Please pray for us as we embark on a 3rd adoption pilgrimage, to - God willing - welcome another precious child into our family!
We have long wanted to adopt again - as it still seems as though babies are not coming any other way - but this time around, it took us WAY longer to get to the starting block again! (For comparison, we started adoption #2 when Zelie was just over a year old; Grace is almost four.)
A few reasons for that:
First, Grace was born in September 2019, which we recount here, and while we were still in the early months of sleep-deprived newborn-parent life, the world shut down with the covid pandemic in March 2020. We - like most of the world - were in shocked survival mode for months and months, and starting another adoption did not seem feasible as the world was so crazily altered.
Second, we discerned a major career move around the time Grace was born. Dan had completed his PhD studies in January 2019 and through prayer, dreaming, and the encouragement of some key mentors, we decided to leap into the unknown and start a non-profit with the mission of helping adult children of divorce (like Dan) find healing: Life-Giving Wounds.
If you've ever started something brand new, especially a start-up from-scratch business, you know the work and effort that goes into it!! It's been such an amazing experience but a huge learning curve as well. We started out simply in a volunteer capacity, but thankfully the ministry has grown such that Dan has worked full-time for Life-Giving Wounds as the President since February 2023. (That whole journey would be another post by itself!)
Suffice it to say that we wanted to see where this new venture would lead, and make sure it was stable enough, before embarking on another adoption process.
We started talking in earnest this past Spring about adopting again, and decided that July was a good (enough!) time to do it!
Differences with adopting this time around:
The *biggest* difference, of course, is that we now have TWO children who - because they are older than Zelie was when we adopted Grace - will be participants in many ways in the ride we're about to take as a family! The girls are VERY excited. (Grace says she wants a baby "right NOW" ha, and Zelie is full of ideas for names, such as: Zelie, Sprinkles, and Rainbow....it's a work in progress ;))
We're hoping that this adoption can also lead to conversations with them about their own adoptions, and an opportunity - especially for Zelie at age 6 - to "see" what the process is like that she only experienced as a newborn. Zelie will be interviewed by our social worker as part of the home study - kid-appropriate questions like what she likes about being a big sister, etc.
And now that we have a cat (#pandemicpet), Mr. Bailey has a role too - we have to submit his rabies vaccination records and get him a pet license.
The last big difference so far is that since we adopted Grace, our home study agency has gone totally virtual / electronic with the paperwork. So far this has worked out nicely, with far less things needing to be printed, signed, scanned, or mailed. And everything is kept nicely together in our "portal."
What's coming next:
For the most part, though, the home study will be more or less identical to the process we went through when adopting Zelie and Grace.
Ready for the paperwork list?? ha! Stuff we have to do includes:
- provide 4 references (this time including someone who has spent a lot of time with our girls)
- get background checked by the state and the FBI - three separate processes, two that are notarized forms, and one with fingerprints
- provide medical information from our doctors and our girls' pediatrician
- sign a bunch of agreements with the agency
- update our autobiographies
- have our house inspected by the fire department (let's see if they want us to remove a window entirely this time!)
- do some adoption classes - one for parents adopting again, and one about transracial adoption
- give them alllllll of our financial info and then some
- provide proof of all our insurance policies and our driving records