Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Third Trimester

This must be what it feels like to in the third trimester of a pregnancy.  The end of The Beginning is fast approaching and while it has been filled with a wide range of emotions and in many ways feels like the end of an epic journey, it was just the prologue.  The real story begins now.

We vacillate between giddy, giggly excitement and sheer bloody terror.  Which, our rational sides tell us, is really to be expected and is probably a good sign.  Our rational side, of course, is nowhere to be seen when we're lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling and wondering what we've gotten ourselves into.  But then we think about what it's going to be like going on adventures, or teaching something new, or helping overcome an obstacle and we get giddy and excited again.

We're done.  We just wait to be approved now.

Last Thursday we were fingerprinted with a very cool digital scanner.  We were a little disappointed not to dip our fingers in ink, as we wanted to share that picture on Facebook and on the blog, but technology has apparently rendered ink moot.  We turned in a rather scary-to-complete contingent parent form -- which was as weird as it was scary.

We haven't met this child (or these children) yet.  We have no idea what he/she/they are going to be like and what needs they're going to have.  But we needed to decide what to do with our hypothetical children in the hypothetical situation that is both of us dying.  Then we took our pets have their rabies shots -- which the pets were super psyched about.  

Those last few pieces completely the home study information.  Our adoption coordinator "Darla" advised us, "your fingerprints should be back by Monday or Tuesday and if all goes well your home could be approved by the end of next week (which is now this week) or the first week of July!  P.S. you could get a placement call as soon as the day you are approved!!!"

Those are her exclaimation points, not ours.  But that is about how excited, scared, and nervous we are (!!!).

This is probably the closest we'll feel to what that last month of pregnancy feels like (unless, of course, everyone is right and we get pregnant as soon as we adopt because, apparently that's what "always happens"). You know a little one is coming, but you don’t know when. You kind of know what to expect, but really have NO IDEA how much your life is going to change. Except that instead of a newborn we could get a 4 year old or two children. Or maybe an infant. Our profile says 0-5 years. The more we think about it the bigger that range seems. We have bottles, but not sippy cups. We have a highchair, but no tricycle.  We just keep reminding each other that there is nothing that we can’t live without until morning and Walmart is only 3.7 miles away.

Somehow those material things are the things we worry about. Maybe because those are the things that are easier to approach and control? We know those things matter less than our home and family being welcoming. Those material things matter less than the attachment we want to form with this child. BTW, we are looking for a good book on attachment – let us know if you have found one.

The podcast we are listening to actually addressed a big question we have: What do we tell our friends and family about becoming attached to this child?

There is chance the child may leave our home and return to their birth parents. We have accepted that risk going in. We understand that is a big risk to ask our friends and family to accept as well. After talking and thinking about it, we have confirmed that we want to ask our friends and family to become as attached as possible to this child. Whether he/she is with us for a short time or the rest of our lives we want to him/her to have a foundation of love and fellowship. No parent knows how long they will have their child with them, so it important for us to shower love on this child while he/she is with us. As adults we have the capacity to experience love and loss and live through it. We are strong enough to give part of ourselves to this child. We are never reduced by loving; we only grow.

So. We are excited to be on this journey and glad to invite you along for the adventure. We hope you will join us in welcoming a little one into our home and family. Possibly very soon.

-- S&K


  1. Yay! I'm getting excited right along with you, and very happy to be able to welcome a new child into the group soon. :) It's great that he/she will have a welcoming network already in existence! I can't wait to find out what age/gender/number of child(ren) you're getting. What a scary/awesome adventure we're all about to have!

  2. I'm sorry, I've been out of the loop a bit with your blog, and perhaps this is a dumb question anyways, but why is there a chance that the child you adopt will return to their birth parent? I'm proud of you for your ability to love and accept the possibility of loss; just wondering if there was something I didn't understand about the adoption process.

  3. Kate - Good Question.

    We are adopting through the foster system. We have elected to possibly receive a child who may come into our home before the parental rights have been terminated. In TN a parent has 12 months to get their lives together and get their kids back. In that 12 months and after the child is under state guardianship he/she could be placed in several different homes.

    We are taking a bit of a risk that a child may be placed with us and then go back to a bio-family before our adoption is processed. We decided that it is worth our taking that risk to reduce the number of potential homes our (future) children go through before coming to us. The idea would be to give the child stability as early as possible.

    Your understanding is right. After adoption is completed the child would not return to the bio-family. They would be ours FOREVER. Even their birth certificate would be changed to reflect us as their parents.

    Please forgive the singular/plural noun/verb agreement issues and changes throughout this post. We know we are inconsistent and are shammed by it. ;)

  4. Never let fear of the unknown keep you from seeking and finding love. If you don't put your heart out there, it will never be broken, nor will it ever swell to bursting with the love of a child. (Which is the sweetest kind of love in the whole world.) I am so proud of you both. The strength, courage, and compassion that you have shown during all of this brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I love you both and I am praying that God has already chosen a very special child for you.
    One very proud and excited Meme.

  5. Kelly this is wonderful news! So happy for you guys. Ryan and I also were looking into the foster care system and hoping to adopt last fall. One thing led to the next and we never quite got started. We are still hoping to adopt and had decided that we wanted to adopt through Tennessee. I pray that you will absolutely love every minute of being parents! You're a wonderful, bright shining light to the world and any child would be blessed to have you as his or her (or his AND mother!!! Blessings! You have wonderful friends, so I'm sure they will embrace every moment they get with your children, too.