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Our Adoption Journey Has Begun!

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And for the first time in a long time I’m feeling really excited. Impatient! But excited! And I have this feeling (please God, for once, let my gut be right in all things family related) that its not going to be a very long wait!

Yesterday, W and I met with the social worker we have selected. What an amazing, wonderful, kind, compassionate and friendly woman. It felt more like a day spent with a friend, eating and chatting, than our actual adoption screening. We arrived at 09h30 and started with muffins and coffee and a chat about who we are, what we’ve been through fertility wise and what our hopes are in terms of adoption. After that we had to did the Eco-Metric testing, which was a fairly quick multiple choice questionnaire consisting of 236 questions that were clearly aimed at discovering if either W or I had suicidal tendencies or drug and alcohol problems. The questions went something like this:

  1. Do you require something to help cope with stress?
  2. Do you think others would be better off if you were dead?
  3. Do you cope better during stressful times with something?
  4. Do you have thoughts on ending your life?
  5. Do you need something to help you cope?
  6. Does your life seem meaningless?

Pretty easy stuff and thankfully, in spite of all the shit we’ve been through this year, we’re both still fairly positive people who don’t have thought of suicide and aside from the occasional bottle glass of wine or two or three, we don’t have any substance abuse problems. Obviously I’m being slightly facetious, the test was a bit more in depth than that, but you get my drift, no biggie at all!

After that we had to complete the Psycho-Social Assessment. That was a tough one, 19 pages and took two hours to complete. We had to answer some very tough questions, things I’d never actually thought about until yesterday, questions like:

  1. What would we like to ask the birth mother?
  2. Would we consider a child of a different race? A child conceived via rape or incest? A child with a physical disability or health problem?
  3. Why would we make good adoptive parents?
  4. How do our families feel about us adopting?
  5. What do our friends think about us adopting?

After that we took a break for lunch and were served a delicious lasagna, with salad and bread rolls and Iced Tea. The remainder of the afternoon was spent discussing things like where they find the birth mothers, how the birth process would work, the legal issues, the financial aspects, the type of adoptions etc etc etc.

I’m very excited about the following:

The adoptions are closed! Our only requirement is for the first two years to send the Social Workers a letter with some photo’s every couple of months so that should the birth mom wish to see, she can.

The actual process is so beautiful, that is of course unless we’re not surprised, which is also a strong possibility. See, depending on how the social workers get the birth mom’s, sometimes, they get phoned calls from the hospital, after the babies have been born, then it will be a made dash to get there if we’re selected. But other times, the social workers will work with the birth Mom’s from the time she’s around 3 months pregnant. Of course, they will only notify us of our selection about 2 months before the baby arrives. This means that I will be able to go onto the medication that would allow me to breast feed our baby once she arrives. The birth mom’s deliver the babies via C-section at the MediClinic and the most exciting part? We get a fair amount of participation! If the Birth Mom agrees, we will be allowed into the delivery room for the actual delivery of the baby. The birth mom is then booked into the gynecology ward and I will be booked in as a patient into the maternity ward!!!! So exciting!!! I will stay in the hospital for about 3 days, where the nurses will treat me as the mommy, teaching me how to breast feed, change nappies, bath and dress baby! We will also spend some time alone with birth mom, giving her a chance to see us with baby and to let go and say goodbye!

It was so beautiful, when we discussed this part yesterday, my beautiful amazing incredible husband started to cry. These HUGE crocodile tears rolled down his cheeks and when the social worker asked if he was ok, he started to really cry and he told her he cannot even put into words what it would mean to him to be in a maternity ward with me and see me holding our baby and see the look on my face when this all happened. Of course, this floored both the social worker and I and tissues had to be handed out while we all had a good cry.

She also addressed my concerns about the 60 day cooling off period, its not quite as terrifying as I expected that it would be. She explained that should there be in doubts in their minds they will put the baby into kangaroo care until they’re certain but that in all the adoptions they’ve done this year only ONE birth mom withdrew her consent. So I’m feeling slightly less stressed about that.

Now we have to complete our health clearance this week and fill in our financial statements. Our social worker has put us under a bit of pressure, requesting that we get our profile done and dusted and submitted to her by Monday, which I’m secretly (ok not so secretly now) hoping means that potentially she may have someone in mind for us? We were explained that there is no way to estimate the wait, they’ve had couples wait as long as 5 years and they’ve had couples that waited a month, they even had one couple that got selected the same day they had their assessment so anything is possible.

We are on alert and ready to go!

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  • Reply Lea White

    Oh wow!!!! How very very exciting!!!!! Sharon, I pray pray pray so very hard that all the puzzle pieces will just simply quickly fall into place!!!!

    November 24, 2009 at 11:03 am
  • Reply Chopper1

    Ohmigosh how incredibly awesome and exciting for you and your DH! I think it’s incredible that you get to be such a huge part of the birthing process and I had no idea that you could go into hospital too! That just blows me away!

    I’m holding thumbs for you Sharon – you deserve to have your dreams come true.

    xx

    November 24, 2009 at 11:05 am
  • Reply jan

    omg wow wow wow!!! cannot wait for the both of you to experience this wonderful day!!

