Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Second Adoption Meeting

We had our second meeting with Family Core yesterday afternoon.  I think it went really well.  We turned in all our information and paperwork we have been gathering over the past few weeks and talked with our case worker.  We went over a packet of information about adoptive parents rights and responsibilities with our case worker and were given a few more papers that we need to read through, sign, and turn in.  We were given a little better idea of what we as the adoptive family can expect and what not to expect, more on the legal side, once we are placed with a child.  After we read through those papers our case worker asked us to share about how we met, our marriage, how our journey with infertility/adoption has affected us, our occupations and some different things like that.  She hasn't really had a chance to just listen to us talk about our lives so I think she was probably able to get a feel for who we are and what our hopes and desires are for our adoption.  As our case worker, it is important for her to know us and what we are comfortable with so that when a birth mom would come to her looking to make an adoption plan she is able to know if we would be a good match or not.  We spent probably a good hour talking about us which was somewhat intimidating!  Overall though, the meeting went well and we are hoping to meet again possibly sometime next week after our case worker has had a chance to look through all our paperwork and read through our answers to the many questions we completed.  The next meeting will be individually with our caseworker.  We will schedule them for the same day but will each meet individually for around an hour or so with our caseworker.  I think this will be to go over any questions she would have about our answers and to get to know our past, our personality and who we are as a person.  I think this is a little harder for Jesse than for me because he is a little more shy and easily becomes nervous when he is put on the talking stand like that:)  I think he will do great though!  Our next task is to complete three online adoption classes that are about two hours each.  It will be good to learn more about adoption so we will be more prepared for what the future holds.  We learned that the last two placements that went through Family Core have been done either the week of birth or right after birth.  That means that a family was called and asked if they wanted to be placed with a baby and then within one week they had the baby in their care.  Now this is when it gets overwhelming I would say!  There would be lot of major decisions to be made in a very short amount of time!  It's good to know that happens though so we can be prepared for a child at any time.  We have no idea how it will go for us or when we will get a placement but one thing we know is that whatever God has for our adoption will be just what we need and will be for His glory

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Slight Delays and CPR

So yesterday, May 20th, we were scheduled to have our second adoption meeting with Family Core and then take a CPR course at St. Francis in the evening.  Yesterday morning I got an email from our case worker saying that she had come down with something over the weekend and still wasn't feeling well so she needed to cancel our meeting.  I was bummed because I was hoping to be able to get two things done in one trip to Peoria.  Anyways, we didn't have our meeting but we still went to Peoria to complete our CPR training.  It was a good class and I think Jesse and I learned some useful tips for saving a child or infant's life.  It seems like something I never want to have to use though.  Performing CPR on a dummy and on a real human would be quit a bit different I think! The dummy's chest is made to move up and down for the chest compression's but a real child would probably end up with some serious bruises or cracked ribs if CPR became necessary.  When you have a choice between cracked ribs or death I think cracked ribs ends up sounding pretty good though.  Overall the class went well and we now have one more requirement crossed off the list!  Our case worker said she would contact us when she was back in the office so we can reschedule our appointment.  I suppose this is the kind of thing that comes up that you don't really plan for that slows down the adoption process.  Hopefully we will be able to meet either sometime toward the end of this week or maybe next week so it shouldn't be to much of a delay.  When we were leaving our class yesterday at St. Francis the wind and rain was blowing so hard you could barley see in front of you!  Being in a parking garage was extremely scary as well!  It looked like a hurricane from inside the parking garage with sheets of rain and wind blowing in the different levels and the sky looked green.  Anyways it was pretty scary but luckily it cleared up a little past Morton so we didn't have to deal with it too long.  We did get to enjoy a little hail though just as we were crossing the Peoria bridge.  I am not a fan of thunderstorms at all and was worried that the lightning was going to strike just right on our vehicle! Hopefully our next trip to Peoria will have slightly better weather!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Application Complete!

