We have only been homestudy approved since Friday. Networking has been going fast and furious. We haven't heard back on any of the situations. All three of the situations are for boys with special needs, ranging from 3 days old to 6 months old. All three have different special needs-- one is very similar to our Xander.
Our children do not know about them. It's taking sending text messages/emails/facebook chats and talking in code and whispering after they have gone to bed. I know how much I looked forward to events in my life as a child and I can't imagine burdening our children with an unknown timeframe at their young ages. We could wait years. They know we are praying for a new baby and that we started the process to adopt but they don't know much beyond that.
While God could call us to an international adoption, the original situation we were asked to re-consider doesn't appear to be for us. The country is very unstable and very, very expensive. There is some discussion over whether or not we are technically even eligible to adopt from said country. So we are going to pass. We have however sent a few inquiries in about other international programs. (I'm not sure I'm allowed to name countries so I'm taking the safe road.)
I'm going to start doing a little FAQ's section because we seem to be getting the same questions a lot. Here are the questions that I've gotten quite a bit in the past few days.
Will you have to travel and what will your Fab Four do? Where will they go? Or will they travel with you?
Have no fear, we didn't forget about the Fab Four! My aunt has graciously said that she will drive up from Georgia and is pretty much living on standby (just like we are!) My children LOVE her to death, playfully argue over who's she is (the correct answer is MAMA!) and she really has a grandmotherly role in their lives. You may remember that she was on standby when I was pregnant with Solomon and she came to help hold down the fort when I was put on bedrest. In fact, when Xander was still in the hospital and the girls weren't allowed in the nursery and Brandon had to travel for work, she met me half way to take the girls down to Georgia until Brandon got back in town. And the children went down so Brandon and I could have our Anniversary Getaway. She's fabulous! Everyone should have an Auntie Karon! We have a support system here in Richmond too.. so if for some crazy reason we have to leave before Auntie Karon can get all the way here, we have a few friends lined up to tide us over in a short term way.
How long will you be gone?
This really just depends. When you adopt out of state, there is paperwork that must be filed called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC.) It is a contract between the states that controls the lawful movement of children for the purpose of adoption. (Thank you adoption.com- I was having trouble coming up with a concise definition!) Both states have to agree to it before we can leave whatever state our child is born in. It usually takes 7-10 days but the baby has to be discharged from the hospital before it can be started. Only one parent has to stay. Of course, Brandon and I would ideally like to stay together, but it is just another thing we have to play by ear. If our child is born here in Richmond, there would be no overnight travel away. We would spend time with the birthparents if they'd choose to want to spend time with us and we'd spend time getting to know the baby. Again, we'd have to play it by ear.
How do you decide what situations to send your homestudy to?
I briefly mentioned that I consider this the hardest part of adoption. And honestly, we don't have a "system" really. We look over the limited amount of information that we can see and we pray. A lot of very specific information is only shared with the adoptive parents after they match. At that point we could accept or reject the match. Brandon and I have researched a lot of special needs briefly, so sometimes we look deeper into the special need to refresh our memories. We have had a lot of lengthy discussions about what strengths we have as a family and as a couple as well as what resources are available here in Richmond. Part of our homestudy interviewing was to help us think through these things. We have passed over some situations, for instance, the first one this time.
This whole match process is kind of new to us. Sure, we matched and adopted before. During our first adoption, we sent our homestudy to four situations very quickly after we were approved. One we never heard back from. One the sibling set had matched right before our homestudy got there after we had a minor snafu on the paperwork being sent. And the third, we were told after we sent our homestudy that they were looking to keep the little girl in the immediate area (on the other side of the country.) The fourth time, we sent our homestudy in to try to match with a baby girl due in May and we got a call a few days later asking if we would consider a baby boy, who was one week old. That was our Xander! It was fast and simple. We prayed and obeyed and before we knew it we were matched.
I'm not expecting this process to go as quickly but I have no doubts that God can do it just that quickly again, if it is His will.
What preparations have you made for a new baby?
Babies in the Bee Household start out in Mama and Daddy's room. Part of it is because that is what we feel comfortable with. Part of our reason is because all of our children share rooms and it is easier for an adult to fall back asleep than a child. And in adoption, part of it is because we do everything we can to help bond us faster. Answering needs immediately is one way for your baby to bond to you better. We can answer more immediately, if the baby is closer to us. We haven't set up the baby's bed in our room yet. We have washed the carseats, rearranged the carseats, sorted clothes (both boys and girls clothing) and picked out first names. We have some middle names being tossed around, but for some reason we can't quite settle. I wonder if it is because the birthparents have names that they are going to ask us to use. Either way, we'll have a baby with a name and right now we are in no rush. Oh and I've nested like a crazy woman.. several times.
If you have any other questions, leave them in the comment section and I'll do another FAQ's post. We appreciate all of your prayers!
Speaking of prayers, we have an appointment at 10:15am for a second opinion for Lainey's feet. Would your pray for wisdom for the new (to us) doctor? Would you pray that Brandon and I make wise decisions while advocating for Lainey's best? And would you pray for Lainey's emotions/mental health as we walk down this road again? I'll fill you in when I get home and settled...
PS: The spacing on blogger is driving me nuts. ;) Absolutely nuts!