Wednesday, March 21, 2018

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Wait in Adoption

For awhile now we've been in the series, "If I could say one thing..." where adoptive families are sharing their real and raw insights about the adoption process. Today we're talking about the wait in adoption. Once the paperwork is filled out, the home study is complete, the profile designed, a hopeful adoptive family will wait for a match with an expectant mother. While this is a part of the process almost every family walks through, it can be one of the hardest. Not being able to see how God is working, what He's preparing, and how the story will end (or begin!) can be agonizing. Here's some thoughts and encouragement from mamas who have been there...

Don’t let it postpone anything you want to plan. I caught myself in the beginning saying I can’t do this or that because we might have a baby. Now planning things help me make it through the wait.  - Elizabeth

Have fun! Enjoy your time with your spouse/family and friends- do things you won’t be able to once you have a baby! I was so nervous to plan a trip when we were waiting, we finally went away for the weekend and our son was born 3 hours from where we were staying! Just believe in Gods plan!  - Mary

Trust God and His timing, because I can PROMISE you He is faithful! And if the wait is during your match and waiting for baby to be born (we had a 3 month wait)- focus on expectant mama as much as possible! I sent weekly encouragement cards to our birth mama, and she told us “I’ve never been loved by anyone the way you love me. You have no idea how much that means to me. Your cards and encouragement and love and focus on ME and what -I- needed is what solidified things in my heart and mind. I knew if you could love me so well, you would love baby girl the way I want her to be loved, too.” Focus on expectant mama as much as possible/as much as you think they would be comfortable with.  - Andrea

Don’t compare your journey to others. The timing of each specific adoption and length of wait is so different. Everything will play out exactly how it is meant to.  - Kaylin

For us the wait was on the side of “should we adopt, can we adopt, how will we adopt, is it the right time to adopt????” We spent years talking, dreaming, and justifying if we were meant to adopt. Once we quitted our hearts and the mad rush of the world around us. The only answer was a resounding “YES” adopt! Once we were in alignment with the word and the Fathers voice the wait turned into action. Waiting once we started the process never looked like sitting and doing nothing. The days we filled with anticipation, faith, prayers, love and building relationships we never would have had without adoption. No two stories will be the same and that is the beauty of it all! When you embark on a journey of “yes’s” assurance can only be found in the ONE who first called you to it! Without Him would we even have the heart to love? The word tells use that He first loved us! That four letter word LOVE is what brought us to this very place.  - Kendra

Pray and take this time to let the Lord prepare you for the next journey. Find redemption in the wait. Don’t forget to enjoy each day and each moment. It’s so easy to get swept up in it all, you forget to think about anything else. Try not to compare your story to others. For the Lord knows the plans He has for you. Trust in Him!  - Kacie

Pray pray pray! For the EM you will be matched with and your future baby. Spend time with your spouse and do fun things that you won’t get to do when baby comes. Don’t compare your journey/wait time to others, instead believe in God’s plan for your family and his perfect timing. Listen to His voice as He speaks to your heart.  - Amanda

The wait is what you make of it. I learned this the hard way. I started off our wait dwelling and be discouraged. Towards the end, I focused on our nursery, spending time with my spouse and family, and taking "me" time...basically doing things that I took for granted at the time, but I knew would be more of a challenge once we had a little one.  - Leah

Trust in God with all of your heart. It is difficult to not feel discouraged from time to time, but never let it be your focal point. Keep positive and know that God's timing is perfect. Pray. Trust. Believe. When He doesn't move the mountains you want him to, when he doesn't part the waters so you can walk through, always always always...TRUST! God doesn't promise life will be easy, but having a good positive attitude and trust makes the journey that much easier, even in the toughest times. Surround yourself with positive encouragement.  - Angela

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Adoption Story: John and Kayla

John and Kayla had a clear call to adopt at the beginning of 2017 and began asking God to bring them to a child by Christmas. It was a bold, audacious prayer. They trusted God to write their story, but wondered often throughout the year as they walked through hiring Christian Adoption Consultants, got their home study done, and began waiting for a match if their prayer would be in God's timing. Kayla shares how God showed up and answered their prayers in the most unexpected and amazing ways...

The sermon that day had nothing to do with adoption. But on January 1st, 2017 John and I walked out of church both feeling led to start the process. Even while we were dating we had talked about adopting, but it wasn’t until that day that we decided to take the first steps. 

