This is the update we’ve been waiting over 3 months to give!
WE ARE OFFICIALLY HOME STUDY APPROVED!!!
While we’ve already been presented with a few adoption situations through our consultant for about a month, we’ve been waiting for the finalization of our home study. There was some complications that delayed it a bit so let’s just say we are THRILLED to finally have this checked off.
What does that mean?
A “home study” is the approval process that is required by law and verifies to adoption agencies that we are capable of providing a safe, loving space for a child.
Basically, we can’t adopt without this official report and it’s required before you can even be matched with an expectant mom. So, now that’s finalized, we are officially in the “waiting game”.
How long will we wait now?
That’s the number one question we get asked and actually, the number one question WE had when we first started researching adoption.
The wait time varies greatly and depends on a variety of things. The size of the agency you’re working with, your preferences (gender, race, medical history, drug exposure, etc.), willingness and availability to travel, etc. are all things that can impact how long you have to wait to be matched.
When we first began the process, we knew that we wanted to find the route that would provide the shortest wait possible. Since we are pretty open regarding our preferences and are very much willing to travel and have the flexibility to drop everything at any moment to go get a baby, it opened up a lot of options for us.
We chose to work with a consultant who is helping us work with a handful of agencies spread across the U.S. These agencies have low upfront costs to “sign up”, whereas many of the bigger agencies can cost $3,000 and up just to apply to the agency. For the same cost, you can work with multiple smaller agencies at once, and therefore be on several waiting lists and have just as good, if not better, chances of matching quickly.
We’ve decided to work with two different agencies for now, and figure we can always join on with others if we haven’t matched in a few months. Our consultant also gets situations that come from the various agencies they have in their network. So, in a way, it’s like we’re working with three agencies.
How we will be chosen?
Every agency has their own processes, so we can only speak to the agencies we are working with.
When an expectant mother contacts our agencies, she is required to go through a lengthy paperwork process herself. In fact, she has even more paperwork than we had. She’ll be provided with a case worker, who will support her with anything and everything she needs throughout her pregnancy. They’ll counsel her in making this decision and help her determine the best adoption plan for her, should she wish to move forward with adoption.
The agencies we’re working with have their expectant mothers wait until the third trimester in their pregnancy to select a family to care for her child. When this time comes, the agency will contact any of their waiting couples who they feel are a good fit, based on their preferences and the expectant mother’s requests.
At that point, if we appear to be a good fit, we will be contacted and asked if we would like our profile book to be “presented” to the expectant mother. We will be provided with as many details as the case worker has regarding the woman, her pregnancy, her lifestyle, etc. We have full say in whether or not we would like the opportunity to have her review our profile book.
She (and sometimes the father) will be presented a handful of profile books (usually no more than 10) of hopeful adoptive couples and families that agreed to be presented to her. From there, it’s completely her choice and in God’s hands. If she selects us, we’ll have the opportunity to talk with her over the phone, and possibly even travel to wherever she is to meet her!
Want to see our profile book?
Another exciting update is that we completed our profile book. We were blessed that part of our consultant fees covers the cost to have a professional design our book. While you can absolutely create your own book, it took a lot of pressure off of us. It’s hard to be mindful of what an expectant mother is looking for when we are so consumed with our own emotions. Having an outside opinion about the text, photos, and information we provide is so important.
If you’d like to see a peek at our profile book, you can click here to preview the PDF version.
What’s even more exciting is that the designer of our book, Joanna with Our Chosen Child, is expanding the services she provides. She is now creating “mobile friendly” adoption profiles to go along with the physical book. We were selected to receive this additional benefit for FREE, to allow her to experiment with this new offering. We were thrilled.
Having our profile book be mobile friendly is so important because an expectant mother will sometimes prefer that the profile book be sent to her electronically, rather than waiting for the physical book to be mailed to her if she cannot come to the agency office. In this case, the agency would send the PDF version, which she will typically view on her phone. As you know, viewing PDF documents on a cell phone is not easy. You have to pinch your screen to zoom in and it can be frustrating. We don’t want technology to get in the way of her feeling a connection to us.
We’re loving how our book turned out and have been praying every day for the sweet, brave women who will look through it someday.
Thanks for letting us share this journey with you and for all the prayers! We’ve felt every single one of them. It’s been especially emotional since the passing of Dan’s mom and the support we’ve received has been incredibly helpful.
We’ll keep you updated,
Dan + Lindsay