Steps Six and Seven – Officially in Adoption Program

If you aren’t caught up, here is where we are at on our adoption process:

We have finished steps 1 through 7 so far.

  1. Attend Information Meeting
  2. Discern about children with special needs and your skills/abilities to meet their needs.
  3. Mail Permanency Resource Family Survey to State Program Office
  4. State Staff – Initially screens for compatibility with Program.
  5. Initial Screen In – Noticed by letter and assigned for In-Person Screening Visit
  6. In-Person Screening Visit with Public Adoptions Staff
  7. Public Adoptions Staff consults with supervisor about visit.
  8. Adoption packet is mailed out.  We complete and return materials.  Can enroll in Public Adoptions education classes with returned application.
  9. Application is assigned to an adoption home study worker.
  10. Adoption worker schedules visit to begin home study.
  11. Licensing Timeline – Varies depending on schedules, visits completed, meeting education requirements, all materials completed and returned to home study worker

Step One – Adoption Information Meeting

Steps Two and Three – Adoption Survey Application

Steps Four and Five – Can’t Believe This is Finally Happening

Right now we are on Step 8.  Last week Tuesday, November 26th, we received a phone call from the lady that did our In-Person Screening Visit, and she told us that her supervisor approved us!  We are officially in the Adoption Program and have been assigned a caseworker (same lady that did our In-Person Screening)!  We just received our Adoption packet and will begin to fill this out and will also receive another visit from our Caseworker to explain how to fill out the second half of the paperwork.  She mentioned that classes will begin in January.  We will have to attend two Public Adoptions education classes (8hrs each).

What have we been doing these days?  Well, I’ve been sick with bronchitis and an ear infection.  The bronchitis has been almost never-ending.  I had it bad for just over 2 weeks and received some meds from the doctor, which definitely helped.  But now I have this lingering cough/phlegm/nasal drainage.  Besides being sick, we’ve been working on decluttering the house still.  Going through and organizing has been a never-ending task.  We are hoping to sell our home and purchase a new (bigger) home within the year, so having everything decluttered and organized will definitely help.

Jason had a dartball tournament this past weekend and his team did very well.  While he was playing darts, I was at home catching up on housework and laundry.  Not a fair, right?! haha

That’s about it, for now.  Until next time!

 

Advertisements

Steps Four and Five – Can’t Believe This is Finally Happening

If you aren’t caught up, we completed Steps Two and Three about a week or so ago.  You can read about it, here.

I’m writing this update now, in the moment, before I forget what this feeling feels like.  Moments ago I saw an unknown number on my cell phone while at work.  Usually I ignore phone calls I don’t know, but decided to answer this time.  We’ve been selling stuff online and I thought maybe it was an interested buyer.  Boy was I wrong!  It was the adoption agency calling to let us know our first application has been approved.  Talk about being excited, scared and super emotional all at the same time.  The lady mentioned she’d liked to come to our home and meet with us for our In-Person Screening Visit.  I told her I’d have to talk with Jason and work out a date that works for us and I’d call her back.  After hanging up the phone, I instantly called Jason to tell him the amazing news and then texted our parents and siblings the news!

Now I get to sit here teary-eyed, typing this post as I realize our dreams are about to come true.  Our dream of becoming parents is actually starting to happen.  After feeling like the worst person ever; checking off boxes of characteristics/health issues/behavioral issues that we’d be “willing” to accept out of our future child on our first application, it feels good knowing that our future children are out there just waiting for us.  I can’t even begin to explain all the love I have to give to our future children.  Of course I am only speaking for myself right now.  Jason is excited, too.  Especially for the fun times that are ahead.  He’s the more playful one, and I’m the nurturing one.  Can’t believe this is finally happening!  And of all days, we received this great news on the 15 yr anniversary of when Jason and I first met. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us as we go through this process.  Please keep the prayers coming!  We are only in the beginning of this crazy adoption adventure!

So if you’re keeping track. We have finished steps 1 through 5 so far.

  1. Attend Information Meeting
  2. Discern about children with special needs and your skills/abilities to meet their needs.
  3. Mail Permanency Resource Family Survey to State Program Office
  4. State Staff – Initially screens for compatibility with Program.
  5. Initial Screen In – Noticed by letter and assigned for In-Person Screening Visit
  6. In-Person Screening Visit with Public Adoptions Staff
  7. Public Adoptions Staff consults with supervisor about visit.
  8. Adoption packet is mailed out.  We complete and return materials.  Can enroll in Public Adoptions education classes with returned application.
  9. Application is assigned to an adoption home study worker.
  10. Adoption worker schedules visit to begin home study.
  11. Licensing Timeline – Varies depending on schedules, visits completed, meeting education requirements, all materials completed and returned to home study worker.

