Monday, July 9, 2012

Adoption Process

Note originally posted on Facebook on Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As many of you know, we submitted our formal adoption application in September, with Bethany Christian Services. Since we are now in the midst of the home study process, we felt like it would be a good time to send out an update. The home study process includes three or four meetings with our adoption specialist (aka case manager), attending two meetings at Bethany (in Indianapolis), and reading two books. At this point, we have had two meetings with our adoption specialist (one in South Bend and one in our home), attended both required meetings at Bethany, and read one of the books (Hospitious Adoption). Our adoption specialist told us that our home study should be completed by the end of December.
Both of the meetings with our adoption specialist have gone well. The first "visit" lasted almost three hours. Since we will be working with her throughout the adoption process, it was a good chance to get to know each other. During the visit to our home, she first "interviewed" each of us individually and then together. We did ask what generally leads to a couple not being approved. She let us know that it usually deals with either the couple not being upfront with Bethany about important information or the couple having unresolved issues. She said that she did not see any red flags at this point. One thing she did talk with us about is the fact that we have not been married very long. This should not affect the home study, but she said it might be an issue for potential birthmothers that will be looking at our profile. Yes, if you were not aware, we will be involved in either an open or semi-open adoption. This means that the birth mother will choose us to parent her child. In December, we will start putting our profile (scrapbook) together so that it is ready to show birth mothers as soon as our home study is complete. If you know us well, you know that children are very important to us. Although we have not been married as long as many couples that adopt, we are ready to start our family and have entered this process seeking God's will and plan for us. We have been praying about the possibility of adoption for over a year and are excited for what the Lord has planned for us.
The required meetings, in Indianapolis, for our home study are offered only once each quarter. We praise the Lord that our home study started right before these meetings were scheduled to take place. If our homestudy had started two weeks later, we would have missed the first meeing. This means our home study would not have been completed until after the meeting next quarter. Our God is in control! The first meeting we attended was a Placement Preparation meeting. It was more of an informational meeting to let us know what to expect once our home study is completed. Our second trip to Indianapolis was for an adoptive parent/birth parent panel. For both hours, Bethany provided the panels with a list of questions to answer, which was very helpful. The first hour we were able to listen to two couples that have gone through the entire adoption process with Bethany. One of the couples has adopted one child and the other has adopted two. It was neat to hear about their experiences and encouraging to hear the positive things they had to say about their correspondence/meetings with the birth mothers. The second hour we had the opportunity to listen to three birth mothers answer questions. At this point, I (Kelley) can't think of words that could fully express how this touched me. I will say that it, more than anything, showed us the importance of at least a semi-open adoption.
We will not bore you with too much about the first book we read, Hopitious Adoption. If you are unfamiliar with the word "hospitious," you are not alone. Basically, it means hospitable. The book deals with openness in adoption.
As we continue through the adoption process, we ask that you pray with us about several things:
~That we continue to keep the Lord at the center of our relationship
~Patience once the waiting begins
~Wisdom in the many decisions we will be making
~Finances - that we will trust in the Lord for His provision as this is more money than we have spent on anything besides our house
~Fundraising - trying to come up with creative ways to raise money for our adoption
~Kelley's Thirty-One business - In July, Kelley became a Thirty-One consultant. All of the comission goes directly into our adoption fund. Please pray that she will be able to continue to book parties and balance this and her teaching.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and especially for keeping us in your prayers.

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