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.
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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.

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Longing to be a Mother

I go through spurts where I am good with life.  Not a care in the world.  But many days I feel empty.  I get jealous of my friends and relatives who have children.  I see the pictures or Facebook statuses about their children, whether it’s the chaos the kids are causing or the sweet, funny moments.  I want my home filled with noise; yes, even the noise of arguments or complaining.  I look forward to the days where my children are arguing or causing a ruckus. I want the food on the floor, dirty dishes, laundry piling up, dirty bathroom, etc. I want to help my kids with their homework or take them on fun adventures to the park, museums, etc. I am eager for the hugs and kisses and saying/hearing, “I love you”.  I want to console my children when they are sad, and wipe their tears away.  I look forward to family game nights where we can sit around and laugh and talk about life, and then argue about who cheated.  Or even the simple laid back nights of watching a clean movie and popping some popcorn on the stove top.  Tears run down my face as I type this, imaging the day we get to finally have our children home with us.  The days we finally get to experience the things I’ve mentioned above.

This time of year is hard on me.  This is the month where kids are going back to school, which means friends/relatives are going to be posting pictures of their little ones on their first day back to school.  Then comes the holiday season where you have hayrides, apple picking, pumpkin patches, thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. While I am so happy for my friends and relatives who have children, it hurts so much, as well.  It’s awesome when we are included in our friends/relatives family time, but often times we just feel out-of-place or left out.  We don’t have children to do all things fun things with.  While we love our nieces, nephews, God-children, friends kids, etc., it’s just not the same.

If you have children, remember to count your blessings.  The days where your children are driving you insane, remember that there are plenty of couples like us who would do anything to be in your shoes and have the chaos that you are dealing with.

You’ll never fully understand what we’re going through unless you’ve been in our shoes, or are currently going through what we’re going through.  This type of pain is real, and I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.  And no, this is not a “poor me” situation.  I am not looking for the sympathy.  I simply just wanted to share what is in my heart and in my mind.

Until next time.

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.

Getting to Know Christi

Christi is a very dominant, strong-willed person.  She likes things to be in perfect condition and likes structure.  She shows a strong front, but behind this front she is a soft, caring person who is very sensitive.  She doesn’t like to fail, and works hard to accomplish any challenge thrown at her.  Her soft spot has to do with children and animals; she will fight tooth and nail to protect them.  Often times you will find Christi being serious, but she can be very goofy, too.  There is usually not a dull moment when Christi is around.  She can be very creative and adventurous, too.

Some of her many interest include the following:

  • Trains
  • Old Cars
  • Elephants
  • Favorite Colors are Yellow and Purple
  • Favorite Flowers are Sunflowers and Daisies
  • Music (Mainly Christian, Country, Classical and Instrumental)
  • Movies (Christian, Romance, Suspense and Comedy)
  • Reading (Suspense/Mystery, Romance and Christian Romance)
  • Road Trips/Scenic Drives
  • Board Games/Card Games/ Puzzles
  • Sports (Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball)
  • Cleaning/Organizing/Decorating
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Coloring in her Adult Coloring Book
  • Arts/Crafts
  • Animals (Especially Cats, Elephants, Rodents/Small Animals)
  • Watching TV Shows (Heartland, Law & Order SVU, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice, Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Friends, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, Reba, Last Man Standing, Pretty Little Liars, etc.)
  • Looking to get back into Playing the Cello and the Flute
  • Favorite Seasons are Fall and Spring
  • Favorite Holidays are Christmas and Easter