Steps Two and Three – Adoption Survey Application

A lot has taken place since Step One was shared with you all.

We finished our first round of our adoption application and sent it out in the mail!

So if you’re keeping track. We have finished steps 1 through 3 so far.

  1. Attend Information Meeting
  2. Discern about children with special needs and your skills/abilities to meet their needs.
  3. Mail Permanency Resource Family Survey to State Program Office
  4. State Staff – Initially screens for compatibility with Program.
  5. Initial Screen In – Noticed by letter and assigned for In-Person Screening Visit
  6. In-Person Screening Visit with Public Adoptions Staff
  7. Public Adoptions Staff consults with supervisor about visit.
  8. Adoption packet is mailed out.  We complete and return materials.  Can enroll in Public Adoptions education classes with returned application.
  9. Application is assigned to an adoption home study worker.
  10. Adoption worker schedules visit to begin home study.
  11. Licensing Timeline – Varies depending on schedules, visits completed, meeting education requirements, all materials completed and returned to home study worker.

Filling out the first round application was a bit depressing.  If you ever want to feel like a judgmental person, then fill out this form.  We had to go through pages upon pages of checking off behavioral, physical, etc conditions that we have experience with and what we’re willing to “accept” out of our future children.  After my going through infertility for so many years, shingles, vestibular disorder, and Jason’s cancer diagnosis, we would really prefer not to have a child with a bunch of physical disabilities or serious health issues (i.e. feeding tubes and such).  Jason and I had a hard time answering these questions.  We talked about that if we conceived on our own and gave birth to a child or children with these conditions we would still love and take care of our kids.  We would do whatever needed to be done to make sure our kids were taken care of and provided for no matter what. We also talked about how we could easily adopt a “healthy” child that could later on in life get seriously ill or injured.  Again, we would still love them and do our best to take care of them.  We would never turn our backs on someone in need, especially our own child.  Again, it was not fun having to answer these questions, but we did have to be honest with our answers.  We did find that we are more open to behavioral issues, though. We were given different situations and had to respond with how we would react or handle those situations.  It was a bit challenging.  They were situations you usually wouldn’t have to consider or think about unless you were going through adoption. I will say, filling out this application helped Jason and I connect more and communicate about our desires and future plans. We had to get past the part of where Jason would just agree with whatever I would say.  I kept having to tell him that it’s not about what I want, it’s about what WE want and what WE can handle as a team.  In the end, we both felt pretty low of ourselves and how we had to truthfully answer these questions.

As for what’s next, we get to patiently wait and see how our first application goes and hopefully receive a letter that we have been approved for the next step.

22406297_451057131961361_8924925811545133002_n

It’s Been Awhile

A lot has taken place since our last update.

  • We replaced our washer/dryer and oven.  We found a scratch and dent place about 30-40 minutes from our house and will definitely go back for other items as needed.  We saved quite a bit of money shopping there.  After spending too much money every month at the laundromat for almost a year, it was time to finally buy a new machine.  Our dryer has been kind of frumpy lately, too, so we decided to replace it and purchase a set instead of dealing with replacing it later.  Then our stove decided to die on us, too.  So back to the store we went.
  • We went out to the tennis courts to hit a few balls around.  I used to play tennis way back in the day and have been wanting to drag Jason out to the courts for awhile.  It was a fun but tiring experience.  We both could hit the ball but with very little aim. It was definitely a good workout!
  • We had our custom ordered loveseat ordered and delivered from Biltrite.  We love this place.  You get to pick out the fabric/colors you want and whatever styles you like.  Our items have a lifetime warranty on everything, and it’s heavy-duty Amish made.
  • Installed curtains in all our rooms to hopefully save some energy this winter.
  • My sister came to visit us around Labor Day and we had fun bowling, golfing, playing pool and shuffleboard, etc with her.  This was my second time out at a golfing range and it was an interesting experience.  We were all a bit rusty. haha  Plus it didn’t help that it was insanely hot and humid outside.
  • Jason bought me some beautiful sunflowers for my birthday.  I absolutely love sunflowers and it was the perfect gift for me.
  • We celebrated mine and Jason’s birthdays in September.  We had a delicious dinner with hibachi for my birthday and Brazilian steakhouse for Jason’s birthday.  I absolutely love hibachi foods and usually only get to enjoy this for my birthday.  We tried out the steakhouse and it was delicious.  We’ve never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, but I think we’d go back again.  I’m not a huge meat eater, but it was fun trying out the different meat selections.
  • We had a big end of the year volleyball tournament the end of September.  We didn’t play so great, but we all had fun.  We were at the tournament for five hours and were very much exhausted when it was done.
  • We attended a huge classic car show earlier in October.  Over 555 cars!  It was awesome.  We made it just over halfway through and were too tired to continue on.  After playing five hours of volleyball the day before, we were wiped out.
  • We participated in the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to celebrate/support Jason as he is in remission from his CLL.
  • We finished writing the last of all our thank you’s from our adoption event from July.  (Yes we’re a bit late on doing this)
  • We paid off 2 more of my school loans!  That makes it 4 down and 3 to go!  Our plan is to be as close to debt free (besides our mortgage) by the time we adopt our kiddos.
  • And lastly and most importantly, we finished our first round of our adoption application and sent it out in the mail!  You can read about this experience, here.

