We are Paper Pregnant!

Ladies and Gentlemen: We are in the pool.

(photo by itsallinfun, cc)

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!

Starting Over

As you can see from the last post, Joel and I have been going through some big changes. I’m kind of amazed that we have survived the last several months. I always say, when we go through a rough patch in our life together, that we are simply making our marriage stronger. After all of this, our marriage is probably unbreakable (Not that we were really concerned about this. Right? 😉 ). Needless to say, after a lot of stress, and facing more to come, we still like each other an awful lot. And we’re still ready, probably more than ever, to open our hearts and home to a child. So, what, you may ask, are we going to do?

Joel and I, have decided to go domestic. As Joel stated earlier, it’s been a really difficult decision, as domestic wasn’t really on our radar when we started this process a year ago. But it has become our best option. We’ve decided to listen to the signs the cosmos has sent and move on. We’ve had to make a huge mental and emotional shift. It took us a long time, lots of grieving, talking, crying, and silent meditation to get here, but we are now ready to open our hearts and minds to someone new. And we’re excited!

We’re basically starting completely over again. All new issues to learn about, all new fee schedule, all new everything. A whole different kind of adventure I guess. There is potential for things to move very quickly and — all that is great and good willing — smoothly.

We have signed up with a great local agency. We sent in our application on Monday of Spring Break and had a meeting with our clinician (social worker) on Thursday of the same week. Our clinician is great, lots of knowledge and lots of heart. We felt very at ease. She also gave us the great news that they will be able to use most of our old home study towards our new one. Woo-Hoo! Time and money saved. So far it has been a good experience.

We are both feeling a bit gun-shy, understandably so. We’re trying not to get our hopes up too high too quickly. We are keeping our fingers crossed that this will be a better process than what we just left. We are still saddened by the loss we feel, but are heartened by the new possibilities. Hopefully this new path will lead us to what we are seeking, completing our family. We’ll blog more as we continue to learn about the new process, so check back.

Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who has inquired, listened, prayed, and otherwise sent good ju-jus our way. We are so lucky to have such an amazing and supportive community. You have all earned significant baby time, although we get first dibbs 🙂

Leaving Vietnam before arriving

Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to present an actual new post on our adoption blog! <audience_gasps> And a two-parter at that! <gasps_then_faints>

I’m going to attempt to encapsulate the madness of what’s happening in our adoption journey, what lead us to where we are now, and the state of the international adoption world. I’m not sure that is entirely possible, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try to take you on a semi-linear time line of events. Warning, this is a chunky post!

Continue reading

Home Study Complete!

Whew! We had our home study today. It was great to meet our Social Worker face to face. The whole thing wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. She asked some questions about us and our plans for the baby, took a tour of the house, and looked over our dossier documents to make sure everything was there. She was very nice and I feel really good about the whole thing. And to top it all off, our house hasn’t been this clean since we moved in!

The next step is to get our last piece of paperwork for our dossier (the packet of papers about us that goes to the Vietnamese government). This is called the I-171H, and it is up to the Oregon State government to get it back to us (ugh). Then our dossier goes on a couple of trips to various government agencies before being sent to Vietnam for translation and finally to the Vietnamese government for final approval. Then we get a number that will make us officially paper pregnant, which means we are waiting to be matched with a baby.

These are the photos of the house that we sent in our dossier, look how clean it is!

Our Little HouseOur Living RoomOur Kitchen