nd, 2018! We had initially said we’d start the process last summer and then pushed it to the fall because Arlo still felt so young to us.
However, we pumped the brakes a bit after we ended up diving in to some heavy home renovations unexpectedly. Since we had already completed a full home study for our first adoption, this time around we just have to do an “update.” What that means is that we only have one visit with a social worker (instead of two) and that all safety measures have to be done before that visit, since it’s a one-and-done kind of thing.
Something we hadn’t previously thought about was the giant non-functioning hot tub in our backyard. (We weren’t living here when we did our home study last time!) With our home study agency, if you have any pool, hot tub or other body of water (even an empty one) you have to make sure it is secured with a lock and you have to take a water safety course. The way our hot tub was constructed, it would have cost a lot of money to buy a new cover, drill into stone to secure it and extra time to take the water safety class… all when we were hoping to pull it out of the ground just a few months later.
So between that, our unexpected kitchen renovation happening, and all the changes to the business, we decided to wait until the spring to complete the home study. Our lawyer has still been presenting us to expectant moms, just in case the perfect match came along, but we told her we were in no rush and so far we have not been matched.
We have our in-person meeting later this month and after that we will really get the ball rolling on outreach on our own!
Is the adoption process easier or harder the second time around?
It’s SO much easier since we already know exactly what to expect! Every social worker is different, so we’re learning that we have to make a lot of different updates than our first social worker asked for but overall, the process has felt so much less stressful. There’s less paperwork, less visits and less stress since we are already parents and just feel so lucky to be able to pursue adoption again.
Are you race specific?
Yes. We’ve learned SO much, and still have so much to learn, about transracial adoption since adopting Arlo. One of those lessons being the importance of having a “mirror” in the home for your child if you and your child are not of the same race. With all the research we’ve done and adoptees we’ve listened to, this has become a non-negotiable factor and number one priority for our family. We’ll be proceeding with that in mind throughout this next adoption process!
Are you gender specific?
We’re still kind of undecided here! On one hand, we’d love for Arlo to have a brother close in age. On the other hand, we’d love to have a daughter. But on the third (proverbial) hand, I remind myself that I don’t treat Arlo like a boy. I treat him like an Arlo. So we’re just treating each situation we’re presented with on an individual basis and making the best decision for our family when the time comes!
How long will it take?
We don’t know! Since we are now more race-specific, it definitely has the potential to take longer. As our team told us from the beginning, the more parameters you have, the longer the process will take. We’ve definitely said no to being presented to more situations this time around than we did last time. But then again, just the other day we got a call about a baby that was already born (It didn’t end up being a match for us) so you never know!
Will this adoption be open as well?
We really hope to have an open adoption again as we’ve seen the benefits of having open communication with Arlo’s birth family. That said, while we’ll do our best to establish a similar relationship, nobody can know for sure what the future will bring.
Will you tell us when you’re matched?
Nope. =) After we were matched with Arlo, we really enjoyed having those few short weeks to ourselves to soak in the news and prepare our home for a new addition. So we’re planning to do the same again. It’s one of the few moments in life that we get to keep just for us. So similar to Arlo, you’ll get to meet the newest member of our family once he or she has arrived!
Will you take a maternity leave?
I always regretted not taking more time off after we adopted Arlo, so my goal this spring is to prepare as many blog posts as possible to have in my back pocket for whenever the time comes. It’s tough when you have no idea if that day will be tomorrow or a year from now, but I’m hoping to be even more prepared than I was last time so we can soak in every moment and adjust to a life with two little ones!
Photos by Jeff Mindell
Look at that proud future big brother up there!! I’ll definitely be sharing a few baby related posts over the next few months (nursery, baby names, gear we’ll be using again!) so keep an eye out for that. But feel free to leave any other questions you have below. =)
We’re beyond excited to see where this second adoption journey takes our family and as always, incredibly grateful for your support!!!