So what’s next for us?  We’re coming up on our 11yr wedding anniversary this coming weekend, and then next week will be 15 yrs from when we met and started dating.  We look forward to our annual tradition of doing our scenic fall drive throughout our state.  It’s a great time for us to talk and catch up with each other and learn new things about each other.  As for our adoption process, we get to wait and see how our first application goes and hopefully receive a letter that we have been approved for the next step.

Here are a few pictures from our experiences the past few months.  Stay tuned!

 

Step One – Adoption Information Meeting

Did you know that there are over 9 thousand children in Wisconsin that are in the system waiting to be adopted?  Between June 2016 and July 2017, only a little over 600 of these children were actually adopted.  How heartbreaking is this?  This is just a small part of what we learned about at our first adoption orientation class this past Thursday night.

Jason and I showed up to this orientation not really sure what to expect.  We had many questions and concerns, and thankfully everything got answered during the presentation.  We learned about the different steps we will have to take and what we’ll need to do or have done for each step.  The length of time it will take for us to adopt will really depend on how quickly we can fill out forms and have our home ready for the agency to go through and approve.  Honestly, there was so much information received, it was a bit overwhelming and too much to really share with you all right now.  Here is the information we can share so far.

This is our Adoption Licensing Process Timeline:

  1. Attend Information Meeting
  2. Discern about children with special needs and your skills/abilities to meet their needs.
  3. Mail Permanency Resource Family Survey to State Program Office
  4. State Staff – Initially screens for compatibility with Program.
  5. Initial Screen In – Noticed by letter and assigned for In-Person Screening Visit
  6. In-Person Screening Visit with Public Adoptions Staff
  7. Public Adoptions Staff consults with supervisor about visit.
  8. Adoption packet is mailed out.  We complete and return materials.  Can enroll in Public Adoptions education classes with returned application.
  9. Application is assigned to an adoption home study worker.
  10. Adoption worker schedules visit to begin home study.
  11. Licensing Timeline – Varies depending on schedules, visits completed, meeting education requirements, all materials completed and returned to home study worker.

We both have to have 16 hours work of education classes completed.  The Adoption Classes we will have to attend are:

  1. Understanding of Adoption and Impact on Parenting/Family Dynamics
  2. Understanding of Issues for Child in Adoptive Placement
  3. Understanding of Loss and Grief for the Adoptive Family
  4. Understanding of Attachment Issues in Adoptive Placement
  5. Understanding of Support and Resources for Adoptive Placement
  6. Understanding of Cultural Sensitivity in Adoption
  7. Understanding of the Effects of Abuse and Neglect in Adoption
  8. Understanding of Legal Issues related to Adoption
  9. Understanding of Children Coming from an Institutional Care Setting
  10. Understanding of Educational Issues in Adoption

Once we have completed all the forms, the home study, the classes, and we are approved, then we will become a “waiting family”.  During this time, we will have our agent share our information with the child’s agent and see what they think we could be compatible with.  We can say no as many times as we want, or we can say yes and try things out with having the children in our home.  Once we find a compatible match, we will have to have the child(ren) in our home for a minimum of 6 months before we can officially adopt them.

So where does that leave us right now?  We have to fill out the Permanency Resource Family Survey to our State Program Office, and hopefully get approved for this first step to enter into their program.  This Permanency Resource Family Survey is a packet where Jason and I will fill in basic introductory information about us as well as our licensing knowledge and experience.  Then the form continues with characteristics of child(ren) we are desiring for adoption… we pick out health characteristics we have experience with or are willing to consider as a match to our family.  This includes physical health, emotional/behavior health, and risk factors.  The whole packet consists of 10 pages.

Asking for prayers and good thoughts that we get approved after we submit this packet tot he State for review.  If you have questions or words for encouragement, feel free to reach out to us or comment below.