Our first step was to pray and gather information. For two months, we spent time talking with friends who had adopted, researching our options and learning as much as we could. During that time we questioned if this was what we were supposed to be doing and if the timing was right. We had not tried to get pregnant yet and we experienced some doubt about where God was leading.

After more prayer and some encouragement from our pastor, in March we hired Susan to be our adoption consultant. We loved the idea of having her walk through the process with us and give us wisdom and insight. During this time we started asking God for a child by Christmas and decided to also boldly ask him for twins. We loved the idea of our adopted children being able to share the same story.

By the beginning of August we were home study approved and started to review expectant parent situations. We received many “not yets” but had to continually remind ourselves that God knew best and would lead us to our child. After several months we started to think that this was not going to happen before Christmas and that we would have to be ok with God not answering our prayers the way we wanted him to.

A few days before Thanksgiving we received information about an expectant mom who was pregnant with twins. Again we surrendered to the Lord knowing that if these were our children he would lead us to them. We were hoping to hear an answer before the long Thanksgiving weekend but we did not. More waiting. 

On Monday we received the most life changing phone call! Not only did the expectant mom choose us to be the adoptive parents, but the twins were born on that Saturday, seven weeks early! I was shaking for the rest of the day and barely slept that night. We couldn’t wait to meet them! 

But more waiting came. We did not receive photos of them for almost a week after they were born. We were waiting to get the call that we could go to Florida to meet the precious babies. One day turned into another day, which turned into weeks. That waiting was absolutely the hardest part in the process. We knew these babies were alive and we had been chosen to be their parents, but we did not know if the adoption would go through and we had to wait to meet them because of legal complications that needed to be sorted out. 

We prayed that God would help the babies grow from their small 3.5 pounds and that they would thrive in the NICU. They were each in the NICU for less than two weeks and a wonderful woman cared for them while we waited to be able to go. What an incredible gift from God she was. 

After a lot of prayer, and begging God to be able to meet these children, we were finally able to go to Florida and met the little ones a few days before Christmas. It was incredible to meet them and hold them, but was also challenging as we tried to guard our hearts, still not knowing if the adoption would actually pan out. The first two weeks we had to pick them up and drop them off each day because we were not the legal guardians. We expected to have to wait at least a few weeks.

But after more praying and asking God this time if things would go faster than anticipated, we finally became the legal guardians on January 3rd! I spent the next couple weeks in Florida with them overnight and waited for ICPC to go through. John was able to fly down three times to visit. On their due date, we headed home! 

It didn’t happen how we pictured it happening. We did not get to be there when they were born and we did not get to spend any time in the NICU with them. But what an incredible, humbling experience to watch God answer one prayer after another (way more than we even had time to explain here), proving himself faithful and trustworthy; a good Father.

We did not always know what was going to happen next or what we would be called to do, but God was always faithful to show us what the next step was. We are so thankful for these little ones, Ariya Grace and Adrian Alexander.

Photo credit to Megan Sawall Photography

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Adoption Story: Justin and Samantha

I first met Justin and Samantha over a busy lunch hour in a bakery. They had driven several hours so we could meet face to face and I spent time listening their story. Their faces lit up talking about adoption: how it had already impacted their family and how excited they were to see how God would continue to use adoption to hopefully expand their own. If I'm honest, I knew in my bones I was watching the beginning of God do something amazing...

When Justin and I look back at our lives, there is no doubt that God had been placing adoption on our hearts long before we started the process. I feel so thankful for this now, because as hard things and difficult decisions came up during our journey, it didn't take long for my heart to be reminded that our story with adoption is actually not about us at all, but about God's story for our little girl, and ultimately, one that points to Him. 

When they say that adoption is hard, they mean it. For me, a lot of the difficulty had to do with letting go of control and trusting every step of the way. A few years ago, I would have never dreamt that I would have desired an open adoption relationship with my child's birth family, but today, I couldn't imagine it any other way. Although openness in adoption can be confusing or hard for others to understand, it has created the most incredible sense of peace for Justin and I to know that Emerson Scout can know and love her birth mom. Even better, that I can know and love her as well. Each step of the way, I saw God making this journey less about me, and more about Him, and sometimes that means taking the first step into the uncomfortable to let Him work. Now, staring at my little girl, it makes me sad to think about what would have been the outcome of our story if I kept trying to have it go exactly as I had planned. 

