Wednesday, November 30, 2011

an announcement

November is adoption month and before it passes in a few short hours, I have a story to tell you.  As many of you know, buying a home was the first step for us in building our family.  It has been a magical experience.  We LOVE it.  We often say to each other, "Don't you just LOVE our house?!" and putting up Christmas decor was even more magical.  We love our neighborhood.  We love our ward.  We love our view.  Love, love, love is all around.  (A video tour is coming soon, btw, I reminded husband about it last night.)  After we got settled down a little and had like 6 barbeques, we had a long talk and decided to pray again about starting the adoption process.

We both got the same answer: We needed more information.  So, I called our local office and was informed that adoption orientation was the first Saturday of each month and all my questions would be answered then.  I called the Monday after the first Saturday.  We had almost a month to stew, speculate and freak ourselves right out.  I've never had so many anxieties before...and I am an anxious person!  We were scared about openness in the adoption (mine is closed and I like it that openness is new for us), we were nervous about failed adoption(s) and how we'd deal, we were nervous about home inspections (my parents told me horror stories), we were nervous about the general HARDNESS of it all, but we were most nervous about the financial aspect.  We had no idea when and even if we would ever be able to afford it.  I can honestly say it is the biggest fear I've ever had.  Even bigger than dying. Like a lot bigger. 

As the day approached we found out that Spencer could only take the morning off of work and that he would have to leave me in my most likely crushed and desperate state and go to work while I took heavy seizure meds and cried myself to sleep.  And no, I'm not being dramatic.  It was a definite and likely possibility.  We were so keyed up that I'm pretty sure we could've powered our house just on our nerves.  Spencer's brother came over the night before, after working a long day then attending to his church callings, to give both of us a blessing.  We had a long talk and he gave us beautiful blessings, but I still didn't sleep a wink.

And then, it was here.  The meeting was at 9 am.  We pulled in the parking lot at 8:45 and said a prayer, then held sweaty hands and tried to breathe normally.  We walked in and a friendly woman told us to wait and the adoption director would be with us in a minute.  Soon, other couples filed in with the same strained looks on their faces.  The clock on the wall ticked loudly...9:10...9:15...9:17....9:25.  I looked around the room and noted to Spencer that there was so much toe-tapping, nail-biting, twitching, sweating, and clock-glancing that I wanted to video record it.  They should NOT keep prospective adoptive parents waiting half an hour.  I don't think I could possibly describe the nervous tension in the room.  FINALLY at 9:27 a woman ushered us into a room and apologized sincerely for the delay.  We went around the table and introduced ourselves and told our situations, and then all of our questions were answered.  ALL of them.

After the meeting we thanked the presenter and spoke with a few couples briefly, then went to our car.  As soon as we left the doors of the office I broke down and started bawling my eyes out.  We stood by the car while Spencer hugged me and cried a little too.  Then he asked me, "Why are you crying, Baby?" and I said, "Because I'm so happy!" and he said, "Me too!"  Then, we just stared at each other and I said, "We can do this..."  I don't know if I actually believed it yet.  And he said, "We can TOTALLY do this!" Then we laughed and hugged and jumped up and down...right in the parking lot.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life. 