Jesse has finished his application questions!  After 13 pages of typed answers I think he probably feels relieved and happy to be done with that part of the process:)  It is interesting to see the difference in the amount of detail we each give for the same questions.  Obviously I am more of a talker and detail kind of person and Jesse is one to just give the basic information the question asks for!  I think it is a good thing though because it will show our case worker that we are two individual people and that we both really did answer the questions individually.  We are now both finished with our application questions and the application packet we were given to fill out before our next meeting.  We have a pile of papers now ready to be turned in at our second meeting with Family Core which will be Monday the 20th!  Hopefully this meeting will go well and our application questions will be up to par:)  If not I am sure we will have opportunity to make any corrections or revisions.  We are excited to be moving forward and to have our second meeting on the way.  As I think about the the little baby we will adopt some day I get so excited.  It really seems unreal right now that it will actually happen but I feel like when it does it will be the most amazing experience of my life.  As I think about holding a little baby that needs a home and a family and calling him/her my own, I am so excited at the opportunity we have to take part in such a unique way to build a family.  I wouldn't want to trade my life for anything else.  I love the parallel of an earthly adoption to of us being adopted by God.  It is so awesome that I might get to adopt a child just as God has adopted me.  I want to show my adopted child the love that God has shown me and to have a deeper realization that what really matters is love and not whose genes you have.  I am so thankful that God is molding the hearts of Jesse and me to have a desire and excitement to be used according to His purpose for us.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Ahh... the wonderful feeling of accomplishment!  After 21 pages of typed answers I have completed my application packet questions!  My goal was to be done by May 20th and it is only May 13th so I feel great!  Now Jesse just has to finish his questions before the 20th which might be a little bit harder! This week our evenings will be devoted to Jesse sitting down and writing his answers for the application questions.  He usually tries to make up a reason why he doesn't have time to do them.  Something like, I had to work late or I had to get up early so I am too tired!  Today I ask him if he would rather have sleep or children because we all know you can't have both :)  He actually does very good with answering the questions though especially since its not really his thing to sit down and pour out his feelings and thoughts.  So all that considered he is doing great at coming up with some answers and getting the questions completed!

Friday, May 10, 2013


We have been plugging away at all the paperwork and things we need to compile to give to the adoption agency.  I have our birth certificates, marriage license, vet records, and tax form all copied and ready to give to our agency.  We have completed the two applications for our Foster (Adopt Only) License that I will give to our case worker at our next meeting.  These papers are needed along with our Fingerprint/Background checks, which thankfully we were able to complete at our first meeting!  Jesse got his TB test this Wednesday and will have it checked today.  We will both be getting our physicals done today as well!  My TB test is up to date from working PRN at the Home For The Handicapped in Morton so I was able to get record of that from them.  We have completed all the papers with basic information that we were given that needed filled out and signed for the agency.  All these papers are in a file folder that we will be giving to our case worker at our next meeting.
As for the two pages of detailed questions; we are doing our best to get through them and give as much detail as we can.  For some reason this seems to be a bit easier for me than for Jesse:)  So far I have about seventeen pages worth of typed information just from me answering their questions.  Jesse is working on it too but it takes him a little longer because he has to do it all in the evening after work and I am able to do it in my spare time at work during the day.  When I say seventeen pages it seems like a lot!  As I have been answering the questions though it isn't too hard.  Maybe it is because I have time during the day rather than having to do it all in the evenings.  Each question usually requires a lot of detail but if I just focus on one question at a time it doesn't seem to overwhelming.  Jesse has been writing his answers and then I type them up for him.  It is interesting to see how closely our answers match.  It show that we know each other well and we really are husband and wife!
Our goal is to be done with the questions by May 20th.  On the 20th we have a child/infant CPR class in Peoria at St. Francis.  If we are done with the questions we will be able to meet with our case worker that after noon since we will be traveling to Peoria for the class anyways.  In order to meet with our case worker though we have to have the application questions answered so we have been putting that as top priority!  It is so exciting to get things crossed off the list and to be just a little closer to becoming parents.  I am so thankful for how the process is going so far and I just hope it continues that way!
Now I better quit blogging and get back to my application questions!