During the wait, 2017 seemed like the longest year of our lives, but looking back, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were contacting Susan. In less than one year, our lives have changed completely. We are so thankful that Susan was with us every step of the way not just to guide us practically, but to point us to truth constantly. 

We began our paperwork for our home study in March of 2017 with the intention of rushing like crazy to get everything going. However, life was still going and things didn't move as quickly as we would have liked. Although we felt frustrated by that at times, we just felt a peace that we didn't need to rush. In September, just two weeks after we were officially home study approved, we presented our profile for the first time. Three days later, we got the call that expectant mama E had chosen us. We were shocked! The next four months were spent getting to know her and preparing for the arrival for our sweet girl! Those months were also full of anxiety and fear, no matter how hard we fought it. Then, when E was going in for her 37 week appointment, I got a text saying that she was going to be induced that evening! With no flights that would get us there in time, we ran home, packed in a hour, and started our 16 hour drive. After driving all night and barely stopping, we pulled into the hospital and ran up to labor and delivery, where we had missed the birth by exactly five minutes! At that point, we didn't even care. We were just so excited to see check on E and meet Emerson Scout! The next few days were the greatest blessing to us. We spent time with E and her family and friends and all agreed on one major thing; we all loved this baby more than anything, and that was what was important. 

We were told adoption would be hard, but at times, it felt impossible. We were also told that holding her would make it all worth it, and that was a huge understatement. God's faithfulness has shown over and over in our lives, and now, we will get to teach Emerson of that faithfulness as she goes through life. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

To the Dads on the Fence

Today you have the pleasure to hear from Tim. Husband. Father. Adoptive dad. And admittedly my favorite guest blogger since he's my brother. When I asked him if he could write something just for men considering adoption, he didn't hesitate for a second. I remember late night talks with Tim and Meg talking about the possibilities of growing their family through adoption. And I remember exactly where I was when my brother called me, in tears, saying God was calling them to foster care and he was "all in." Today Tim talks candidly with other men who might be on the fence and deciding if foster care or adoption is the right path for their family.

Let's be honest. Your wife is making you read this right now.

She's been reading all kinds of adoption books and blogs and has been meticulously preparing her case for the last few months. She just hit you with her opening statement and gave you this very blog to read as homework before you feebly fumble through your attempt at a response.

I've been there. Caught off guard. Deer in the headlights. Mortified to have to be the one to pump the brakes pull the emergency brake on what my wife so earnestly felt God calling us to do.

Some of you may already be fathers. You may already have a whole crew, but adding one more through adoption scares the daylights out of you. You've mastered the fathering process. You can make dinner with one kid on your leg, the other helping stir, and a third one wrapped in the kangaroo pouch thing only your wife can remember the actual name of. But this is different, there's a lack of control. And as crazy as your life is already, the last thing you're willing to give up is any semblance of control you might possibly have left. I mean, you and your wife always talked about adoption. But not now. You just got your last kid out of diapers.

Others of you have been trying.

And trying.

And trying.

And trying to have biological children.

The tests. The appointments. The procedures. The bills. The glimmers of hope only to be heartbroken and grief-stricken time and time again. Now you try your hardest to re-route your shopping cart around the baby section, hoping to postpone your wife's tears until at least a private moment. Not here.

You would feel guilty for “resorting” to adoption. That's not how you wanted to end up at this inevitable decision you’ve been dreading for the last several years.

A few of you might even be in the same camp I was six years ago. Newly married. No plans for kids anytime soon. My wife Meg had one of those moments in church. You know the kind. When the Holy Spirit puts a megaphone up to your heart and whispers loud and clear. She sat me down afterward and we had the talk. God was calling her (meaning us) to adoption, specifically adoption through foster care.

*Cue the emergency brake*

In my mind, I immediately became an expert on why this was a terrible decision for our family. Did my wife forget that we were 22 and 23 years old? Or that I had zero dadding experience? The size of our duplex shrunk to the size of a college dorm room. Could we legally fit a kid in there? At the time, I worked for a residential treatment facility for foster kids. I witnessed firsthand the effects of the trauma they had endured. There’s no way we were equipped to handle that, especially as first-time parents. And can we talk about adoptive parents for a second? These saints have it together. I don’t. They’re super-parents. I can’t fake my way through that. Everyone will see right through me.

