Hi! Welcome Back :)
We clearly have so much to catch up on! In the last few months we have become Home-Study Certified, and are officially "in waiting" status as we hope to become matched with a birth mom soon. We've taken this time to really soak in this time just with our immediate family. We've called it our good news bubble and we've really enjoyed it just being something we could keep private for a little while. So, why share it now? My goal with always having a blog has been to be an outlet for other to relate and not feel alone. With our adoption journey I always planned on sharing the process because, what if it just helps ONE single person. Maybe someone who wants to adopt but is honestly just totally overwhelmed by the process, or perhaps someone who is considering adoption and doesn't know where to go for information or to get a social worker.
24 hours ago, I posted this to my Instagram
WOW! What a journey this year has been for us. Our family is so incredibly excited to end this year with such grateful hearts, as we enter the next step in that journey.
Juan and I have always known that we wanted to adopt at some point in our lives. We’ve prayed on it and with the prayers and support of our family we knew it was the ultimate path that we are meant to walk down.
In the last couple of months we’ve become homestudy certified and are currently waiting to be matched with our incredible birth mother. We don’t know her name yet, we don’t even know her story, but we pray for her every single day. As we sit in this season of waiting, we invite you to join us in our story.
We know that God has a plan, and we are so incredibly thankful for it. If you know someone who is considering adoption and feel called to share our story/profile please see the link in my bio.
Here’s to this next season of life!
#lovemakesafamily #familybuiltbylove #hopingtoadopt #waitingparents #licensedtoparent #tistheseason #waitingonbaby #journeytobabyR #floridaadoption #juaneebaby #lebebé #bebe #baby #adoption #adoptionjourney #adoptionislove #helpusgrow #nobumpstillpumped #newbornadoption #infantadoption #lifeafterloss #lifeaftermiscarriage #rainbowbaby #builtbylove #followforourjourney #shareourstory #community #loveourvillage #juaneebaby #heartofadoptions 📷: Lina ❤️
I wasn't expecting the response we got. The outpouring of love and support was just so overwhelming. What I wasn't prepared for was the amount of people who reached out for question, advice, and an overall "We want to adopt, but we don't even know where to start." I thought I would put all of the questions together in this blog and put it out there for people getting started.
Full disclaimer: I'm not a professional, I only know things from our experience and my own research - Please do not come at me if your experience or state rules are different.
What made you decide to adopt, and not try again? - As insensitive as this question tends to be, I feel like it MUST be answered. If you've read our parent profile, you'll notice that Juan and I always wanted to adopt. It's always been super near and dear to my heart, and Juan has always been on board. If you've read my pervious miscarriage post you probably already knew that we thought originally we would have issues conceiving so before we actually got pregnant I was looking into International Adoption. Juan is from Colombia so we originally thought we would adopt from Colombia. I quickly learned that International Adoption is HARD WORK, expensive, and depending on the country the waiting period can be grueling - even after you're matched. Shortly after I started researching it we kind of went back and forth about trying for a baby on our own or if we should adopt first. After a few months of trying I found out I was pregnant. Our miscarriage ended up being the result of a Molar Pregnancy. (see previous blog for more info). With Molar Pregnancies, you can't try again for at least year after your miscarriage and even after the year is over you have to get cleared by a dr. Our miscarriage was not only emotionally traumatic for our whole family, but it was physically traumatic for me. We prayed so much after that for guidance. My heart had always been leaning more in the direction of adoption. I can't explain it, my heart just feels called in that direction. After our experience we really decided that we aren't sure that we will ever want to try again for a bio baby, and if we do it'll be years from now. SO here we are, waiting on our HEART baby. Our own version of our rainbow baby.