So, after that dramatic story...I bet your wondering what we learned.  We learned a lot, so I'll break it down into my favorite key points:
  1. The intake fee is $1,000 which covers your background checks, home inspections, etc.  The rest of the money is due after placement and is affordable to us.  It will take us a while to save up the 1,000 dollars for the intake fee, but we are confident that if we continue to put the Lord first, he will provide us with the appropriate means at the appropriate time.  Our goal is to have it by the end of the summer. 
  2. Home inspections are SANE and scheduled.  They do one pop-in but they check for general safety and happiness in your home...not dust bunnies.  And they don't inspect your brick like they did my parents'...which was a relief since we have siding.  ;)
  3. The adoption coordinator has worked there 20 years and has only seen two, TWO, 2, failed adoptions.  Two.  T-W-O.  (Don't leave me a comment about how you know someone who had a failed adoption.  Please don't.)
  4. The level of openness is negotiated between your birthmom and you. They all vary.  Usually the relationship is like that of a family friend and decreases over time.  I don't know what I want...I just want my baby to be happy.  That's all.  And I want to buy our birthmom stuff.  I love her already.
  5. After you pay your intake fee and the home inspection takes place, you are approved and then can create a profile and wait for a birthmom to pick you...which means you're basically pregnant.  You might be pregnant for two years, but STILL!!!!!!  You're IN! 
  6. It's not horrible.  It's beautiful.  There will be hard aspects I am sure.  Mostly the waiting.  But the adoption process itself will not be a trial.  It will be magnificent.  
Thank you to all of you who have already heard this news and responded with tears of joy, hugs, squeals, jumping up and down, and the like.  Each squeal, tear, word, and jump means more to us than you could EVER possibly imagine.  We were more excited to tell our friends and family then I've ever been to tell anyone anything.  We considered standing on our roof and screaming, but we didn't want to scare the neighbors, so we screamed inside instead.  These past few weeks have been some of the happiest of my life, filled with the hope of possibility.  It's real.


Lori said...

i love the parking lot visual.


can't think of two people who deserve it more. love you two!

Kari said...

The parking lot part made me a little teary. How exciting for this to all become real! Congrats!!

Pierce + Stacy Thiot said...

I agree, it is beautiful. :) That's great that you had a wonderful experience and feel so much better about it. I'm excited to hear all your wonderful news about the adoption process. Good luck!

Kiki said...

This is Kira, Lori's friend. I just got your email and have been looking through your blog. Love it! I love this post too, I can totally relate to those nervous feelings going into an adoption education class! Lori and Van were actually in our classes almost 3 years ago. Time flies. Anyway, I'm going to email you back, but I loved this post. P.S. How do you know Natalie from "The Bobby Pin"? I went to school with her. Small world.

Coul & Kelse Rich said...

Chelsi, you make me smile! Adoption is the most beautiful thing. And EXTREMELY rewarding. I am so excited for you to take this crazy journey, it will be hard, happy, crazy, exciting; but most of all AMAZING!! Love you girl!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Let me know when you are "pregnant" and I can give you prizes and such! Hugs!

Ruby in the Rough said...

Love it!!! I loooove it!! Yay!!

Darci Lynne said...

I am so excited for you! Congratulations on all the exciting news! We will pray for things to go well for your family as you begin this beautiful journey. I hope you continue to share updates on your blog, I just love them. I promise I won't tell you any terrible stories about adoption. Funny how people tend to do that when you are planning a major life event. I don't know if you guys experienced this, but when we were buying our home, everybody had a horror story to share about what happened to their friend's friend's friend when they bought their first house. I will tell you one of my roommates from college just adopted a baby and it went well. Sending happy thoughts your way.

Heidi said...

Well of course I started crying at the very beginning of this post... have I ever told you what a great writer you are? You are so very talented. I loved reading this and my heart is so very swollen right now. You two can, most definitely, TOTALLY do this! If I were a birth mom looking for parents, I would not hesitate once about you two. Holy cow I can't quit crying. You are amazing people and I wish nothing but the best for you. You will be in my prayers. I totally want to just hug you and cry for like 10 minutes. Magnificant is right my friend, what a beatiful thing! What great, heart-warming news! XOXO!

mommy princess said...

I would have loved to be there to see you two jumping up and down in the parking lot! I have a huge smile on my face right now :) I just have one thing to say to you both: YOU CAN DO THIS! I just know it. This is real....It's going to happen! I know there's a girl out there that will know you two are ment to be the ones to take care of her precious baby for her. I would choose you!

The Voorhees Family said...

Yeah Chelsi! I know that you'll keep us updated on all of the happenings. I hope that everything goes smoothly for you guys!