Here’s the second-best thing I’ve ever done: instead of verbalizing that entire paragraph above that ran through my mind in three seconds flat, I said I’d pray about it.

And I did. I specifically prayed a line from a song that was on the radio at the time.

“Break my heart for what breaks yours.”

And He did.

A missed training at work from years before led me to a more in-depth training on foster kids. Actual kids in the system talking about the heartaches they had endured and their need for unconditional love. My heart broke. The megaphone whispered loud and clear.

If I was reading one of those “choose your own adventure” books I would have had two options. Number one: do nothing and it’s the end of the book. Number two: do something and you’re on page one of the greatest trilogy of all-time. (Foreshadowing here, I have three kiddos.) Something I've learned the hard way in my walk with Christ is that there is a time for prayer and there is a time for action. Keeping things on our prayer list which God has already convicted us of can dangerously become a religious excuse for inaction.

Here’s the best thing I’ve ever done: I said yes to my wife. I know, sounds like the advice your grandpa gave you on your wedding day with a wink and a handshake. But more importantly, I said yes to God’s plan for our lives without knowing exactly what that plan looked like. Here’s the thing about us husbands, if you’re anything like me and my wife. Our wives are the optimists, we’re the pessimists. Our wives are the dreamers, we’re the doubters. We read all 142 reviews before we buy the TV. We measure twice, cut once. We want to see the money in the bank account before we commit to anything. But too often as Christian men we let our pursuit of order overrule our pursuit of submission to God’s will.

Fast forward with me to December 15, 2012. The day I became a daddy. Jacob was our first (and only) foster placement and was three months old at the time. I held him for the first time under our Christmas tree and wept bittersweet tears. In order for him to end up in my arms, some heartbreaking events had taken place. One of my favorite quotes from Jody Landers sums it up, “A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.”

By God's grace we were able to adopt him on December 18, 2014 with the support of his birth mother. We told our families that we were pregnant with our biological son, Griffin, the next day. He was born on July 29, 2015. One pretty scary birth experience was enough for my wife, so I took the medical precaution in early 2016 to avoid those complications in the future. We were incredibly blessed with a healthy baby boy and playmate for Jacob. Later that year, Meg and I felt the nudge of God again calling us to adopt. A week later, I got a call at work from my wife, sobbing uncontrollably. When I finally got her to speak she told me that Jacob’s birth mom was pregnant. And she wanted us to adopt.

Our fundraising efforts started. Bills came in. Donations came in. Wash, rinse, repeat. With some creative ideas (all Meg’s), a generous community, and open hands, the Lord provided.

We had been planning on another boy for months. It turned out it was a goofed gender reveal when Elodie was born on June 21, 2017; the little girl this daddy always prayed for. After our crazy journey through foster care, foster adoption, having a biological son, and a private adoption of a sibling, I can tell you one thing. I can’t imagine my life if I would have said no those six years ago. God wired my wife to push me toward His plan and His blessings. It’s what I love most about her. All I had to do was say yes.

Some of you are on the fence. Some of you are off the fence, but on a different side than your wife. Some of you didn't even know there was a fence until today. There will be struggles. There will be frustration. There will be paperwork, so much paperwork. But you'll look back on your family's journey, maybe six years later, and it will all make sense. You’ll look into the eyes of your son or daughter and know that God’s plan was infinitely greater than anything you could have ever hoped or dreamed for on your own.

So here’s the plan:

  1. Promise your wife you’ll pray about what God has placed on her heart.
  2. Pray. Listen. Act accordingly.
  3. Tell your wife you finished reading the blog. She’s anxiously waiting to hear your thoughts.

For more of Tim and Meg's story:
Their journey to foster care: My Brother Is Doing It
Meg's thoughts on foster care: A Foster Mama Shares Why Excuses Don't Matter
Jacob's Adoption: Meet Jacob
Elodie's adoption: Countdown to Forever

Thinking about adoption and want to know the next steps? Here's More on Adoption

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Adoption Story: Jerry and Gayla (again!)

