I hope that this doesn't end up being sort of anti-climatic for you guys since it's taken me so long to post anything about the meeting from last week. I'm still recovering from the critter that has been trying to "off" me since the middle of last week. We're still hoping for a Christmas miracle that I'll be better in time to celebrate on Friday.
So anyway - back to the post at hand...
Our meeting was what is officially called a Pre-Adoption Counseling meeting - which basically means that we spent about 2 hours or so with the lady that we'll likely have the most contact with through the process. We talked about our feelings on adoption, children, and their process.
Their process is a bit different than what we originally thought, at least in terms of the contact. Not that it's bad, but it is a little change in what we were expecting. The foundation is based on the idea that the agency is there to foster a relationship between the birthmother and the adoptive parents... as well as with the child. In my heart of hearts, I feel like when we meet the birthmother for our baby - the one that God intends us to have... we will know that she was also meant to be a part of our lives forever as well. If for some reason she is not, God will take care of that as well.
In terms of the contact though - it goes more like this:
We'll meet the birthmother initially before the birth (in most cases) and again at the hospital. She can sign away her rights to the child 48 hours after the birth - or anytime after that point.
From that time - we'll send letters with pictures:
1st week the baby is home
1st month the baby is home
every 6 months after that point
We will have the opportunity to spend some time with her at an annual picnic every year as well... and if everyone feels comfortable - we can take it off line as well and see her at any other point we'd like.
It's sort of scary to conceptualize, but at the same time - one of the videos we saw at the agency shared a story of a family that adopted a little boy from a particular birthmother... and their relationship blossomed. The adoptive parents talk about almost feeling like a second set of parents to this young lady as well - in terms of them wanting to counsel her on school and who she's dating... things like that. So I guess if it's an opportunity for us to take a young lady's baby in to raise as our own... and for us to minister to her at the same time - we're 100% on board and open to that. God will tell us what is right for us.
The only scary thing that we weren't quite prepared for - but we will just deal with it when the time comes... if it is to be part of our story... but basically in the State of Texas there is a 30 day period where if the birthmother changes her mind - she CAN come back and get the baby. Basically no judge in the state would recognize us as having rights to the child within that timeframe - but again, they explained it to us and it sort of makes sense. It would absolutely be the hardest thing I can imagine... but I certainly wouldn't want to be in the position of someday looking at my child and having to tell them that their birthmother wanted them back - and I said no... or prevented that. Again, it's scary - BUT God is bigger than that... and all we can do is remain faithful that he's got us covered for whatever our needs will be.
We basically left the meeting with the knowledge needed to complete our profile - which is the document that will be shared with potential birthmothers so that they can choose the adoptive family for their child. The agency gives the mothers three at a time to look at - and 98% of the time they choose from those three profiles.
So we'll be working on getting ours completed over the Christmas holidays... our goal is to have it finished by Monday.
From there - when the ladies get back in the office from their time off - they will be setting up our appointments for our individual interviews as well as our home study. We also have a list of other things to accomplish:
Health Physicals for both of us
Shots for the dogs
Finish reading our books & write our summaries
Attend infant care class
Attend CPR training
Get a reference from our Pastor...
And those are just the things I know of right now!
It's a busy time in our house... but we're certainly chipping away at the "to do" list as best we can. We can't wait to see what happens next!