Intake… complete!

We had our intake appointment today, and I have a few thoughts that I want to get out before I forget them:

  • Our intake social worker is awesome. We want to keep her! She says normally we’d get passed along to someone else after our AEP (Adoption Education Program), but that she is going to try to keep us. So, the feeling is mutual. She was friendly, obviously educated on queer families, and we spent nearly two hours with her, chatting and going through her checklists.
  • We made a few missteps in our Adoption Questionnaire, but that’s to be expected — the terms aren’t explained very well, and we get to resubmit the form after our AEP anyhow.  We learned a lot today about access orders and polysubstance addictions, let me tell you.
  • She recommended us to the AEP, and we’re starting in October! From the AEP website:

    The AEP-Online takes place over 13 weeks and covers the legal, social and emotional aspects of adoption. Because the program is online, lessons are taught through a variety of media and assignments can be completed at your convenience.

  • Our AFABC support person forgot to send us one of the forms we had to fill out, so we did it on the spot. Oops, guess that criminal record check is pretty important! 🙂
  • She explained that the fact that neither of us has lived out of province gives us an advantage — there’s extra paper for if you have, and apparently it’s a giant pain. Glad to have dodged that bullet.
  • We’re almost a third of the way through the process!  Eeee!
  • I wasn’t surprised by any of her questions, even though she asked a lot. Research saves the day! She told us what the homestudy process was going to be like, and I didn’t learn anything new. She asked about our mental health, our employment, the number of bedrooms in our house, pets, other people living with us, and the big question: why adoption. I’m going to do a post later on about why we have chosen to adopt though this particular path, because it’s pretty important.
  • I *was* surprised by my reaction to her question about concurrent planning — this is where you foster a child with the possibility that it will lead to adoption, with no guarantee. There are a few situations where this could happen, such as a mother leaving her newborn in the care of the ministry who has no living family, or if a child is being placed due to a disrupted adoption. Initially, I had a strong negative reaction to this idea, for the same reasons I don’t want to be a foster parent. How would I feel if I become attached to a child, only to have to give them to someone else? But as our social worker explained more about it to us, I realized that it could be a possibility. Husband was surprised that I was even considering it, but I really am. More research is required.
  • She encouraged us to look at each of the “yes or no” options on a case by case basis, rather than ruling things out from the start. Some of our “no” answers turned into “maybe” answers before we even got out of her office, which feels right. If, for example, we said no on our form to a child with ADHD, we may be missing out on the right child for us, because they would never be matched with us, and there are a lot of conditions that present like ADHD but may be something else entirely, like abuse or trauma.
  • I am so excited. 🙂
  • Oops, one more thing: since we are open to adopting a Metis or First Nations child, we need to take another education program through Indigenous Perspectives Society, called the Adoption Online Course. It’s a hefty financial commitment, but we’re going to do it. We’re also going to take a number of other courses through AFABC in the fall.

I am sure more will come later — we don’t start our AEP until October, and I plan on doing a bunch of research in the meantime, especially about concurrent planning and the homestudy process.

So. Excited. 🙂

Ominous and Looming

We are married. 🙂

We had a perfect wedding day (aside from the heat, aarrghh) — we were surrounded by our nearest and dearest, who unfailingly supported us, made us laugh, cried with us, and danced their tails off at the end of the day. I could go on forever and a day about how wonderful the day was, and how lovely our mini-honeymoon was, but there is something even bigger than that, ominous and looming: our adoption intake appointment, which is in 5 days.

I know that it’s just a “getting to know you” appointment, and I know that we just have to be ourselves, but I am nervous. This is step four, and (hopefully) step 5, in our 16 step process. I want it to go smoothly, I want to like our social worker, and I want us to show her the best parts of who we are: but the whole idea just makes me go all quakey inside.

If anyone out there has gone through this, can you offer some words of advice or encouragement? There is a dearth of blogs for people who have gone through the adoption process through MCFD in British Columbia, and I feel as if I am casting around aimlessly in my Google searches.

Intake!

After we mailed the giant pile of paperwork to our social worker, I decided to put adoption out of my head for a bit. We are getting married later this month (just over 2 weeks to go) and I figured I should re-focus on the wedding and honeymoon plans. I finished reading two of the books I ordered from Amazon, and then put the other ones aside for later.

My efforts succeeded! I got a chunk of wedding stuff done, had a lovely afternoon tea with my wedding attendants (including my sister, who is my maid of honour, who came from out of town), enjoyed two BBQ celebrations, and did some planning for our honeymoon.

And then, yesterday, we got a call from our social worker. I was at work, but she managed to get through to my fiancé, who stepped out of a meeting to take her call. Aaaaaaaand… we have our intake appointment scheduled for the end of July! It’ll be only five days after we get home from our mini-honeymoon (we have a bigger one planned in August) and I’ll be working until 7am the day of our appointment (which is at 10am, so you do the math on how much sleep I’m going to get), but I am not letting any of that bother me–even sleep deprived and frazzled, I am sure it’s going to go well. 🙂

Step 3 done, bring on step 4!

Oh, and a reminder.  If you want to see a summary of where we’re at in our adoption process, please check out the process summary page.  I update it frequently. 🙂

Step 2

I know, it’s been a while.  I don’t really want this blog to turn into a blog about everything in my life, though, and the baby-making process has been in a holding pattern, so I haven’t had a lot to say.  Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been thinking about this stuff a lot, because I have.  I just don’t really know what to say.

We are going to our information session with the Adoptive Families Association of BC next week, which is step 2 in the 16 step timeline that they’ve sent us.  If this is the way we end up going, this is what it will look like:

  1. Contact Adoptive Families Association of BC  (done!)
  2. Attend an information session (next week)
  3. Application to adopt submitted, file opened
  4. Intake appointment
  5. Register for Adoption Education Program
  6. Attend Adoption Education Program
  7. Training completed
  8. Homestudy commences
  9. Homestudy completed/matching begins
  10. Possible match is found
  11. Proposal package
  12. Pre-placement planning
  13. Pre-placement visits
  14. Placement
  15. Residency period (6-12 months)
  16. Adoption finalized

Phew.  It seems like such a long list of things to do, especially considering that step 3 involves filling out 7 different forms, including the incredibly heartbreaking Adoption Questionnaire, which is a giant list of all the special needs and risk factors that could be affecting the potential children we could be matched with.  We’ll have to decide if we’re okay with adopting a child conceived as a result of incest, for example, or with spina bifida, or autism.

It’s so heavy.  And hard.  I mean… if we were conceiving this child ourselves, we’d just deal with whatever cards we were dealt — but to choose a child with a particular special need?  Or, more significantly, not to choose a child because of a special need or risk factor?  How does one reconcile this sort of thing in their heart?  How do you not feel guilty saying yes to one child, and no to another?

And while we think about all of this, we also have to think about whether or not adoption is the right path for us–maybe surrogacy would be better?

If I had to decide right now, with no input from my husband, I would go with adoption.  A few months ago, I would have said surrogacy.  I am not sure when the change happened in me, but I am starting to believe that giving a home to a child that is already born would be better for us, and better for the child.

We’ll see where we are in a few months.