Taking the bold step into your adoption journey can sometimes seem overwhelming. It is a daunting task to take the necessary precautions of figuring out the BEST way to start the process. Take a moment to hear from a sweet adoptive mama and her take away. She shares their family’s adoption story, how they began the process and what it looks like to work with a consultant! SUCH a beneficial read!
A year ago I was sleep-deprived and struggling to keep life moving at its regular pace while making daily adjustments to life with a 2-month old. Our adoption process began in January of 2018 and by September we had our sweet baby girl in our arms. She came to us (or we flew to her) with only hours of notice and hit the group running from the moment we met her.
At the time I wanted to share more and bring awareness to adoption last November as I felt I needed to do my part in celebrating what adoption means to us in our family (if you didn’t know Kendall is 1 of 5 adopted in our family) but I was simply struggling to just celebrate this one little girl and that was my primary focus.
Years back as Matt and I discussed our future family we both hoped to have our own biological children and, at the time, didn’t feel called to adopt. He is adopted so one might expect that he would also want to adopt but if we were able to grow our family naturally then that was fine with us.
Once the terms infertility and miscarriage became reality to us we started to consider other options. Adoption was hard for me to wrap my mind around. Of course, I know there are kids in need of families, mamas considering abortion, and we give financially to the agency Matt was adopted from. We were doing our part!
But God wanted more and that was hard to accept.
As we were walking in the trenches of infertility treatment we were also meeting with local families who were walking their path through adoption. We can see now how each family was very specifically placed in our lives to get us through our season. They all were so helpful with giving advice, resources, and just living out their calling as adoptive parents.
Loving on those children that were always meant to be theirs.
Now that I’ve been through the process and we have a year under our belt I’d love to share some of my experiences and resources to help anyone who might be new to adoption and considering their options or is walking through it right now.
We started reaching out to agencies and adoption consultants. Let me explain the difference.
For most (not all) agencies, you will sign up and pay your various fees (which widely vary between agencies) and then go through the home study process to make sure you are fit and clear to adopt. Once you are approved you will provide a profile book about your family that the agency can share with potential birth mothers. At that point, you will likely wait to hear from the agency until you are matched with a birth mom and according to their process and policies will pay their additional fees once the baby is placed with you. Keep in mind every agency has different policies on fees, payment, if you get to have preferences such as gender/age/race, if you get money back should the birth mom change her mind, etc.
We only researched a handful of agencies but didn’t really feel like any were a great fit for us.
Another option we considered was working with an adoption consultant. We reached out to two that came to us through referrals from other families.
We liked the idea of an adoption consultant and here’s why.
When you hire an adoption consultant you pay one fee to work with them. The consultant then guides you through the process every step of the way. The biggest perk to using a consultant is that they have vetted multiple agencies that they allow their families to work with throughout the country. Because they partner with these agencies they can pass along savings such as waived or discounted application fees. This alone makes up for the fee you initially paid to your consultant.
The other benefit is that instead of waiting to hear when you are matched with a birth mom like with the agency above, you get notified when there is a birth mom looking to match with a family and then you can decide if you would like to present your profile book to her. Once she has viewed all families wishing to present you will be notified if you are chosen or not.
The benefit to this process is that you typically receive some information related to the birth mom and baby such as her due date, gender, or race. Maybe even more details like the desired amount of openness or medical history. This allowed us to decide if we were comfortable presenting and able to meet the birth mom’s requests. We also always knew when our profile book was being presented so we could be ready if we were potentially chosen.
As you might expect this can also create a rollercoaster of emotions.
We presented probably over 50 times and that many no’s is very discouraging when you are really hopeful each time. I remember one time specifically that the birth mom was due within a week and as we were waiting to hear back we were also making plans for if she did say yes. In our minds, we had to envision ourselves traveling in less than a week and started considering all that would entail but then we were not chosen so it felt like we just crash-landed. Side-note just over a week later we got Kendall so God’s plans always work out perfectly.
There is so much more involved in the adoption process after you jump in such as finding a social worker to do your home study, background checks, creating a profile book, fundraising and taxes, planning travel, and finalization. I’m always happy to answer any questions and share my experiences on these topics. Is there anything you’d specifically want to know more about in a future post? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Ready to start the process? Use this discount code!
Our adoption consultant Christian Adoption Consultants were so wonderful to work with and we would highly recommend them! We specifically worked with Jonnilyn and she guided me through all my concerns during the entire process! It was so helpful to have someone talk through each step and the very very hard decisions! CAC so graciously provided a discount code that you can use whenever you are ready to start the process with them. Save $100 by using code REFERRAL100.