Anyone who knows anything about adoption knows this: there is a TON of paperwork associated with it. And that’s okay. I mean, I’d rather they thoroughly examine my husband and I. I think if I were in the birth parent’s shoes, I would want to make sure that I was placing my child in a home that is safe. But, as an adoptive parent, I can tell you that it is a LOT of work and it is hard to describe unless you have gone through it.
I’m going to try though–describing the load of paperwork that is; or at least the “guidelines” we finished writing yesterday. Guidelines, in adoption land, are a series of many questions that elicit you to write your entire story down. Can you imagine sitting down and writing about your life experience: family life, extracurricular life, upbringing–all of those skeletons that you felt content keeping in your own personal closet? Well, that’s what guidelines are like. They took us three weeks to write. 22 pages in total. They not only ask you about your past though, they ask you to look to your future.
A strange thing happened after submitting the guidelines to our adoption counselor: I felt more like a parent. I know, I get that I’m totally not a parent yet, but something about typing words onto a blank Word document page, describing the way we intend to parent, felt so final, so permanent. It truly is an experience that is hard to describe in words, but it was so meaningful. I had a co-worker ask me a couple of weeks ago, when we were in the trenches writing our guidelines, “do you think that adoptive parents are better prepared to raise a child than those who have their children biologically?” I, never having parented, couldn’t answer that question, but it did allow me to respect the process of adoption that much more. You need to have a LOT of answers as to how you would raise your child. You need to be prepared to raise a child–not that parents who have their children biologically aren’t prepared–but adoption forces you to think about things that you may not normally think about otherwise. Sure, you may have thought about discipline, but did you have to articulate the way in which you would discipline your child to a third party? We just did. And there’s almost this supernatural accountability that goes along with that. Obviously, we are all accountable to God, but now my husband and I are accountable to these other people: the birth family, our adoption counselor–it’s really incredible.
It really is amazing what a blessing paperwork can be. Turning in this paperwork gets us one step closer to parenting our child. In approximately one month, our adoption counselor will have completed our written home study. After we meet with her in the office and are approved (Lord willing), the agency will send out profile books of our lives to the agencies they work with across the country and we will await a match. Loved ones, if you have any quotes as to why you think we would make good parents, please send them to me via a Facebook message or to my personal gmail account. We will let you know if you make the cut in our book :)–and if not, I am documenting everything for baby “W,” so your quote will be shared with our child at some point.
I would like to end this post by thanking everyone for their outpouring of love and support. You have no idea what your “likes,” comments, and private messages to us have meant. I will be documenting all of this to show our baby just how much they are cared for–and you are a part of that! So THANK YOU 🙂 Here’s a little scripture for you to reflect upon the miracle that is adoption, both physical and spiritual:
Romans 8:19-25 “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of it’s own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”