Putting together our adoption profile was one of the most fun parts of starting the adoption process. I did my best to portray our family as accurately as possible, warts and all. Even so, beginning the adoption process takes a leap of faith, stacks of paperwork, and endless patience. And waiting. Waiting for the next home study appointment. Waiting for approval on your paperwork. Waiting to be officially “in the system.” Waiting to get those emails from the agency. Be prepared for a lot of waiting and asking, “now what?”
The first thing you need to make sure you’ve done once you put together your adoption profile is to have a home study completed. Some of you may have already completed a home study, but if you haven’t, it’s essentially your license to parent. (That’s right, adoptive parents are the James Bond of parenting!) During the entire home study process, a social worker will come to your house and ask you, your spouse, and any other people who live in your house lots of questions about your background, your life, your values, etc. It gives them a complete picture of your life, which helps when matching you to potential birth parents and/or waiting for children. The home study process is lengthy and can take upwards of six months. Be prepared to fill out lots of papers and get a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. (Hint – take the fire extinguisher out of the box before the fire inspector comes over. Trust me on that one.)
If your home study is completed and has been approved – congratulations! You’re a big step closer to the best time in your life. However, now you wait. I’ve written a lot about the adoption wait. How I feel it’s a passive waiting, an unproductive waiting. It’s easy to get bogged down and despair during the wait. You wait to be contacted by your agency or lawyer. You wait to see if you’ve been chosen by the birth parents. You wait to meet them. You wait to get the next email. You wait, wait, wait, for your child. And while you’re waiting, what can you do? If you’re anything like me, you’ll find a myriad of ways to drive yourself and everyone close to you crazy—patience is not my strong suit—but you still wait because you know what’s coming, and you know it’ll be well worth the wait.
So if you’ve completed your adoption profile, and your home study, you are officially in the waiting period. Try your best to enjoy it because no one knows how long you’ll be waiting, only that this is the next step, and it’s probably the hardest step of the process so far.
Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime.