Today was our appointment at Catholic Charities. This was basically an introduction to the adoption process if we decide to go with them (which we certainly will!). Here is a run down of what we found out:
The process could take anywhere from days (once we are on the waiting list) to years. The average time people wait is less than two years. This is what we were expecting so no surprises there. Catholic Charities in Gainesville did nine adoptions last year and the waiting list is about twenty families long. I must say, I kind of like that it is a smaller number of families as opposed to some of the bigger agencies. Our next step will be to complete our home study. We have made an appointment for August 8th to start this process. In the mean time, the lady with whom we will be meeting (Geralyn) sent us the paperwork that we need to get started with. This is where it gets complicated! We need to fill out a thirty page application, get county background checks, get FBI background checks, get a medical form filled out by our doctors, and get five reference forms and letter from family and friends. Most of the forms are pretty straight forward, but the application is really complicated. It asks questions that I haven't ever even thought of. I guess that is a good thing, but it certainly feels overwhelming at the moment. Along with these forms, we will have several visits as a couple and individually with Geralyn and then she will come to our house to check everything out (hopefully Pheebs will be on her best behavior!). While we are doing all of the paperwork and visits, we also need to work on a profile for potential mothers to look at.
PHEW! This is going to be a lot of work. I guess that's where the term "paper pregnancy" comes from ;-)
This should all be completed by October and then we will be put on a waiting list. The next step will be someone hopefully choosing us! Here is how this works:
Birth moms make a list of qualities they are looking for in prospective parents for their children, and Catholic Charities find the top five couples on their list who meet that criteria (starting from people who have been on the list the longest). A birth mom could pick us out as soon as six weeks into her pregnancy. This is not ideal though. Catholic Charities tries to help convince the birth mom that waiting until the third trimester is the best time to make a decision. There could also be a birth mom who gives birth and decides all the sudden that she wants to give her baby up. We could get a call that we are getting a baby immediately. This is definitely a lot less predictable than a nine month pregnancy would have been, but that's okay!
Mike and I feel really good about the meeting we had today!
The lady we met with today said the best thing we could do to help ourselves is to spread the word. If you know of anyone, or if you know of anyone who KNOWS anyone who is looking to give a baby up for adoption, please contact us. She said that is how mothers and adoptive parents get matched a lot of the time.
One more random thing for the day. At Publix, I was buying a card for someone and found these cards...
I have NEVER seen adoption cards before! I'm sure they existed, but I thought it was interesting that I saw them today of all days =)
Until next time...
"DNA doesn't make a family, love does." - The Fosters