For those of you following along with the blog, you might have noticed that I have been a bit vague with upcoming (read: historic) news and how it relates to our financial situation.
I have been putting this news off for quite some time because I just was not ready to put it out there.
But now I am: WE ADOPTED A NEWBORN CHILD!
With this blog starting as a financial independence blog, I want everyone to know that - Our financial landscape has changed so drastically that it is hard to be on the path of financial independence any longer.
I hope this does not push any readers away from the blog, but it is the truth.
Kids, especially the cost of adoption, change things.
So here is how it all went down...
It was December 2016, my wife and I decide to take a 2 week vacation. We would travel from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California. It has been 2.5 years of marriage and we had been trying for children from the get go. Both of us have always wanted children but at the time, the struggle was becoming overwhelming.
We needed a break from life.
During the approximate 2000 mile drive from point A to B, the conversation of adoption came up. We talked through our life. Where we were, where we were going, what we want, you name it. The constant was always a child.
The calendar changed over and it is now January 2017. We make the decision to start the adoption process. During our research (mainly by my wife) so many people/blogs said that the adoption process was long, hard, and a lot of paperwork.
What we found out (for us, we were fortunate) is that it was the complete opposite.
The paperwork is not the difficult. We are both detail oriented, focused, organized individuals and it did not take more than two weeks to fill everything out. The long pole of everything was of course the state government getting our background clearances, finger prints, etc
After the initial paperwork, we had to receive final approval from the state. For this, we had to have three meetings with a social worker. The social worker came to our house to check out everything and make sure it was a suitable living space. A firefighter came out to check on the safety of our household and yes, we had to make some updates like installing hard wired smoke alarms but overall, no big changes.
Everything was cleared. We were approved!
From that point, we created a profile and used a central agency to broadcast said profile out to multiple agencies throughout the United States of America. The agencies that we designated our profile to be broadcast to were "adoption friendly states." These states have an irrevocable adoption policy which states that once the birth parents sign the adoption papers, the adoption cannot be revoked. It is official. These states include: Florida, Texas, Utah, Illinois, and a couple others... not ours, unfortunately.
Once our profile along with our preferences (examples: boy, girl, white, black, blue eyes, brown eyes, no drugs, no alcohol, closed adoption, open adoption, special needs, etc) were sent to the agencies, we started receiving perspective situations (babies).
For those wondering - we left our preferences open to all potential candidates. Therefore, we received every situation in every state that we broadcast our profile too. Like I said, we wanted a child so bad that if a situation seemed right to us, we were going to present to the family.
So, we started receiving situations around the end of May. Four total months since we began.
At first, the situations came in hot and heavy and it was overwhelming. You think to yourself, is this the right child for us? If we do not present, will anyone else present? What if the next situation is better than this one? So many questions and emotions throughout this time.
The second situation we received was a perfect match for us but we were scared. We had only seen two situations and were uncomfortable presenting at that time. Not to mention, the child was going to be born the 16th of June. Only three weeks away! It was wild to think we could be parents in just half the time of a normal pregnancy. No time to prepare and buy the necessary items to have a child. It turned out that maybe we were not ready. We got cold feet and let the situation slip by. We did not present to this family.
So anyways, the weeks passed by. The situations would come in waves. Five situations one day, none for three days. We started to get anxious.
What happens if another situation we feel comfortable with never happens? Did we screw up by not presenting to the one in June? Why are we adopting? Let's just keep trying to have our own child.
Without a doubt, this was the toughest 5 or 6 months of our marriage, our lives, for that matter.
And then it all changed...
One day, my wife received a situation and she forwarded it to my email. For us, we would each read the situation first. No matter what time of day it was emailed to us, we would not talk about it until we were in person and both had read it on our own. We were each left to make up our own mind first. I would recommend that to anyone going down the adoption path.
So... we met after work and discussed the situation. Turns out, we both really liked it! The birth parents were around our age, she was due in October (time to prepare), health history was within our comfort level and we both had a gut feeling that this was the one. Not to mention, it was a BOY!! LOL
So we presented our profile to the couple.
Agonizingly waited for a few days.
And then, on my wife's birthday in June ... a phone call!!!
We were matched, they accepted us!
We will be parents in just a few short months as long as everything goes through!
We were through the roof. We were ecstatic. We were anxious. We were nervous. We were relieved...
The way adoptions work is that the adoptive parents (us) receive the situations and the ones they like, they present to the birth parents. Now, this is the hard part... the birth parents have to like you back in order to be matched. Some of the birth parents might receive 20 different adoptive parent profiles to read, review and then ultimately make a decision on. Some families go years presenting to birth families and are never selected.
We were very fortunate.
We presented to one family and that one family chose us...
This is a long read. A continuation post coming soon!