Monday, March 26, 2012

God's Preparation

We do not always understand life situations and this is definitely one of those times.  We heard back from our social worker at FamilyCore about the age requirement.  We were told that the age requirement of 21 years old to hold a foster family license in Illinois has no exceptions.  In other words we can not even begin the home study process right now.  This means we will be simply waiting for the next 8 months until I turn 21.  It is hard to understand because we felt a leading from God to begin.  Sometimes we will never understand but we simply have to trust.  In church yesterday the minister talked about God having a time of preparation before we begin His work.  Events that happen in our lives are God's way of preparing us for some other event that will happen or something He may call us to do. We are all put here to do something for God but not everyone is called to the same thing.  Sometimes God needs time to prepare us for what He is calling us to do.  I suppose that the next 8 months will be a time of preparation for us as a couple.  Then in God's perfect time we will be sent to do His work.


       You may be wondering what we have decided to use for an adoption agency.  Well....I contacted an agency in Bloomington and one in Chicago, both had some news we would have preferred not to hear.  They both told us that in the state of Illinois both the husband and the wife have to be 21 years old in order to adopt.  In actuality we would not be able to adopt a child until after I turn 21 because the home study etc. would take that long to complete but both agency's told me that they would not even work with us until we were both 21.  Jesse is 21 almost 22 but as some of you may know I am only 20 until December.  We thought we had covered any age requirements with the agency in Peoria that we met with and we both took it that our age would not be a problem.   I guess there was a misunderstanding.  I have contacted our social worker in Peoria to see if this was really a law. She told me that in Illinois you have to hold a foster family license to adopt a baby through an agency and you have to be 21 to hold a foster family license. (Illinois has some of the most strict adoption laws) She said that she thinks that this could be worked with but since the other agencies said it couldn't she wasn't sure.  She was going to a meeting last Friday the 23rd to get a straight answer.  She also told us that for the Court System we would have to be 21 but we wouldn't need that until the actual adoption which wouldn't be until I was 21 anyways.  So anyways, we are waiting to hear back from the Peoria agency as to whether or not we can begin the home study process now or we will have to wait until December.
       Aside from the fact that the agencies in Bloomington and Chicago will not work with us until we are 21 we have decided against both of these agencies even if we do have to wait until December.
       I talked to a very nice social worker from Bloomington but the actual agency gave me a unsettling feeling, unlike the one in Peoria.  I was told that we would have to be open to any level of openness that the birth mother would choose and we would not really be able to share our preference.  Jesse and I are not totally against some level of openness with the birth mother but to put that completely up to the birth mother makes us a little nervous.  We do not want a child that we adopt to feel like they have two mothers.  After talking with this agency I got the feeling that their agency has a set way of doing things and they do not like to change that if you are looking to do something a little different.  It left me feeling very unpeaceful and therefore we have chosen not to go with the Bloomington agency.
       Chicago's agency is very large.  Therefore they have less time to be personal.  To begin their process we would have to fill out an application then if we are accepted we would be put on a wait list with about 9 other families.  This list is of families waiting to begin the home study process.  The wait time for this list is usually about a year.  That would mean it would be a year until we could even begin the home study and then about 3-6 months until we finish that and become a waiting family having our profile shown to bith mothers.  Comparing this to Peoria where we could begin right away on the home study(unless we have to be 21) we feel like Chicago is not the route we would like to go.
       Having said all that I think it is safe to say we have decided to use FamilyCore in Peoria as the adoption agency for our Home study and hopefully our placement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1st Adoption Meeting

We met with an agency yesterday and learned a boat load of information!  It was good to learn about the home study process and the placement process directly from the source.  The agency we met with is out of Peoria and they have a small infant adoption program with only two caseworkers in this agency program.  We see this as both a benefit and a disadvantage.  Since they are a small agency they are very personal and quick to carry things out with the home study process. Also they have more time to meet personally and answer questions because they are usually only working with maybe 10 families at a time.  The disadvantage of them being small is that they only do an average of 4 infant adoptions a year and the average wait time can be up to 2 years depending on if you are picked by a birth mother or not.  We are not sure yet if we want to use this agency or maybe a different one in the area.  We are looking into an adoption agency in Bloomington as well.  The process, probably for any agency we would decide to go with, goes something like this... We would begin by filling out an application for their home study.  The applications are almost always immediately accepted.  Next we would begin the home study.  It consists of visits with the caseworker at the adoption agency, visits to our home to be sure we have the right environment for a baby, lots of paperwork and information about all aspects of our lives, background checks, physicals, CPR training, TB tests, online adoption classes, and much more!  Once all this is completed (this usually takes 3-4 months) there will be a written paper by the agency that will be a compilation of all this information and that will be our home study.  With all this is done we will be certified as an adoption family by the State.  Next we will make a profile of our lives.  This could be in the form of a book like creative memories or a scrapbook or someway to show our lives in a nutshell.  We would begin with a letter to the birth mother then include pictures and information about family and hobbies, jobs and just our life in general.  This book would then be given to the adoption agency to use in connecting us to a birth mother.  If the agency feels that our family and the birth mother have similar desires or goals for the baby our book along with a few others will be shown to the birth mother.  They will then pick one family to set up an adoption plan with.  If we would be picked we would then be able to meet the birth mother before birth at the adoption agency.  Then we would possibly be invited to the hospital for the birth and be able to take the baby home right from the hospital.  A birth mothers rights to the baby will be considered terminated and irrevocable after 72 hours of the birth or 3 days.  Then after 3 visits from the agency in the first 6 months of the babies life, they will determine that all is going well with the baby in our home.  Usually at 6 months the adoption is finalized through court and the birth certificate changed to make us the babies legal parents.  So that is the a summary of everything that takes place from start to finish!  We would also have the opportunity to do outreach to connect with birth mothers using lawyers or adoption agencies from another state that would be willing to work with the adoption agency through which we would do our home study.  At this point we are hoping to gather information and statistics from the agency we know of in Bloomington and then make a decision of where we want to begin the home study process.
We are praying fro God's direction and peace that we can know just where He would like us to begin.  A verse that we have opened to twice now as we have been praying for Gods direction is Romans 8:28

For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.

We really feel God speaking to us telling us to simply trust.  We do not have all the answers but we are called by Him and if we love and trust Him He will lead us.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God's Reassurance

God is so good.  Trials in life are never what we would wish for but they are the best way for God to get us to draw closer to him and to trust Him all the more.  Today I prayed for God's reassurance... again, and He showed me these verses.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Luke 1:45

I couldn't have asked for more!

Monday, March 5, 2012


We have been learning a lot about the adoption process and adoption agencies in the area.  It is so overwhelming!  We are praying God will give us a sense of peace when we find the right agency and the right program to adopt through.  So far we have just been researching agencies online and emailing some of them to get more information.  We are hoping to set up meetings with a few different agencies to learn more about their programs and requirements.  We have also been talking to couples in the area who have adopted or are in the process of adopting.  It helps to get information from the ones that are going through it now or have recently.  It seems big but taking it one step at a time helps to keep things seemingly possible!