Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Adoption Journey

Michael and I are excited. We have began a new journey, a new chapter in our lives. We are in the process of adopting a baby, and we are thrilled. We began this journey a few months ago. Finally coming to terms with our inability to conceive, we researched different adoption agencies and felt led to Bethany Christian Services. Bethany has 75 offices across the country and three in the state of Tennessee. We are working with the Nashville office and have completed both the informal and formal applications, have gone through the orientation process, and are currently working on our home study.

I felt it important that I begin a "waiting" journal, written for our baby that we will share with him/her when they are old enough to discuss and understand their adoption story. It's been an exciting thing for me to start, to write letters to my child, to tell my child all the things Michael and I are doing in order to bring him/her home. We have already selected baby names and have moved on to discussing the nursery...all the things the agency tells you to do while on the waiting list. Somehow it makes the waiting a bit easier.

In the next few weeks, we'll go through the home visit. Representatives from the agency will visit our home, inspect it, and let us know if it is fit for a child to live here. This is the step that frightens me the most! I've tried to walk through the house and look at all the things that could pose a hazard to a child, and HAZARDS ARE EVERYWHERE! Everything from my Victorian hatpins, poisonous cleaning supplies, and our staircase frighten me! Okay, I can do something about the hatpins and cleaning supplies, but we'll have to live with the staircase. Our yard isn't fenced in, and we live on a busy road. Scary. I've never looked at our home through the eyes of a mother, and what I see has scared me to death. We're going to fail the home visit!!!!! Thankfully, they're sharing information with us that will help us to make our home safer. Even with those studies, I'm not sure we can baby proof this house! How do families do this?!?!

With all the joy and excitement we feel, there is one more feeling that we can't escape. Complete and utter terror! What if we don't do everything we need to do to provide the baby a safe home in which to live? Do all expecting parents go through this? Does it get easier? Is there some kind of baby safety expert that we can hire to help us?!?! If so, please share!!

5 comments:

Janet said...

This is very exciting. You're lucky though. Most of us discover the hazards in our houses AFTER the kid does. Stairs are no problem. They make gates in all shapes and styles to blend in with the architecture now.

As to the busy street, most people deal with that. You keep the house clean and nice and you're both kind and responsible people. That's what they're looking for. You'll be fine.

Pajama Mama said...

Congratulations, Paula. A friend of mine just brought home a 2 yr old from China this summer. It was a long journey but so worth it in the end.

As far as baby/child proofing your house, just get a mom that you trust to come take a look. And relocate the hat pins?

Kristin said...

Oh wow, I'm so freaked about the home study. I like pajama mama's idea of having a mom walk through the house and point out potential hazards. We're going to have to do that.

Joy said...

I found your blog through Bring the Rain. I saw a comment you left on her recent post and wanted to visit. I think what you're doing is amazing! And the journal is a BRILLIANT idea!!! Keep at it. I know keeping the journal on my dresser or next to my bed helps me remember to write.

Don't sweat the home visit (if you haven't already had it). They'll give you a list of what to work on and give you time to fix the problematic areas!

Delcina said...

Paula,

Congratulations on what will become your most important and thrilling adventure yet. Becoming a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me-even those times when she thought mom wasn't very cool or smart. Now that Natasha is reaching the 21 mark she is beginnning to learn that mom has a brain or two.

I wish every possible parent-biological or adoptive had to do the home visits. Think a lot of abuse and neglect would be avoided. I am sure you will be fine. A little piece of advice someone gave me when my daughter began to walk : get down on your knees in the floor and look for anything you can stick your fingers, toes or tonuge into and fix it..Didn't stop her from licking a newly mopped floor at 6 mths, but you get the jest of it.

Good luck!!!!