Monday, July 23, 2007

Details

I think I may have skipped a couple of steps when I announced our adoption. Oh, I don't know, stuff like the when, where, why and how of it all. So let me step back a moment and give you the details. Let's start from the very beginning...

Why adopt?

I know pregnancy is a really important part of the process for many people and I don't want to say anything negative about fertility treatments. In fact, I'm impressed by people who stick with fertility treatments. The invasive tests, nauseating meds and monthly roller coaster of emotions were certainly more than I cared to deal with. For us, adoption is the perfect road to parenthood.
We don't feel the need to be pregnant, we just want to be parents. If God chooses to give us a baby the old fashioned way, super! But I'm not interested in going to extreme measures to have a biological child when there are so many babies in need of good families.

Where are you adopting from?

We are adopting a domestic baby through an open adoption. (Boy, "domestic baby" sounds weird.) Our agency is Open Adoption & Family Services. OA&FS completes the most domestic infant and newborn adoptions in Oregon and Washington. I know a lot of people are adopting internationally these days. In fact, the number one question I was asked when people found out Lillian was adopted was "where is she from?". It always seemed goofy to respond "Oregon." We just prefer open adoption which is easiest with a local birthfamily.

Why open adoption?

We choose open adoption because we believe it is healthiest for the child. Traditionally the two questions that plague adopted children are "who do I look like" and "why was I given up." When the birth family continues to have a relationship with the child, those questions seem to fade into the background.

How long will it take before you get a baby?

Who knows?! With open adoption, the birthparents select the adoptive parents. It will probably take us several months before we complete the requisites and are included in the pool of waiting parents. After that, we just wait anxiously until a birthparent selects us. The average wait is 10.5 months.

With Lillian, we made the first call to the agency almost exactly 40 weeks before she was born. Coincidence? I think not. It took 5 months to complete all the requisites. We entered the pool in June, were matched with her birthmom in July and Lillian was born in October. Although it was wonderful to have that time to get to know her birthmom, that tends to be the exception rather than the rule. 24% of placements are "last minute" which means you are contacted when the birthmom is in the hospital giving birth. Eek!

Hopefully this helps explain a few of those missing details about our adoption. Now for the latest updates. I got my blood work back today and as expected, I'm as healthy as a horse. And the agency called today to schedule our first meeting called the Application and Intake Meeting. We will be working with the same counselor as we had with Lillian. She's great but works only a few days a week so scheduling can be tough. Luckily my new job has much fewer meetings so my schedule is more flexible than before. So, we're on for Monday, August 6th. Yeah for progress!!!

6 comments:

Anonymous July 24, 2007 at 1:44 PM  

Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us! I enjoy reading your blogs.

You raised a new question for me. Was Lillian an open adoption? Did you share the heartbreak of cancer and Lillian's passing with the birthparents?

Lori July 25, 2007 at 8:12 AM  

Yes, we had an open adoption with Lillian. Her birthmom, Maire and birth grandparents, Deborah and Bill are amazing. They were part of Lillian's life from the first day to the last through calls and letters and visits. While Lillian was in the PICU, they spent a week in a local hotel and visited her daily. And just like us, they were heartbroken when Lillian passed away. With open adoption, everyone shares the good and the bad times.

Lisa Ward July 25, 2007 at 11:31 PM  

Hey - this is an educational site too! Seriously, thanks for the info.here. Open adoption makes sense. I LOVE how it took 40 weeks for you to get Lillian! Only God, huh? You know, my kids weren't even born in that exact time! One was even WAY early...stinker! God had His hand on that one though - he's the 13 year old who's bigger than me now. I'll keep checking in on your progress and praying along the way...

Anonymous August 1, 2007 at 11:42 AM  

Waiting for the next post :) No really I was looking at the photos on the adoption web page. Are you and Jeff going to have yours posted on-line?? I found them to be quite interesting to look at and read. Beth

Lori August 1, 2007 at 1:52 PM  

Yep, we will be online. That is basically the dear birthparent letter that each couple writes. Hard copies of these are collated in order from longest to shortest time in the pool and sent to all prospective birthmothers. When we adopted Lillian, they were just starting the online version and you had to elect whether you wanted to be included. Now it looks like all prospective adopted families are online. Which just makes sense I suppose, we live in a digital world - especially the teen and 20's crowd which is who we are trying to reach.

I wish I had something new to post! But you're getting a taste for the biggest part of the adoption process - the wait.

Anonymous August 1, 2007 at 6:13 PM  

Just curious - and of course, you don't have to answer if you don't want to...obviously, it's your blog...anyway, here's the question...

How much does it cost to do a local adoption?

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