A couple days ago I shared about our never ending adoption to do list… well today I got to cross something off finally! YAY! We are required to take a first aid / cpr class to adopt through the county. … Continue reading
Steve and I just think Jimmy Fallon is the greatest, and when I found out (maybe last week?) that he and his wife welcomed home a beautiful baby girl via a surrogate mother my heart flooded with joy! Jimmy and his … Continue reading
Between selling a house, moving, and traveling 5,000 roundtrip miles to shoot a wedding, I forgot we were adopting. It’s a strange thing. Adoption has a huge place reserved in my head and heart, but man, life happens. I imagine … Continue reading
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Yesterday afternoon I got (okay, missed) my very first call from our social worker. I was excited to call her back because we were told we would have contact with a social worker and we hand’t yet. So things were moving right along!
Our conversation went a little something like this…
SW: Have you done your licensing workshop?
Me: No, that’s this wednesday tho. (we missed the first one)
SW: Have you been finger printed?
SW: Have you had your health screening? (Tb test and physical)
SW: Have you given us your references?
SW: ….Are you still interested in adopting?
Me: YES! We’ve just been busy.
SW: Have you taken any pride training classes?
Me: Yes! 4/8 and another one tonight.
SW: Oh okay, that’s good.
Lady, that felt good, okay? It was the only thing I felt good about in that whole conversation. I can’t believe Steve and I have fallen so behind. And I even sort of thought I was on top of things! What a much needed wake up call that we need to get to gettin’!
On todays agenda:
Make appointment for physicals
Plan on starting TB test 72 hours prior to appointment
Schedule finger printing
Find a CPR class
Finish pride homework
Buy an accordion file to keep all of our documents organized
So, lot’s to do! Steve reminded me last night after another 3 hour pride class was complete that we are ONE STEP CLOSER TO ADOPTION! Sure, this a very long flight of stairs.. but, hey! We’re stepping.
So I’m sitting here with a surprisingly full laptop battery (when did I remember to charge it?) completely surrounded with boxes. Boxes, odds and ends, pillows, packing material, and tape, so much tape. We are leaving our very first home … Continue reading
When I hear “8 classes at 3 hours long each” I actually hear “Oh my gosh this is like High School all over and you are going to hate it.” I was so wrong and pleasantly surprised that our first class was, well, pleasant.
The social workers are very flexible with scheduling and allow you to take the classes out of order, but you HAVE to start with session #1. I think this is because they give you a folder (the thickest folder you ever did see) with all the information for the upcoming classes.
They offer classes in Fontana, San Bernardino, and Victorville but because our crazy schedules we had to take class #1 in Fontana. We are going to be out of town when sessions #7 and #8 are in Victorville so we had to do session #1 in Fontana, #7 and #8 in Fontana, and then sessions #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6 in Victorville. Told you it was crazy, but hey, at least they were accommodating!
A lot of people are confused when we say we are adopting from the county. “So you’re fostering?” “No.” “Oh, so it’s like foster-to-adopt?” “No.” “Ok, so you’re going to have kids come and go until you find the right one?” “Definitely not.” Technically the classes we take are for foster AND adoptive families, but there is a distinction (I don’t think it’s always been this way). They train for foster and adopt together because a lot of the practices are similar… except one is temporary and one is forever (yay!). The social workers have said that a lot of times people foster and then they decide they’d like to adopt and lumping the classes together allows them to complete the process without having to start at the beginning. Steve and I will be called “A closed foster home”. This means that we are licensed as a foster home but we are only accepting one child into our “forever home”.
What we went over in Session #1:
1- Since this is our first time adopting we basically have zero to no knowledge of all of the roles that play a part in the adoption process. I am so happy our sweet social workers (Lisa Curtis and Tracy Inman) went over everything. There are
Licensing clerks- Requests and collects all licensing paperwork
Pride trainers- The workers who gives the classes
Foster home licensing workers- Monitors the foster home
Home study workers- Interviews families face to face and verifies the home is suitable
Placement coordinators- Selects the perfect home for the child while working alongside the birth family, adoptive family, foster family, CPS and home study workers.
Child protective services workers- Assigned to a child and assists with foster homes, adoption process, and the rights of the child.
Adoption workers (concurrent planning workers)- This is NOT foster care. Adoption only. They assist with getting the child into the home.
Supervising social services practitioners- Social workers all have an SSSP and the SSSP is always on duty for questions and concerns.
2- Understanding neglect, developmental delays, emotional maltreatment, and development of children at different stages in the foster and / or adoption process.
3- Defining and explaining foster care and adoption.
Understanding the large picture of child welfare.
Understanding how foster care and adoption protects children and strengthens families.
Explain why foster care and adoptive families are needed.
We watched a video that showcased a foster family and the 2 children temporarily placed in their home. It was so helpful having a visual of the difficulties that children and parents go through. I love the passion behind the social workers! They make it very clear that they value family and they do all they can to respect the birth family.
I left the class feeling even more excited than when I walked in. Every little step we take feels SO RIGHT and we know that this was God’s plan for our family! Getting really excited over here!
