Happy New Year! Wow, its 2012!
I did it again....forgot about my blog. Well I didnt totally forget about it, I was trying to decide if anyone really cared (still trying to work out how to 'get out there' to see if people will or wont care) and I was also trying to decide if maybe I should start a new one as we have changed course in our journey. But one of my 'tweeps' pointed out that my IF journey is just as much a part of my adoption journey...it all connects and will lead to our baby :) So i am staying put, but want to have more fun this time. Change it up, add pics and hopefully share some of the things we are learning on this new part of our journey.
Chapter 2 - Adoption
Last spring (May 2011) we ended our journey with fertility treatments, and were at a crossroads in which options to pick next...we knew we wanted to expand our family, but how would we do it, surrogacy or adoption? We had been so blessed with an offer from a friend to be a surrogate for us, and we talked with her and her husband in great depth about this possibility. They are done having children (they have two beautiful kids) but I still felt like I could never thank them enough, also I wouldnt be able to forgive myself if anything happened to her (things happen, especially as we arent getting any younger!) and at the end of the day, its still not a guarantee to end with a baby. Also I was shocked at the sticker price - yep sorry, but at this point, our baby is going to cost us big bucks, lets be frank and open about that one!
Well standing at these crossroads, the choice suddenly became pretty easy....adoption was definitely the way we wanted to expand our family. We spent the summer researching adoption and different agencies (we live in an agency state, so we cant use a facilitator or lawyer), and came up with five - mixture of local and national - agencies.
In September 2011 we signed on with a national adopton agency (American Adoptions in MO). We also had to pick an agency here in our state to do our home study. We were assigned a social worker "M" and she told us the process and got us going. We spent October getting paper work together for both for "AA" and "M" and also met with her a couple of times; both for a couple of hours to interview us about our relationship, our parenting opinions and methods, our backgrounds - childhood, extended family, interests and hobbies and a bunch of other stuff. We were cruising along! The first thing we had taken care of was getting our fingerprint done at our local police station. Our HS agency (here in state) sent us cards which we had to take and use for the prints. Then send back to them and they would send with a cover letter to the FBI for background checks. They also use SS# and DOB (date of birth) to conduct background checks, but we came to find out later the fingerprints (which arent actually needed by all states) are to check on child abuse background...with the Adam Walsh Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Walsh_Child_Protection_and_Safety_Act)
First of all the fingerprints (which we sent priority mail) got lost, but then the day we went to get a 2nd set done, they showed up at the agency - 4 weeks later! So we figured we would keep our 2nd set for our baby book, haha! A couple of weeks later we heard that the FBI had rejected my prints and needed another set. I sent off the second set of my prints. DH's apparently were fine and in the system, and we hoped mine would get back in the queue along with his.
A couple of weeks later (this is now November) we got a call from our local agency saying they were rejected again! WTF?! So this time I was instructed to go (an hour away) to our state police and do digital prints. The machine kepr rejecting them, but he didnt give up until each finger and all sets of fingers were accepted by the machine. And those were sent off.
We were at this time working on some paperwork for our national agency AA, and were getting down to what they call the APQ - adoptive parent questionnaire. This is where you state what kind of things you are accepting or not accepting of (drugs, medical background etc etc). We were working well with them and excited to then begin our profile. But its weird, now looking back, I kept dragging my feet. Its hard to write about yourself! (well unless its in coversational tone on a blog, ha ha!). But I guess that should have told me something...maybe my gut was in-the-know somehow. Yes, you can guess where I am going with this.
It was December and we were in full holiday spirit. It was actually 2 weeks before Christmas and we got a call......
The FBI rejected my prints again! WHAT?! how is that possible?
So this time (I had to wait for the rejected cards to come back to me so I could take them with me), I had to plan ahead. It was now the week before Christmas and not like I didnt have anything else to do! I trudged (an hour away) to go visit my new friends at the state police department. (yes I had to actually call ahead and talk to certain people who were setting me up with other certain people). They used special lotion, did different techniques this time with ink. My friend 'J' has a background in criminal prints and knows exactly what to do and assured me that if he couldnt get them done, then noone could! So we did 4 cards and off I went. They said they would get a rushed response from the FBI to let me know if they were good to be accepted back into the system, and would also probably rush the results as I had been in queue for so long and I think DH was already done and approved! Let me just add that our regular backgrounds done with SS# and DOB were already back and clear.
So the next day... got a call.... Rejected again. This time a letter from the FBI stating "These fingerprints are not readable by any currect technology"....what?! seriously?! haha, now friends are joking I can become an undercover agent of famous cat burgalar! ha ha. UGH, I just want to be able to adopt a baby! Really is this what is going to prevent this from happening?
The holidays came and went. They were lots of fun. But always in the back of my mind was this looming. Our agency "AA" told us that they couldnt work with us without prints and a result and that we wouldnt be able to adopt from anywhere (except maybe one state) without them. I was really down about it. It was hear wrenching. People are having kids and leaving them places, and I cant take them into my house and have proven that I am worthy parent - by our agency here giving us thumbs up in every other area.
After the holidays I outreached to "M" our social worker, and she assured us we would still be able to adopt. The cloud lifted a little.