Ladies and Gentlemen: We are in the pool.
What does “paper pregnant” and “in the pool” mean? It means that Kate and I will now be shown to birthmothers for consideration to adopt their child. This is the closest thing us adopters get to being pregnant, so feel free to yell out a “yippee” or two!
The “pool” in this case is the figurative pool of other adoptive parents. Kate and I have expressed certain preferences (health of birthmother/child, level of openness, etc.) to our agency, as have the birthmothers. Our agency plots these preferences and matches an adoptive couple and a birthmother based on as many similarities as is possible. This means we won’t be shown to every single birthmother, but I was told by our social worker that (paraphrasing) “After seeing your family book, I can say you are very, very attractive to birthmothers.” Go us!
Our gestation period is a bit off. How off? Kate and I could be matched anywhere from 1 hour to 14 months from now. Yeah, that helps with planning 😉 Generally speaking, our agency shows Family Books to birthmothers around month 7 of pregnancy. The hope is that the birthmother has been working with the agency for many months up to this point. The agency has found 7 months to be a good time to give adoptive parents some lead time, but mostly to make sure the birthmother’s plans are solidified to minimize the chance of a changed mind at the last minute. The birthmother may still change her mind at the hospital and decide to keep the baby, there’s nothing anyone can really do about that. “That would suck” is an understatement, but percentage-wise this is in the minority. Once the birthmother signs the release forms, the adoption is iron clad and there is basically nothing that can be done to reverse custody. Kate and I have the State of Oregon to thank for the adoptive parent protection. Thanks Oregon! Of course, the hope is that everything goes smoothly and both parties will be 100% satisfied with their decision
Kate and I will most likely have a month or two notice before the child arrives. However, that is all best case scenario stuff. There is the chance that they’ll call with a match for a baby that is being born in a day or in a week. The agency also have what they humorously call “instant babies”. An instant baby is when the agency gets a call from a Hospital with a mother that has decided on the spot to not keep her baby. When that happens, the agency makes a mad dash to find an adoptive couple. Wild.
For the first time in our adoption process, Kate and I have nothing more to do! We are simply thrilled to be at this point. As Kate says; we’ve been waiting over a year, so that we can officially begin waiting. I guess it’s time for Kate to start knitting booties!