Took this photo minutes before the class started. That little notebook will be heavy with ink by the time these 8 classes are done! 😉
“You’re adopting? That is so exciting! ……What are you guys going to get?”
That’s usually how these conversations go. I’m sure pregnant mamas even get stopped by strangers in the grocery store to ask that question! And shoot… I usually ask that question to mamas also. So I totally get it.
When we first started talking about adoption I sort of thought we would get whatever baby was next on the list… boy or girl. To my surprise you actually get to say what gender (and even what race) you want to adopt. This really got me thinking! To Steve, oh man… it was easy. He knew if he got to decide (this sort of huge and important thing that usually isn’t a choice) he would want a boy. You know, an older brother. A protective older brother. His excitement was undeniable and his decisiveness was hard to argue with. It was pretty cute.
If nesting wasn’t enough, knowing that it is a little boy that we are praying for has completely bonded me to him already. We even have a name but Steve wants to keep that a secret.
So, if you would, please join us in praying for our son, our sweet little boy, our baby that will make us three. (Or 5 if you count Ron Swanson and Sofia Grace. And really, I think they want to be counted.)
Also- if you happen to see any crazy amazing sales at target or baby gap LET ME KNOW.
That blue stripe onesie was purchased at target months ago and the grey skinny jeans and striped cardigan were used purchases from my friend Amanda’s instagram shop “From Finn With Love”.
If I have learned one thing so far it is that NESTING IS REAL. Well, actually, I’m learning a lot. About a lot. As far as “the process” goes Steve and I have turned in the application to adopt and … Continue reading
***First of all I HAVE to say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for all of the love and support Steve and I have received about our adoption announcement! Never in a million years did I expect so many people to show us love the way they did. I had to cancel my afternoon plans because I was sitting at the computer for 5 hours responding to facebook comments, messages, emails, blog comments, phone calls, instagram comments, and text messages! My heart exploded that day. I am so sure of it. Thank you thank you thank for celebrating this with us. When Steve got home I cried and said “This is exactly what I wanted.” Adoption is a celebration and you all sure as heck made it feel that way!***
God placed a huge conviction on my heart. This feeling is totally personal and I am in no way saying this is the way things ought to be for every woman. But it happened to me and I have never felt so passionately about something.
I think that Steve and I are definitely able to have “birth children”. We could have continued to try and there were more options and remedies that we could have experimented with. Sure. And at this moment I definitely don’t feel infertile. I know that if God wants us to have babies we most certainly will. It’s just that recently I became more and more aware of women spending thousands of dollars on treatments, testing out every medicine on the market, and spending 7+ years trying to conceive a child. I know this subject is very personal for most women and I totally believe in the womans right to make her own decisions about her body, but I hope that if you are reading this blog you already have a small space in your heart for adoption. I am getting nervous writing this because I don’t want to offend anyone. But I just have to be honest about the work God is doing in my heart! Ok, so I’ve noticed that those women are living in such a dark period of infertility, miscarriage, empty arms, and loneliness. I can’t help but think they could have been enjoying a child for those 7 years through adoption. They could be a mom of a 2nd grader. And what breaks my heart the most is that there is a 2nd grader out there bouncing around foster homes instead of living in his/her forever home.
I thank God that I was able to see that. I am so thankful that we get to choose adoption. I have this feeling in my heart of hearts that we will probably conceive a child one of these days… and that day will be so, so special. Imagining a little baby that looks like Steve is so adorable I can’t even think straight. But right now I can’t believe we get to adopt!! Our baby is (potentially) out there waiting for us.
PCOS was a dark cloud for me this past year. But adoption is THE LIGHT! My depression and anxiety (thanks PCOS) has shed and the pressure I put on my body to conceive a child is gone. I am free and I have LIGHT in my life!
The day I announced our adoption my mama friend Carol wrote me and said, “Truth sets you free! Not only sets you free but gives LIGHT and understanding to others that are still walking in darkness! We are adopted by our Father! Adoption is His plan!!!” I love Carol’s heart for orphans. Speaking with her was so encouraging! Babies need us and that feeling of mothering one of them has set me free!!
Do you know that feeling when you fall in love and every love song you hear is somehow magically about you and your boo? Well that’s how I’ve felt with the adoption process. The first night Michael Buble’s song “I just haven’t met you yet” came on and I started crying. I can’t wait to let our baby know how anxiously we waited for them. Well on Saturday I was driving to my mom’s house and Matt Papa’s “Open Hands” song came on and I was worshiping God in the front seat of my car with an open heart and loud lungs!
“To give unselfishly
To love the least of these
Jesus I’m learning how to live with open hands
All these treasures that I own
WIll never satisfy my soul
Jesus I lay them at Your throne with open hands
I lift my hands open wide
Let the whole world see How You love,
how you died
How You set me free
Free at last I surrender All I am with open hands with open hands
To finally let go of my plans
These earthly kingdoms built of sand
Jesus at Your cross I stand with open hands
You took the nails
You bore the crown
You hung Your head
Your love poured out
You took my place
You paid the price
So Jesus now I will give my life “