Friday, May 3, 2013

First Adoption Meeting

Our meeting went great!  We left feeling encouraged and ready to tackle the home study process head on!  As we were leaving I told Jesse I felt so excited  to begin. I felt like it was completely do-able rather than being completely overwhelmed as I thought I would be, wondering how we could ever become a waiting family! He told me it was probably really because of all the prayers offered on or behalf by you all.  I couldn't agree more.  So thanks to all who prayed for us and continue to pray for us as we start the infant adoption program. It means more than you could know.

We met with our social worker who will be leading us through the home study process and potentially a placement.  She is so wonderful.  She makes us feel comfortable and she encourages us about everything.  We learned about each step that we will need to complete for our home study and then how a placement and adoption would take place.  We also learned about different options for outreach to birth mothers rather than through Family Core.  I will do my best to explain everything.

We will start by completing a home study through Family Core.  A home study is required for any family wanting to adopt or foster.  Each agency has a little different process that you go through but generally they are about the same. With Family Core the home study will consist of five different meeting with our caseworker.  The meeting yesterday counted as the first one. The next will be after we finish the application packet.  Then we will each have a meeting with our case worker individually and the last meeting will be when they come to our house to inspect and be sure it is a safe environment for a child.  Through Family Core we will start by completing an application packet as I said earlier.  In the packet we give general information about us, our jobs, finances, education, medical history, references, etc.  Also included in this packet is two pages filled with detailed questions about pretty much every aspect of our lives.  They want to know about us, our family, how we handle certain situations, why we want to adopt, our marriage and the list goes on and on!  These questions are to be answered by Jesse and I individually.  This seems to be the most time consuming part of the process.  After Jesse and I finish the packet we will have our second meeting with our social worker.

Throughout the process there are a list of things that need to be completed and given to our social worker at any point in time.  Here's a list of some of these things...

-Foster Family home license application and information
-Fingerprints/Background checks
-Medical evaluation of both Jesse and I
-TB tests
-Vet Records for pets
-Birth Certificates and Marriage License
-Tax Forms
-Online adoption training classes
-CPR certification

While we work on completing all of the above things we will have our individual meetings with our case worker and once we are done with everything she will come to our home to have our inspection/final meeting.

After completing our home study we will make a book of pictures and information, telling all about us and our life, to give to Family Core.  They will show this book to birth mothers who are looking to make an adoption plan.  The birth mother has the option to chose us and begin an adoption plan with us through Family Core.  Usually birth mothers come towards the end of their pregnancy, but before the birth, to make an adoption plan.  We were told that often the birth mother would want the adopting family to be there for the birth and stay in the hospital with the baby for the two days it will be there.  This totally depends on what the birth mother prefers though.  The birth father and mother then have 72 hours after birth until they can sign off that they are giving up their baby for adoption.  During those three days they can change their mind at any point but after they have signed at 72 hours there is no way to reverse the adoption.  After a placement there would be a few home meetings from Family Core to be sure the placement is working and the child is in a healthy environment.  Finalization of adoptions usually take place in court around 6 months after the child is born.

Family Core, on average, places around 4 babies a year with waiting families through their infant program and they work with around 8-10 waiting families at one time.  Last year they only placed two babies through their infant program.  This means that it could potentially be a while, after becoming a waiting family, before we would actually be chosen by a birth mother.  For this reason there are other options we can consider to become connected to birth mother.  A few of those options are; using an attorney that specializes in connecting birth mothers and adoptive families, word of mouth to people who may need an adoptive family, or going out of state with some larger adoption agency's that have more placements each year.  These are all options that we can consider doing to speed up the placement process.  I will go into detail on them in the future if we would decide to pursue any of them.  Last year Family Core also had two families use their home study services but became connected to birth mothers some other way than through them.  So they do have families that use these other option, that I mentioned above, for accomplishing an adoption.

At our meeting yesterday it just so happened that the fingerprint guy was there that day!  We were able to complete our fingerprinting for background checks at our meeting. This is great because it's one more thing checked off the list.  The results of background check can also take anywhere form 3 weeks to a few months to get back so getting the prints sent off as soon as possible is really helpful!

Sorry this is such a long post! We learned so much yesterday and are looking forward to getting busy completing our home study so we can become a waiting family and be that much closer to meeting our child! We hope to be a waiting family by harvest or before.  Thanks for the continued prayers!