How did you get started? When I first started researching, I found Angel Adoption. Everyone there was so incredibly nice to us. They introduced us to Heart of Adoptions ( a local agency in Florida) for our Home-Study. After doing our Home-Study w/HOA we honestly just felt more connected with that agency and decided to stick with them. The difference between the two are that HOA is an actual Adoption Agency who deals with mainly Florida adoption while AA is a coordination company who works under an agency's license. They deal with all Domestic Newborn Adoption. It was solely a personal choice for us. The social workers that were involved in our HS case were literal angels. The answered my 75,000 questions and were always cheerful and ready to help. I was stressed about the HS and they assured me time after time that it was seriously just a ton of paperwork.
Was the Home-Study hard? Was it expensive? How long does it take? - In terms of expense, HS cost vary state to state, and it varies on what kind of HS you want. Our HS only covers one year and it only covers us for newborn adoption. Our cost was $1300. I wouldn't say that it's hard if you're detail oriented. I can't speak for all versions of HS, or speak for state variations but our paperwork included: Background check (Local, State and Federal), Finger Prints, Employment Verification, Monthly Budget (compared to monthly income), Our Health Insurance Cards, Our DLs, 10 Hours of Classes, Online CPR Course, Biography (they provided specific questions and use your responses as part of your interview), Medical Clearance, Marriage License and Pet Shot Records. HS's can take a few months to complete depending on how long you take to get the paperwork back. We Completed our paperwork in under two weeks so over all our HS took a little over a month when it was all said and done. I was nervous about the interview of course but they really just pulled information from our bios and asked questions about who would take care of our children if something happened to us, what is our childcare arrangement, how my mom's death affected me at a young age and how growing up in Colombia was different for Juan compared to here. Because of Covid, our interview was virtual. Our home visit was a quick 10/15 minute visit because of new Covid regulations - I cleaned our baseboards and no one even looked at those ;) so overall I would say, obviously have your house clean but I wouldn't stress yourself out a ton.
Are you Fostering and Adopting? - We are not choosing to foster at this time. I think you have to be truly honest with what you can handle and I think in the future we could foster but we are currently only seeking out Newborn Adoption. I don't believe this makes you a bad person because I just think that I need to be in a different place emotionally to foster. Juan and I try to support foster children in different ways but donations, especially backpack donations, and during Christmas time we try to donate as many toys, clothing and things on their wish lists as possible. If you'd like to foster and adopt you can get approved for that, you just have to speak to your agency about what HS to complete.
What agency are you using? - I mentioned it above, but we are going through a local Florida agency called Heart of Adoptions. If anyone contacts us about adopting we would reroute them to our agency to ensure they get the BEST support for their personal situation. Birth Mother deserve so much credit, but most of all they deserve so much support emotional. I know this is not always the case for a lot of them so anyone we have the potential to match with, I want them to have all the support possible for their journey.
How long is the waiting period? For everyone it is different. Some people get matched right away, some people wait years. At the end of the day your preferences play a big part in your waiting. For instance - gender specific - If you want a specific gender you will most likely wait longer. Birth Mothers don't always find out the gender so it's harder for you to be matched with someone if you want a specific gender. It's not impossible, but it's just harder. If you are specific to race this could also increase your wait time. There are also preferences on medical history & drug use that could also affect your matching. However, again at the end of the day you have to be really really honest with what you can handle because this is a human life and they deserve the entire world. Our agency's average wait time is 6-18 months, but realistically we could get a call at anytime that we've been matched. Patience is a virtue here for sure.
Are you wanting a specific gender? No, we do not have a preference
Do you have a nursery? YES! We started a nursery when we were pregnant, but it was just little things here and there. Since we started our HS I've been getting things here and there. We had the majority of the space set up before our home visit. It currently lacks decoration just because we want to see the baby's personality and bring elements from their birth family into the mix. I'll start sharing more details later on but currently we have an accent wall that is blue. Juan LOVES fishing so he wanted there to be blue in there for now and if later on we decide it doesn't really match our baby's personality/birth family culture we will make changes.
