Training

It’s been nearly two months since we sent our first e-mail requesting information from Bethany about adoption. In the last eight weeks, we have been to Columbia, TN three times, for information, orientation, and initial training. For the initial training, Papa Mike went with us. He wanted to learn about the adoption process and what we had to go through. They put us in groups and asked us what we were most excited about and what we most afraid of. My dad said that he was most excited about being a grandfather and was most afraid about the first time he keeps the baby by himself! I said I was most excited about rocking the baby in a rocking chair…those bonding moments when I look at my sweet child and see the face of God. And, I said I was most afraid of adolescence! Justin said he was so excited to be a dad and was afraid of a birth mother changing her mind. In the State of Tennessee, a birth mother has 72 hours after the birth before she can sign over her parental rights. After that, she has 10 days in which to change her mind about the adoption. So there is some possibility of broken hearts in our situation, just like there is the possibility of broken hearts anytime we reach beyond ourselves to love someone else.

Right now, I’m on my lunch break at work and I just returned from the Gallatin Public Library where I had requested the required reading through inter-library loan. Honestly, a few of them look really old and outdated and I wonder if there aren’t any newer books out on adoption. But, we have made a commitment to do what Bethany requires so that we can get onto the waiting list…and soon. Next week, we will be fingerprinted and finish up our physical exams. Then, we will be sending in our paperwork to Bethany and start the interview process. After that, the social worker will come to our home for a safety visit. She says she will be looking for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and just the general safety of our home. We will show her the room that will be the baby’s room, too.

I can’t wait to start decorating! Justin and I recently went to Babies-R-Us for the first time and just wandered around the store. It was a little overwhelming because, as first time parents, we don’t even know all the things we are going to need. There are things we need now…like diapers and a rocking chair, and things we need later…like potty chairs and sippy cups. I asked a couple of good friends who are both mommies if they would go with me when it’s time to register so that I’ll know what to get and what isn’t worth the money.

Also, our pastor at church has added our names as well as another adopting couple’s names to the “Expectant Parents” prayer list. I thought that was really wonderful. I’m finding that most people who haven’t experienced adoption see it as a ‘second best choice’ or a ‘backup plan.’ Right now, for us, it is THE plan. I am sinking into the feelings of motherhood like a new bed…it took awhile to get used to it, but now, it feels so natural and warm.

We have received a few gifts already: a toy from a good friend of the family, some bibs from mom and dad, and Justin and I have given each other little things for the baby: a onesie that says “Daddy and Me” and a pair of little shoes. It is so exciting to see our extended family getting into the hope of adoption. My mom and dad have gotten into the fundraising aspect and are helping us to sell a car. We purchased some stuffed turtles and we will challenge our friends and family to “adopt a turtle” to help us raise money for our adoption fund.

Right now, I just can’t wait to get the paperwork turned in so that we can start painting the room, buying furniture, and planning for when our baby comes home. After the home study is approved, we may have a short wait time, or a long wait time. We just don’t know. Last weekend when we went away to a little cabin at a state park, we talked about what it would be like when we receive the phone call from Bethany saying, “We have a birth mother who has identified you as the couple she would like to adopt her baby.” I can’t wait for that call. But I also want to sit back and enjoy the process. Life has taught me that part of the joy is in the journey, not just the destination. Besides, your destination is rarely what you thought it would be in the first place, so focusing on just that is sort of silly. What we know is that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purposes. We believe that this is a purpose and a calling God has given us: to love a child who didn’t come from our flesh, but one who will be treasured, cherished, and adored beyond measure.

Stephanie

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey this way. You and Justin will be amazing parents and your little one will be so blessed.
    Melanie

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  2. Thanks for making me cry :) Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can't wait for you guys to become parents as you will be awesome!!
    Heather Beard

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  3. I know you will be perfect parents! I'm so proud of you thinking about the "journey" - b/c the "waiting' is all part of the process. It took me MANY years to appreciate the "waiting" part - but the reality is that God gives us what we can handle when we can handle it. Funny isn't it?! Sign me up for two turtles! And hey - if you are into second hand stuff -we have some things you may want if you don't mind second hand...(but in GREAT shape). And chris and I were thinking today that the two things we could NOT live without and that we've used CONTINOUSLY for 3.5 years (with both kids) are (1) the ultimate crib sheets (I'll send you the link) - LIFESAVER with all the blowouts and (2) Tiny Diner by kiddapotomous.

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