You've met Jerry and Gayla before when they adopted their first son. When they reached out to me again last summer I was thrilled that they were thinking about adding to their family again through adoption. It was amazing (again) to see Jerry and Gayla's faith in a God that writes the best stories. In the midst of the wait, the uncertainty, and a roller coaster the week their son was born, I watched as they patiently waited for God to move, trusting Him to care personally for their family and the birth family...

As I sit down to document our second adoption story I feel so grateful yet humbled once again at how big our God is! He truly has been so good to us over the last few weeks and it’s obvious He holds us in the hollow of His hand. We are so so thankful to Him as well as Susan who was such a support for us as we walked this journey.

After updating our home study and signing on with Christian Adoption Consultants and Susan we started receiving situations of expectant mamas. For four months we read over many different situations of expectant mamas, praying over them and for wisdom. We presented our profile different times only to hear, “it’s not your time yet.” In November, another email, another mama making an adoption plan. My heart skipped a beat as I glanced over it and I thought, could this be the one?! We presented our profile once again. A couple of weeks later we received word that "Mama R" was drawn to our profile and wanted to talk with us. From the very beginning of that first phone call we fell in love with her and felt like we had found a long-lost friend. Conversation came easy and we found different things we had in common with her. Before we ended that first call she told us, “You’re it!” Our feelings were of so much excitement and gratefulness but at the same time disbelief that someone would trust us with such a precious gift. We had approximately five weeks to build a relationship with her and to prepare for another little boy to join our family.

Adoption is beautiful, messy, exciting, and scary all at once. Our faith was stretched the week our son was born and all we could do was trust the One who writes these stories and pray His will would be done for everyone involved. A phrase of the song that was so impressive to us at the time of our first son’s adoption became very meaningful once again: “God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see!” Truly we witnessed mountains moved and miracles performed allowing this sweet little boy to be placed in our arms. We will be forever grateful to his brave birth family and we’re thankful to have an open adoption with them. Having open communication with our sons’ birth mamas was the very thing that worried us the most before we adopted but has turned into one of the biggest unexpected blessings!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

If I Could Say One Thing...About Expectant and Birth Families

There is so much for a hopeful adoptive family to consider during the adoption process. Where do we start? Can we afford it? What can we expect? Inevitably, one of the most common questions (along with fears and concerns) come about the expectant and birth families. (An important note: Expectant parents are people considering an adoption plan for the child, birth parents have made an adoption child and placed the child for adoption.)

So, I asked adoptive families their thoughts on expectant and birth families. I love their insightful, honest, and surprising answers.

They’ve become a treasured extension of our family.  - Meg

It won't always be perfect. There will be ups and downs.  - Jennifer

Try to remember that as much as this is a joyous occasion for your family, for them it's a day of loss.  - Melissa

Let them in. They are entrusting you with their flesh and blood. Developing a relationship based on trust is key. Remember that after placement there may be ebbs and flows in the relationship. Continue to reach out but be mindful of their need for space and grieving.  - Lisa

At first we weren’t sure about having a relationship with our daughters birth mom but now we treasure her and more than anything to have contact. We have a semi open adoption by birth mom’s choice and have little contact. We treasure each time we hear from her, even if it’s only a one word response.  - Kendra

Our love runs deeper than we had imagined. Sometimes peoples' comments and questions about our son's birth mom feel rude and ignorant. It's tempting to become angry and defensive. We try so hard, albeit imperfectly, to use those opportunities to teach people about how brave and loving a birth parent is, hopefully slowly breaking the stereotypes that exist.  - Sarah

They are to be respected and honored, no. matter. what. They are their child's parent too, it just looks and plays out differently.  - Natalie

If I could say one thing it would be the absolute shock at how deeply and absolutely we love our birth mom. No strings attached- just crazy love. I expected to have some feelings of respect and maybe thankfulness but the love I have for her is infinite. I would protect her with my life. For reference we have a semi open relationship.  - Christy

The relationship may change throughout the years. Contact and openness may not always be consistent, or what you planned or hoped for. They deserve respect, privacy, and more than anything love. Their story is not yours to tell to the public, and their life may not be what others would assume. Protect them just as you would your own family, for truly they are just an extension of it.  - Amy

