Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Adoption Details

For those of you new to the party, here's a break down of our whole adoption process.  It was definitely not your average adoption.

Almost 7 years ago, I started working at a jewelry store.  I never really wanted to work there... it just sort of happened.  During my time there, I got married, my husband deployed for the first time, and I stayed home, working for the months he was gone.  In that time, I became friends with one of the girls who I worked with.  We were never super close friends, especially once I moved away, but we stayed in contact, though it was never really consistent.  When all of our fertility issues started, I started a blog and updated it regularly, chronicling our struggles and our journey... being open and honest about how badly we wanted to be parents.

On April 7th, The Husband and I sat down and talked about giving up trying to conceive.  We were coming up on the five year mark of our trying to get pregnant and I just couldn't make it to five years.  I just couldn't do it.  And neither could he.  So, we threw in the towel, I got on birth control, and we made a new life plan that involved no children.  And we moved on.

That May, we went back home for my little brother's wedding.  The day before, the rehearsal dinner, I was at the church helping my future sister in law decorate for the wedding.... there was a lull in decorating and I called the friend from the jewelry store.  We had been playing phone tag for a few months and it was finally a good time for the both of us to talk.  I walked around outside the church and after she sort of hemmed and hawed for a good ten minutes telling me she had something important to say but she didn't know how to say it... she finally said it...she told me that she was pregnant and that she wanted The Husband and I to adopt her baby.  All the pacing I'd been doing stopped.  I stood there in front of the church, speechless.  I dont even remember breathing.

I was absolutely shocked!  I told her that I would have to talk to The Husband and that I would get back to her as soon as I could.  She asked me if I had any questions and I asked her due date... July 5th; a short 7 weeks away.  I also took a deep breath and asked if she knew the sex of the baby... it was a girl.  We hung up the phone, I attempted to compose myself and I walked back into the church.  I called my mom into the narthex and away from everyone else and told her what was going on.  We somehow managed to keep it together and not tell anyone and finished up the church.  We headed back home and I did some more pacing until The Husband got home from hiking in the mountains with our dad's and brothers.

I met the car outside and he knew something was up. We ended up taking a walk down the street and I told him what was going on. His reaction? "Okay". Just like that. When I told him that she was due in about 7 weeks, there was a bit of a pause before he said, "Okay, lets do this. Why did you even ask? You know I've wanted to adopt forever!"

I called the birth mom back and told her our answer was a definite "Yes!" I could almost feel her anxiety and stress and worry lifting over the phone. She had been thinking about this for months and months and finally she had her answer and that weight could be lifted. She told me that the reason she'd waited until this late was because she wanted to make sure she was 100% sure before she even said anything to me; that she didn't want to ask us and then change her mind and break our hearts again. Which, I most definitely appreciate.

So, we set about to telling our parents and our little brothers and their respective partners and a handful of other people and that was it. Everyone was a little shell shocked (as we both were too), and its needless to say, more than excited! We didn't tell any other family members because we wanted to wait until after my brother's wedding so the focus would be on them.  Once the wedding was over, we started making the big announcement and preparing for the arrival of our daughter. 

First thing we did was contact a lawyer and get the legal things started.  We spent weeks filling out paper work, meeting with our lawyer, taking the birth mom to the doctor, having meetings with the social worker, running around like crazy trying to get background checks done, and not to mention shoving 9 months worth of preparation into only a few weeks.  

On June 22nd, we picked up the birth mom to take her to he 37 week check up.  She met us at the car with pillow and bag in hand and breathlessly told us that she thought it was time.  We called her midwife and met her at the hospital.  We walked into the ER at 4:30 pm and at 7:27 pm, our beautiful and amazing daughter came into this world.  The Husband and I were both in the room and I actually helped deliver her.  It was an incredible and defining moment in my life and I was instantly in love with our little miracle.  

The logistics... 

The paperwork was filed with the court system in July.  Our adoption was finalized in October, exactly 90 days after it was filed.

We got her birth certificate from the State Vital records office in January and we are still awaiting her Social Security card... though its been applied for.  Once we get that, we are totally and completely finished with paperwork!  All in all, (if I ever get her SS card), the whole process from phone call to completely and utterly finished should be a little less than a year.

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