In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Friday, October 2, 2015

Adoption Update: Getting Started Again

I've said it in my blog before....adoption has always been something we knew we wanted to do.

We both have a heart for adoption.  We both saw it happening at some point.  We just didn't know when it would happen or how we would be able to afford it.  

We still don't have answers to those questions, yet here we are stepping out in faith, mailing out paperwork and writing the first of many checks towards the ultimate goal of bringing home our child that we already love even though this child may or may not even even exist yet.  A child that we will have CHOSEN to be apart of our family.  A child that I may not ever feel in my womb, but a child that will be loved the same as the two sons I have known from conception.   How exciting is that!

The very first adoption post I wrote was two and half years ago, back in March of 2013.  If you would have told me back then, that in October of 2015 we would just be starting the process of adoption, I would not have believed you.

But you see, some things have happened in the past few years, effecting the timing of our adoption process.  If reading a list of facts bores you, feel free to skip this part.  But for those who are curious, here is the timeline of events that has brought us to where we are now:

  • November 2012 - We were struggling to get pregnant and began seriously considering international adoption for the first time, particularly China adoption.
  • January 2013 - We were told we would likely need medical help to conceive a child.  As a result, we decided to pursue both adoption and fertility at the same time.  We met with a fertility specialist.  We also began speaking with our adoption contact and had a lot of our questions answered.
  • February 2013 - We filled out an application for international adoption, but soon realized there was some confusion with the agency about us qualifying to adopt from China.  I knew I had to be 30 years old to adopt from China.  I also knew I would be 30 by the time the adoption was finalized.  If we started the process that month like we wanted to, I would be younger than 30 by the time paperwork was sent to China,.  Therefore, our adoption plans were on hold.  We would need to wait six months to start the adoption process, making me 30 by the time our paperwork was sent over to China.  In the meantime, we were contributing to an adoption fund, giving us a head-start at saving the $30k it would take to adopt from China.
  • August 2013 - We found out we were pregnant with twins!  We also realized it had been six months since we last spoke with the adoption agency, and my age would now qualify us to begin the adoption process.  We contacted the agency, and after much consideration, we and the agency thought it would be best to wait until after the twins were born to begin our adoption process.
  • March 2014 - I stopped working at 34 weeks pregnant, bringing a two income home down to a one income home.  Our twins were born at 37 weeks, making our family of two a family of four!
  • May 2014 - Without me working, and with medical bills pouring in, we had no choice but to stop contributing to our adoption fund.  We promised to only use the funds in the account for a future adoption, so those funds have never been touched.  By the time we had to stop contributing, we had a little over 25% of the $30,000 we needed to adopt.
  • November 2014 - Matt got a job promotion.  Even with the job promotion, we decided we would not begin contributing financially towards adoption until we had completely paid off all of our medical bills.
  • March 2015 - The twins turned one year old!  We finally paid off the $18,000 we had in medical bills that were accumulated from the time we got pregnant until the time the twins turned one. {Our out-of-pocket yearly maximum payment is $6,000 with our insurance company.  Because my pregnancy was split between 2013 and 2014, and because the boys needed a minor procedure done that I could not get scheduled until 2015, we had met the max out-of-pocket during all three years (2013, 2014 and 2015), giving us $18k in medical bills over 18 months time.  Don't even get me started on medical expenses and insurance for the middle class!} 
  • April 2015 - We...or should I say ME....finally began pushing to at least have an adoption discussion again.  It took Matt a little while to get on board with more kids via adoption or pregnancy.  Prior to this, he had a hard time seeing past the boys and was really questioning whether he wanted to expand the family!  Our boys had just turned one, and he was more than content with our boys.  I expressed I felt content, but I didn't feel complete.  We had to give each other time to process our thoughts before coming back to the subject of expanding our family.  It was during that time frame that we decided to begin trying to get pregnant naturally, knowing that our chances were slim, and we would reopen the adoption conversation at the end of the summer once we reexamined our finances.
  • August 2015 - No luck with a pregnancy.  I went ahead and had some tests run, just so I knew where I was hormonally.  My doctor suggested we consider some form of medical treatment to help us get pregnant, but like the first time we sought help she pointed out that we could end up not pregnant at all, pregnant with one, or once again pregnant with multiples if we chose that route.  Matt really did not want to go down that road again, for several different reasons.  It was during this time frame of choosing to forgo help with a pregnancy that he began to get little excited about adoption, seeing as how the boys would probably be over three years old by the time an adoption could be finalized.  And so at the end of the summer, we decided to reach out to our adoption agency.  It had been nearly two years since we last spoke, and we soon realized that the agency we were previously in contact with had closed.  At the same time, we would and are still trying to get pregnant.  If by some chance we have a miracle pregnancy naturally, we will continue to pursue an adoption while being pregnant.  Pregnancy is only nine months.  Adoption will take much longer.  
  • September 2015 - We reached back out to our original home study contact, and she helped us choose a new agency. Progress on an adoption was finally beginning to take place.
  • October 2015 -  We officially completed and mailed our first packet of paperwork (application for international adoption) to get our home study going, along with our first non-refundable check for $500.  We are expecting our next packet of paperwork in the mail any day (an application for the agency) and expect to have it completed and mailed back with a check for $550 in the upcoming weeks.
And so friends, that's where we are at with the adoption process.  We are basically just getting started again.  So far, we are just filling out paperwork and writing checks.  This a long process.  At the earliest, we are thinking 18 months from now until adoption completion...if we even get to a completion.  There are a lot of things that could happen between now and then that could possibly interfere with the end results of a successful international adoption.  The next step is to get our home study scheduled.  I'll keep updates on the blog as the process unfolds.  Until then, we are patiently and excitedly waiting to bring home a new addition to our family.  

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