Starting the Path to Adoption

First..CONGRATULATIONS! Adoption is such an amazingly beautiful path in life and my journey to adoption expanded my life’s horizon in more ways than I ever thought possible. Congratulations to you and all the very best wishes on your journey.

I remember when I first started the ‘internet research’ at the very beginning. I very quickly became overwhelmed with all the different internet jargon, abbreviations, types of agencies, adoption laws, etc. Too much too fast and I just wished I knew someone who could spell it out just a little bit clearer. Well.. now that I have had the chance to make mistakes through our journey – and believe me we have… I thought why not pay it forward and put together the information I’ve learned. It may just help others out too. So here it goes:

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed professional, nor a licensed adoption planner – just an adoptive mom sharing her journey. Please make decisions as they suit your individual family. 

Step 1: Discuss your Adoption Path.

Adoption can look so different for every family and every child. Are you looking to adopt an older child? Are you looking to adopt a newborn? Girl or boy? Do you have any other preferences that come to mind? Domestic adoption or International? Jot these things down as they will become very important to selecting the right avenue for adoption.

Step 2:  Searching for the right Avenue. 

There are a few various avenues for adoption. Our adoption journey was Domestic – which is where my strong suit lies. When it comes to Domestic Adoption, these are the major 5 avenues that come to mind and a brief explanation of what each one is:

Consultants – Consultants are independent business entities that are in the business of consulting with prospective adoptive parents to help them get the word out, profiles made etc. They can often connect you to various agencies and can on occasion help maximize your outreach/footprint. Consultants primarily focus on the prospective adoption parents providing a guided process but do not handle birth parent(s) support nor the legal side of adoption finalization. You will likely need a separate adoption attorney.
Facilitators –  An Adoption Facilitator is an independent business entity that is in the business of matching prospective adoptive parent(s) with birth parent(s) who have decided to place their child for adoption. Facilitators often work with birth parent(s) directly and provide additional support services for the birth parent(s) during and sometimes after the adoption. They “facilitate” the connection but do not handle the legal side of adoption finalization.  You will likely need a separate adoption attorney. You can see a registry of facilitators here: www.childsworld.ca.gov/PG1701.htm
Licensed Agencies – Agencies are licensed by the state where they operate, usually by a state Department of Health & Human Services. They are licensed to carry out both matching and the legal side of the adoption finalization. You may or may not get the individual support for yourself or the birth parent(s) depending on the agency.
Foster to Adopt – “Children placed in foster care are coming from a crisis situation and one in which the birth parents are not choosing a placement. They have been removed by the government from the parents’ home for reasons that include abuse, neglect by a parent or a death of a parent. Some of these children have never experienced a stable, loving and secure family life.”- http://www.familybuilding.com/adoption/foster-parent-adoption/
https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/foster-care-adoption/adopting-from-foster-care/
Independent Adoption– “Private (or independentadoption is a procedure in which the birth parents select the adoptive parents and place the child directly with them. Custody is transferred directly between the parents, rather than through an agency.”  Most law offices for adoption attorneys can execute independent adoptions.  https://www.pactadopt.org/adoptive/services/placement/independent.html

As you can see there are many things to consider. Check our my other posts about our journey to follow along with what we avenues we took!

Take some time to think about these various options and then visit my posts about budgeting for your adoption and what to expect financially when getting started!

As our adoption journey continues – I will provide a detailed break down of what our costs looked like too!

When your adoption is not a Plan B

GREEN- Hainesadoptionshoot-84.jpg

 

Let’s journey through a brief comparison for a moment:

SITUATION #1: 

“We’re expecting!” – we announced!

“Oh my! How wonderful and exciting! Congratulations!” – they exclaim!

… and the conversation continues through all the exciting questions- boy or girl, how far along, etc.

SITUATION #2:

“We’re Adopting!” – we announced!

“Really? Why?” – they shrug.

…. and the conversation continues as the hopeful adoptive parents struggle to have to validate their joy in the choice to pursue adoption.

———————————————————–

… Seems a bit off to me? Does it to you? Why is it anything different?

I am writing this post to hopefully share some insight to those who may not know what to say or may know someone going through adoption unexpectedly. Or perhaps – you are personally going through adoption and like me have been confused and bewildered by the large spectrum of responses given. The following are some of the responses my husband and I have received so far when announcing our adoption journey:

“Can you not make your own? “

“Congratulations! That’s amazing! When do you we do a baby shower? “

“Sounds hard- you guys must really want it”

“are you sure you haven’t tried on your own enough yet? “

“you can have my kids!”

“Why not IVF?”

“What if something is wrong with the baby?”

“I hope your marriage is strong enough to endure that.”

” Isn’t that expensive?”

” Well – I hope you have a good husband”

and my favorite…… “that’s nice – and don’t worry, I know someone who got pregnant after they adopted.”

As you can see from the various responses above – there is a wide spectrum of responses but only one of them really seemed to congratulate my husband and I on our journey or seemed to issue any support in our decision. I want the world to know that while there are many various reasons for a couple or individual to choose the route of adoption- it is not a Plan B.

Now .. in the spirit of honesty… yes, my husband and I have been struggling with infertility issues for a couple of years. And yes, we did all the tests and the consistent Dr. appointments and blood work. In fact, I was 2-days away from going through with our first round of IUI when we realized that God has something else in store for us and adoption was the way we wanted to ultimately choose to grow our family. You see – the plan is to have a happy family and to be a mother. The journey is a continuous journey. Yes, the emotional roller coaster up to the point of making a decision about moving forward with adoption was a long one and it definitely comes with the burden of making an emotional adjustment if you had envisioned pregnancy at first – but to assume that adoption is a Plan B is unfair.

If you are going through the adoption process yourself and find yourself hearing these similar comments- have confidence in the incredible journey ahead. Have confidence in your choices and the blessings you are bound to experience. When you hold that child in your arms – know that child grew in one mommy’s tummy so that they could find you. All children deserve a home and no child should ever been seen as a plan B.

Words can hurt – especially when they come from those you love. And so I urge you – If you know someone going through the journey of adoption choose your reaction carefully. A couple’s reason’s for journeying through the adoption process are their own- and if you are lucky enough for them to trust you with such delicate information – treat it with the same care and joy you would treat the news of any other child entering the family.

“We’re adopting!” – we announced!

“Oh my! How wonderful and exciting! Congratulations!” – they exclaim!

… and the conversation continues through all the exciting questions- boy or girl, how far along, etc.

My family will be growing through adoption and I could not be more excited. When I hold my baby for the first time – I will be a mom and my husband will be a dad. They will be my baby and we will do right by our child for all of our days.

-Chelsea

Our Adoption Profile- Matt & Chelsea

This is one of my absolute favorite posts- our adoption profile was quite the journey to completion and Matt and I had an absolute ball putting it together. We also had wonderful family and friends help us through discounts and man power to put together all the tiny details. I put some of the pages below! Also – if you are on the journey of making your own adoption profile book. Check out the other posts on “How To” and “Things to Remember” when making an adoption profile.

PW is mattandchelsea

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/172520965″>Adoption Video- Matt &amp; Chelsea</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user53791267″>Chelsea Haines</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

 

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