    November 24, 2009 at 11:11 am
  • Reply SCY

    My friend, I’ve got tears in my eyes. (and you know how big that is!) I hope with every fibre of my being that this process is quick for you and W and that you get to have the most AWESOME birth experience with your little one.

    xxx

    November 24, 2009 at 11:15 am
  • Reply CalT

    yay yay yay!!!!!!

    Oh Shaz I am so so excited for you and W. I really hope your wait will be so short. I think it is so fantastic that you get to take your baby straight away and be admitted into the maternity ward. That is so special. I would have loved that.

    May this journey be filled with only good surprises and joy the whole way.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Mich

    Sharon I am so happy for you and W that you have made such progress so quickly with this new journey in your lives. Your social worker sounds like such a wonderful person and I truly hope that your wait is a short one. And then you get to experience the most awesome birth experience ever. Best of luck my friend. xxx

    November 24, 2009 at 11:47 am
  • Reply Abs

    Wow, sounds so exciting Sharon!! I’m so happy for you and W. That amount of involvement and being there from the moment your child comes into the world would be truly amazing! I really hope the wait will be a short one and you get to make the mad dash very very soon! xxx

    November 24, 2009 at 11:56 am
  • Reply Sian

    Wow wow and wow! This is great news. You sound so positive and happy about it. I really hope that the wait is not too long. Lotsa love. You and W deserve some good news.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply Elize

    OMW I’ve got this big lump in my throat! I so wish and pray that you get selected ASAP and that you have the family you dream of. Sounds very exciting, and I’m so excited for you and W!!

    November 24, 2009 at 12:14 pm
  • Reply Cindy

    So excited for both of you, Sharon.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply charne

    i am so glad you found the process to be more like having coffee with a friend and discussing the way forward in creating your family

    thinking of you and trusting your will have a short wait and that your blessing is on the way

    love
    charne
    xxx

    PS 1 this year withdrew!! drat that stresses me i was hoping it was like 1 ever 10 years!

    November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Invivo

    Got me all teary reading this. The thought of this possibly(please God) happening very soon is so terribly exciting for me, I can only imagine how you and Walter must feel.

    So excited for you!

    Mxxx

    November 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Kirsty

    oh.my.word!! This is WAY too exciting foran otherwise, very mundane Tuesday!!! Wow – so happy for you x

    November 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply HopelesslyTTC

    Your post really struck home for me…I too have big crocodile tears rolling down my face!
    That really does sound amazing – a lot less clinical and removed than I had imagined. I really hope that after all you guys have been through, that this delivers your little loved one soon – you guys have been through hell and deserve to catch a break, and getting the call sooner rather than later would be fantastic.
    I don’t know if it’s because our next decision point in this process is looming so closely, but I find details on other available options to create our family (specially when they are so positive and encouraging) a welcome balm for my fraying nerves. All the best S&W (there’s a whole crowd holding thumbs for you)

    November 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Julia

    I read this with tears in my eyes. Praying up a storm for a miracle for you and your hubby…xx

    November 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply WiseGuy

    This looks beautiful. I hope you and W will get ‘matched’ soon.

    xoxoxo

    November 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply Dee

    Wow, sounds absolutely fantastic. I cant wait for you to be matched!

    Good grief, the questions are hard…

    November 24, 2009 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply monica lemoine

    That is awesome, Shaz. It kind of sounds like fun to answer all those questions. :- Fingers crossed and following you closely as you embark on this adoption adventure!

    November 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    great, great, great news!

    November 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Amy

    I’m glad you had such a positive experience. I hope it all goes well and quickly for you.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply Hayley

    Hi Sharon,

    I have no idea why, but I cried like a baby when I read this post. What an amazing experience. I am so glad it went well.

    I know this sounds really strange, seen as though I have never even met you, but while I was reading this, it just felt so right, like this is going to happen, this is what is meant to happen…sorry I know that sounds completely bizzare, but thought I would just let you know.

    Will be thinking about you and W.

    Regards,
    Hayley

    November 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply C

    So very exciting and positive, I have tears in my eyes. Hoping for a short wait for you and Walter, may your baby come to you soon.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    Oh Sharon, I am so excited for you. I almost started crying myself when I read about your husband’s reaction…wow!

    November 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm
  • Reply K

    Awesome (in the true sense of the word).. I told you when the ‘gates of heaven’ closed that this is going to be your year.. something has shifted inside of you and a ‘little’ blessing is coming your way 😉 xxx

    November 24, 2009 at 9:36 pm
  • Reply Rammi

    I hope everything goes well. You’ll make great parents.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm
  • Reply Stacey

    So sweet, and so exciting! I absolutely can’t wait to see what will happen for you and W in the future. Hope all the steps go as smoothly as possible!

    November 25, 2009 at 6:59 am
  • Reply Denise

    I am so pleased it went well for you. Not only will you achieve your dream of being a mommy but you are giving a well deserved child an amazing gift. This is so so special.

    November 25, 2009 at 7:23 am
  • Reply Lesley

    Wow Sharon! Your session sounds amazing and I never knew the adoption process could be so wonderful. Congratulations on starting this journey. It is so nice to hear you sound so excited and happy. It will be a wonderful day when you do hold your little baby in your hands. I can’t wait!

    November 25, 2009 at 10:03 am
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