Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Long Stretch

 Daniel - March 2014

As of the 25th of June we have officially been on the "Waiting List". Waiting… and waiting… and waiting… The waiting hasn't been bad, it hasn't been unbearable or hard. The emotions have stayed at bay and we are taking it one day at a time. When our awesome case-worker, Karen, emailed/called with the news that we were approved I asked her, "So this means that any day we could become parents?!" she answered, "Yes, but you should have a 1-2 year long wait in mind." My response was, "But technically we really could be parents any day!" :). So here we are waiting and praying, working and fundraising, getting to know each other more and waiting some more.

We've been asked why an adoption is so expensive as well as what happens if we don't have the last payment ready when we get the baby. We are on the last stretch of the fundraiser and the final amount will be due at the legal placement of the baby. I do think that when one is pregnant you have the expenses of your doctor (in an adoption there are doctor's appointments and physicals which are not included in the cost along with fingerprinting and other costs). I thought I would share you what goes into an adoptions cost.

Cost: $29,000 not including legal fees for the adoption

This sum covers the following:
  • The creation of your online account, the case file, the collection of references, background clearances, and the first meeting with BCS (Bethany Christian Services) staff
  • Orientation and training services
  • The home study that is required for adoption including the creation of required documents, interviews, home visit(s), and gathering/assessing collateral information, and service planning
  • Work done on your behalf to have your profile seen by expectant parents and includes your web profile, outreach activities, and various support services during the waiting period
  • The pregnancy counseling provided to the expectant parents and includes work locating, engaging and involving the expectant father in the process, history compilation, meetings with you, hospital planning, negotiating adoption plans and agreements, counseling at the hospital, grief counseling
  • All expectant parent expenses allowed by state laws (medical, living expenses, etc.)
  • Petitioning for adoption and other required documentation, placement of the child, grief counseling post placement, and file maintenance
  • Also the required post placement visits, reports and support.
When you go through that it starts to make sense and see that the agency doesn't just stand around and do nothing, they are the liaison's between our future baby and us. One time I asked Karen how many potential parents placed their babies for adoption, her response was only 20% followed through with placing their baby. That means that out of 100 expectant mothers only 20 would want to see our book and the books of other families. I sometimes call this the "eharmony" of babies. Though the 20% might mean that it could take longer it made me happy to know that many more expectant moms kept the babies. I know age, income level, education, lifestyle, health are only a certain facet of such a huge decision but I can only imagine that they need the support of many loved ones to bring a baby into this world. 

And so our wait continues... We receive emails from the agency asking to show our book to expectant parents. We say "yay or nay" and wait once again. I have heard it said that adoption is not for the weak hearted, but I say it is for everyone who has a heart :) (and is approved through a home study). Some people might think that once we are chosen that is it. The truth is it isn't. By law the birth mom has 48 hours to change her mind. I have heard those hours are the longest hours... Hypothetically we could be chosen for a baby due in October. We would be ecstatic, our hearts would be filled with anticipation, we would want to get the room ready and have a baby shower and then once baby would be born we could come home empty handed. That is a terrifying thought. One that I am aware of but know that there could be another scenario, one where we get called out of the blue for a baby that has already been born and whose mom/dad have waived all parental rights... Ahhhhh... Either way we are in it together.

So our story continues, highs and lows, like everyone else. We continue to pray and believe that our perfect baby is growing and that we will grow to be his/her perfect parents. I know perfection is not achievable, but I view that with God, He will place the "perfect" baby into our arms. So Baby Boo we love you already and we are mastering the art of waiting while on this last long stretch.

~ Liza