Happy Mother's Day
--Our Sunday School class--
We have had a couple of really busy weeks, both with adoption movement and life in general. The Nashville flood has left parts of our city in shambles, but it has been amazing to see the volunteer effort and the resiliency of our people. Justin and I have been involved in the clean-up and have been so proud to be Nashvillians.
Two weeks ago, we had our first interview with the adoption agency. You may wonder why this was the first interview, since we have been in the adoption process since January. Bethany waits to formally interview adoptive couples until after all of the paperwork has been turned in. The interview itself was very relaxed and conversational. Our adoption social worker is wonderful at what she does and we feel blessed to have her walking with us. For nearly two hours, she talked with us, asked questions about our lives, how we met, how we fight, what we like to do. These interviews are to ensure that, when a birth mom chooses us, the Bethany staff can tell her all about us. This past Monday, I went for my individual interview and I almost made it through without tears. Almost. When I was asked, "What is the scariest part of adoption for you?" I had to answer, "that the birth mom will change her mind." I began to weep. I try not to dwell on that possibility, but it is a reality. In Tennessee, a birth mom has 10 days in which to retract her decision to terminate her parental rights after the birth of the baby. Those 10 days will seem like a lifetime for us. There is a possibility of utilizing 'interim care' for the 10 day period following the birth. Interim care places the baby in a Bethany-approved home with a family who will care for them during that waiting period. (Theoretically) it cuts down on the heartbreak if the child has to be taken out of our home if the birth mother does in fact, change her mind. Whether or not we do interim care or direct placement from the hospital is a decision we will make with the birth mom.
Justin's interview will be tomorrow, then next Thursday, May 20, our social worker will come to our home to inspect and give us feedback on safety. We will also share with her our profile book which, after the home study is approved, will start being shown to birth mothers. We haven't been given a timeline, but my guess is that our home study will be approved and we will be officially 'waiting' by the end of June.
Again, I am trying very hard not to worry about the details. I believe with all of my heart that God already knows our child by name and exactly when that child will come home. A little boy at our church has recently added us to his nighttime prayer list. His mom told me that he now prays every day that "Mr. Justin and Mrs. Stephanie will find their baby." And we will. Just like Shiloh the turtle, we will find him or her when the timing is right.
Last Sunday, I called my mom to tell her I love her and to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. I will never forget her response: "I can't wait until next year when I get to call you and wish you Happy Mother's Day." If by next year I am finally a mother, I won't need a gift. It will be the most beautiful sound I've ever heard to be called "mom."