My husband and I are adopting a baby - and we are about to be activated. You all may not have a clue what that means so I will give you a peak into the adoption process.
We decided right after Valentine's Day that we wanted to adopt and we contacted American Adoptions out of Kansas City. We had researched adoption agencies in the past, but we had just been reluctant to pull the trigger. We had three things to complete before we became activated.
Adoption Profile Questionnaire
American Adoptions has two tracks you pick from when you adopt - there is a Traditional Program and an Agency Assisted Program. The Agency Assisted program includes any mix of African American and the Traditional Program includes all other races. With the Questionnaire, we had to decide which program to join and Tony and I decided to join the Traditional Program.
On the questionnaire, you also had to pick what kind of situations you would adopt (which includes choosing races, medical history of family and birth mom, etc) and your budget for the adoption. We decided that we would adopt any race or combination of races within the Traditional Program and we were somewhat open on the medical history of the birth family. After we completely filled the questionnaire out and turned it back into the agency, we had a conference call with the agency to discuss our preferences. The agency liked what they saw on our questionnaire and told us that once we were activated, our profile would be seen by 30-35 birth moms a month.
Adoptive Family Profile
The profile is our way of communicating to birth moms as she will choose an adoptive family based on what we write. This was much harder to write than I imagined because it means so much - we wanted it to be different than the average adoptive families' profile so we would stand out among the crowd.
We had to include about 50-55 pictures of the two of us and had to answer the following questions or create the following statements:
- Profile Introduction: Every introduction that we saw started off with "Thank you so much for reading our profile..." so we went totally out of the ordinary and started with a Dr. Seuss quote instead.
- Tell Us About Your Extended Family
- Tell Us About Your House, Neighborhood and Community
- How has Adoption affected your life? I was adopted so I was able to tell my own story.
- What are your favorite childhood memories?
- A letter to the birth parents
We actually wrote on more topics than this - however, the agency picks the best of the topics we have submitted and they create the profile.
This is not quite activated yet - but, here is the website you can check out in just a few days to see our adoptive family profile.
For the Home Study, we had to get several clearances to make sure we weren't bad people. :) These clearances included an FBI check, Arkansas State Police Check and a Sex Offender Check.
We also had to gather lots and lots of paperwork that included our birth certificates, marriage license, references from 4 friends and 1 family member, our 2009 1040 Tax Forms, pet vaccinations and other documentation.
Then, we had a social worker come out to the house for a tour and to interview us. During her first visit, she stayed for about 2.5 hours and asked us lots and lots of questions. Then, she came back a couple of weeks later and interview us separately.
She finished up her report last week and submitted it to the agency to say we would be fine parents. I mean, hello, did you think she would report it any other way? HA!
As soon as we sign this activation agreement, get it notarized and FedEx both the agreement and our activation fee, we are activated. Activation means that our profile that we created will be shared with potential birth moms. The profiles are shared with birth moms based on their own situation and how it matches with the selections of ours based on our Adoption Profile Questionnaire.
I may struggle with the waiting part of this phase...literally, it could take 1 week for a mom to pick us or over a year. We have been told because we are willing to adopt a non-caucausian baby and because we don't have children yet that we should be picked earlier rather than later - but who knows.
We would love to have your thoughts and prayers as we continue through this journey.
Thanks for listening - Toodles!