Do you have any book suggestions on the subject? My friend and I are both going through the adoption process and she bought us both the Julie Gumm Book "You Can Adopt Without Debt" - I haven't gotten a chance to get through it yet so I will report back once finished. Also not that its "on the subject" but, my sweet friend Caryn sent us this baby book "God Found Us You" once we announced we were adopting and it made me cry reading through it. I highly suggest it!
Is there any assistance with adoption? - YES! There are tons of grants and some employers do Adoption reimbursements and there is also the Adoption Tax Credit. My friend who will be adopting next year is also doing a bunch of fundraising for theirs. Here are a few grants I have saved in my phone that we are going to look into and research.
-Gift of Adoption Fund
-A Child Waits Foundation
-National Adoption Foundation
-Associates Home Loan
-Nightlife Christian Adoptions
-Affording Adoption Foundation
-Lifetime Adoption Foundation
Are there any instagram accounts you follow for adoption? I've been finding more accounts that I love lately. Here are a few of them
Do you pack a hospital bag?- With Covid, we aren't exactly sure how our experience will go. I'm not sure if we will get to go to the hospital, and if we do go I'm not sure we will get to go inside. Also, with adoption you can be matched with your birth mother for months or a birth mom can pick you at the hospital! I did back a "grab and go" bag just in case. It has a three pairs of socks, a few diapers(I know the hospital provides them but I'm weird and just incase lol!), a baby gown, 2 hats, a pair of mittens, a small pack of boogie wipes and a small pack of water wipes, a newborn onesie/joggers and a 0-3 month onesie/jogger, a phone charger, two different 4 oz bottles, two different binkie's (what we call paci's), a swaddle blanket, and a burp cloth. After the new year I plan to pack Juan and I a small bag with just a change of clothes and the essentials, I'll circle back around to what exactly are in these bags.
With Adoption will you have a baby shower? Do you know what you need? - Different people choose to do different things in these scenarios - some people choose to do a sip and see after the baby has arrived. We're choosing not to do that if we are placed during cover. We plan to let IMMEDIATE family only for the first few weeks and then we will gradually introduce baby to extended family and friends. We originally said we wouldn't have a baby shower because we honestly have no idea about placement time frame, but our friends aren't having that. I don't know when we will have one, if it'll be virtual or what - I'll post more on that when we have a better grasp on things. I've relied on my mom friends heavily on what to put on my "need list". I created a Amazon Registry list for myself as a way to keep track of what I want/need and different brands of things because the biggest piece of advice from all the mamas was to not buy one brand of EVERYTHING. For instance - bottles. My one friend bought all Dr.Browns and her baby would only use the Avent bottles. I link what I currently have listed here. We already have our bigger items like a crib, bassinet, pack and play, dresser etc. My dad is gifting us our carseat thankfully <3
Any Advice for someone who's thinking about adoption? Research, talk to multiple agencies if you aren't sure about the one you start out with. Realize that there are multiple different versions of adoption and figure out what version is the best for you. Know your village - you will need a support system and you need to really really really make sure the people in your village are the best people for the job. If your child is biracial, you need to make sure the people that will be around your child is going to create a safe, uplifting community for that child. I bring this up because our bio child would have been biracial and we live in a multicultural household and we had to sadly let some people in our lives go because they wouldn't have been a great support system for our child. It's the same situation with whatever child we bring into our home, the adults that are in their lives need to have a heart full of LOVE.
Like I said, I'm no where near an expert. We are still super new. I'm researching ALLL the time. I never want to say something insensitive or something that sounds uneducated, even though I'm sure I will. But, we are really taking the time to learn and grown. I am trying to be the best mom I can be for whatever child we bring into our home, and that requires education about a million different situations. I'll update questions as I get more information or if I continue to receive new questions. PLEASE feel free to reach out anytime if you'd like to hear more on our experience
If someone you know is considering adoption please feel free to send them our profile if you feel called to do so. We may not be the family the envision for their child and that's OK! If they are local to Florida and need adoption support please feel free to send our agency information, I only suggest it because our girls were angels and I know they are just as sweet to birth moms!