A typical pregnancy last 40 weeks – nine full months. A typical adoption lasts a lot longer.
Case in point, 40 weeks ago today we had the first of three meetings with a social worker required for our home study. We had been working on an adoption plan for a long time before we even got to that point.
Here’s a look our timeline to date:
Summer of 2010 – Attended three open houses for local agencies that provide home study services.
Fall of 2010 – Bought our first home and selected our home study agency. Put further progress on hold as we began home renovation projects
Spring 2011 – Decide to begin working on adoption in July despite on-going renovation efforts
August 2011 – Met with adoption attorney to learn more about independent / parent-placed adoptions, met with Datz Foundation and started paperwork
September 30, 2011 – Submitted application and first round of paperwork to Datz Foundation
October 13, 2011 – Realize application was lost in the mail
October 14, 2011 – Resubmitted application electronically
October 21, 2011 – First home study interview
November 1, 2011 – Second home study interview
November 15, 2011 – Third and final home study interview
(and between September 30 and November 15, we did a whole bunch of other required tasks like getting fingerprinted, lining up our letters of reference, getting our state background checks, submitting to a FBI clearance and getting medical exams.)
November 19, 2011 – Attended American Adoptions open house in Northern Virginia
November 28, 2011 – Applied to American Adoptions, and began APQ process
November 30, 2011 – Home study draft received, and changes submitted
December 4, 2011 – Completed home study arrives in the mail
December 5, 2011 – Launched our independent adoption profile website and ordered adoption business cards (actually 4 x 6 photo prints)
January 2012 – Completed our APQ and began the process of planning our family profile
April 16, 2012 – Family profile completed
May 2, 2012 – Signed activation contract with American Adoptions and paid the hefty $10,000 activation fee
June 4, 2012 – Profile live on site and being shown to birth moms
July 2012 – Working on adoption video profile
July 12, 2012 – While on the phone about something else, adoption specialist mentions that our profile has been shown 24 times
July 24, 2012 – Wrote this post
So there you have it. It’s been two years since the day we went to our first adoption open house, about a year since we started getting serious about it and 40 weeks since we became actively engaged in the process. In short, long enough to have given birth to two children if that was the route we had decided to take.
Adoption is not easy. It takes a long time. It’s emotional. There is more paperwork than you can imagine. It’s expensive.
And it’s going to be worth every minute, every paper cut, every dollar and every tear.