God works in their hearts to bring them to adoption just like He does for adopting families. For an expectant parent to entrust a stranger with part of themselves is nothing short of a miracle. God has His hands all over every adoption situation on both sides. Our son’s birth mother prayed for signs that she should place him and told us how those prayers were answered. We will never forget the conversations we had with her before he was born. We are fortunate enough to have continued an open relationship, but there is something special about the time we shared together before he had arrived.  - Kacie

They [adoptive families and birth families] have a lot in common - and they are both worried that the other party won’t like them.  - Mimi

From a couple who initially was uncomfortable with the idea of an open situation and now would only consider open adoption: God can explode your family circle overnight to include your child’s extended birth family in an amazing and powerful way. They can be your and your child’s biggest advocates and cheerleaders; they will laugh, cry, and love your little one fiercely with you. To quote one of our attorneys: you can never have too many grandparents - it’s so true! The more members of your child’s birth family you can get to know and welcome into his/her life the better. And keep welcoming them in over time with pictures, texts, notes, updates, requests for advice. Many birth family members will feel a little insecure at some point about reaching out to you or have the sense that you want to ‘move on’ without them. But you will all be exponentially blessed by true, lasting relationship formed around a common love for that child.  - Laura

For more in this series:

If I Could Say One Thing...About Beginning the Adoption Process

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Cost of Adoption

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Adoption Home Study

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Adoption Home Study

The home study process that every hopeful adoptive family goes through can feel intimidating and often causes anxiety for families. I've written about preparing your home for the home study and a home study survival guide. Today you get the chance to hear from adoptive families who have been through the home study process what they would say.

If I could say one thing about the adoption home study...

The Home Study feels so overwhelming and intimidating but it’s way less stressful and way more enjoyable than you might originally think.  - Leigh

Try not to over-stress. It won’t be nearly as bad and you imagine. The house doesn’t have to be spotless either. First visit we cleaned top to bottom, by the end our social worker was more like a friend and we just made sure she wouldn’t trip over any toys.  - Kristi

It’s not a judgement process, it’s an education process.  - Leah

It is NOT a white glove test like you think. Let your house show you live there and don't stress about making it look perfect.  - Christy

Be yourself! It’s intimidating, but being honest and giving yourself grace makes the process (a little) less stressful.  - Kaylin

God led the right person into our lives and It was a reminder of how HE was watching the entire process. She was there to help us adopt... not prevent it from happening. She has become a friend and huge help to us. She is rooting for our family to adopt and I'm so thankful for her friendship!  - Amy

It’s so not about the house and it’s about you as a couple and family. Also what an amazing opportunity to share your faith and show the gospel to others. Our agency was not a Christian agency and we had the best talks about our faith. God will make his name known even in the stresses of homestudy. What a blessing to witness.  - Jenny

Relax and realize that they are just there to make sure you can provide and get to know you as a family. It’s a step in the process that you may feel the need to control and overanalyze... but just relax, breathe, and be yourself.  - Mackensie

Clean like you would for dinner guests. Your house does not need to be spotless! - Michelle

It's not as scary as it sounds! - Nathan

It’s not as bad as you think it will be! We cleaned our house top to bottom, and even painted all our trim. She didn’t even go into all the rooms, we spent most of the time visiting around the table eating cookies I had made and drinking milk and coffee. I was so stressed out about it, but it was easy peasy!  - Andrea

It was a pleasant surprise (and don't overclean!)  - LeAnne

Even though it feels like your entire life is being scrutinized, the adoption agency that's conducting your home study is rooting for you and they want to see you reach your dream of becoming an adoptive family. Their goal is not to pick apart everything about your life and family, but to find any potential red flags and prepare you for the journey ahead. The home study experience actually prepared us for some of the challenges we faced after we were chosen by our daughter's birth mom.  - Melissa

The home study was one of our favorite parts of the journey! We learned so much about adoption and our social worker has been such a blessing to us. She has been there to HELP us adopt. It was an educational experience that we're thankful to have.  - Amanda

Be honest with your home study agency. My husband had a few things happen in his life during his divorce that I thought would keep us from being able to adopt. The agency listened to everything he said and told us what to do so that we could prove everything that happened was either unfounded or eventually ruled out in court. It’s better to be honest in the beginning and get over those hurdles than have something come up after you’ve matched.  - Elizabeth

For more in this series:

If I Could Say One Thing...About Beginning the Adoption Process
If I Could Say One Thing...About the Cost of Adoption

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