Friday, May 14, 2010

A New Beginning Adoption Agency Application

Sorry, I know this part may be boring to everyone else but it's encouraging to me to think that everyday I'm doing something toward getting Stephanie home.

So yesterday, May 13, I began filling out the essay part of the application for A New Beginning (the local agency that is doing our home study) called Motivation to Adopt. I fell asleep working on it last night and finished it today. I will be mailing the ANB application forms and application fee today. These are the questions that were asked and my answers:

1. How did you come to the decision that adoption should be your next step toward building your family?

I have been interested in adoption and orphans at least since Junior High. Around that time I read a book called The Family Nobody Wanted about a minister’s family that adopted 12 children.
Kevin and I love children and have already adopted six but I have been feeling for some time that there was another girl “out there somewhere” for us. Adoption is the very wonderful way God has chosen for us to build our family. I believe that adoption is a win-win situation for kids who need parents and parents who want kids. We see adoption as a mirror of the way that God the Father lovingly brought us into His own family through Jesus Christ and gave us the rights and privileges of His precious children.

2. Who initiated the decision of adopt?

3. Do you have a history of infertility? If so, what was your experience?

I was never officially diagnosed with infertility. Kevin and I married later in life. I was already 33 and wanted very much to be a mommy. We tried for a year to get pregnant and then I finally conceived but miscarried at 12 weeks in 1996. Billy had joined our family in March about a week before the miscarriage as a foster child. I loved him so much. Watching him blossom and grow and learn helped me maintain my sanity and gave me a special reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I was absolutely devastated by the miscarriage. I had done everything I knew to take good care of my body and our unborn baby. I was very angry at God for letting this happen when He knew I wanted a baby so badly. I’m sure I spent time journaling, crying, screaming at God--my memories there are somewhat cloudy. Slowly but surely I worked through and prayed through and cried through my feelings. I just didn’t have it in me to try again to get pregnant for at least 5 years. By that time we had adopted two of our kids and had another foster child living with us.

My periods started getting heavier and heavier and finally after 3 people told me how horrible I looked :) I went to a doctor and found out part of my red blood count was very low. I was eventually diagnosed with fibroid tumors for which I had a hysterectomy in 2003. I felt very blessed to be the mother of 4 adopted kids by that time though I must admit I was somewhat sad to totally cut off even the remotest chance of ever becoming pregnant.

Have you attended counseling to address any issues of grief and loss associated with the infertility? If so, what did you learn through counseling? If not, do you feel like counseling would be beneficial?

No, I did not attend any counseling to address this grief and loss. (I had attended a series of classes on grief and loss back in 1992 or 1993 after my first husband left me) I did read some books on the subject as well as my Bible and was surrounded by people who loved me--including my husband and our children and I gave it a lot of time. Over time I have come to realize that life does not always make sense and God is not under any obligation to explain His ways to me. HOWEVER, He is totally trustworthy, He walks through all the hard places with us, and He is not intimidated or put-off by my loud or prolonged grief.

How may your thoughts and feelings about infertility effect your adoption and ability to bond to an adopted child?

We already have six adopted children and absolutely consider them OUR children. Bonding/attaching with a couple of them has been a longer process than with others, I think largely due to their life experiences before joining our family. I really don’t believe “infertility” has adversely affected the bonding at all.

5. Why did you select the adoption program that you chose (I.e. Infant Waiting List, Waiting Child Program, International)?

At our ages of 49 and 48 Kevin and I really aren’t in the “market” for an infant. We have tried the Waiting Child Program before and I found the ‘shotgun approach” very emotionally difficult (having our home study submitted on 25 different children but not being able to get my heart set on any single one) and besides that program has a waiting list right now. We chose the international program because we have successfully adopted internationally twice before (Ukraine). Little Stephanie from Bulgaria is such a cutie, has so many abilities, has special needs that seem so manageable with my nursing background, reminds me of James’ older birth sister, and needs a family very much. I am beginning to fall in love with her already. I am very interested in her country and excited to return to Eastern Europe--even looking forward to seeing the Cyrillic letters again on signs J. At 8½ she will fit nicely in our family between the “big kids” and the “little boys” and will still have the blessing of being the youngest girl. Though we loved Ukraine I just could not face being away from our children for another 5 weeks or more. Travel to Bulgaria is only about 10 days on one trip and a week on the other.

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