Monday, November 30, 2009

Your adoption questions, My answers

First of all, thank you to those of you who asked questions and took an interest to our adoption story. Its great to hear so many of you considering adoption!

I also want to start off by saying that this is OUR story, experience and opinions, every one's is different and there are no two stories alike! You should also know that we chose to adopt domestically (meaning in the states) and International or Foster Care adoption is a completely different ball game.

So lets get started. (There were a few duplicate questions so I paraphrased a few of them)

What agency did you go through?

We went through Bethany Christian Services...they have an office close by and we were very pleased with them as an agency and what they do to bring awareness to adoption.

Do you have a closed or open adoption?
We have an open adoption with Grayden's birth mother and a semi-open adoption with his birth father (meaning we have never met each other (his choice), but know a lot about each other and have seen pictures, etc)


Why did you choose to go the route you did?
We chose to have an open adoption for many reasons, we wanted Grayden to know his birth family and never want to hide any details from him. We wanted to be able to share with him how much his birth family loved him enough to choose life and adoption for him!

Our agency strongly encourages open adoption as well.

It has allowed us to better know the birth family and connect with them easier.


From the beginning to the end how much money was adopting your little boy?

We are choosing not to give you an exact figure on how much our adoption cost mainly because every agency and situation is different in terms of cost. And to be honest I am not really sure what is has all added up to be.

Domestic is more affordable than International in most cases but more expensive that foster to adopt programs. Our agency based its fees on the adoptive couples yearly income. It is expensive, but we'd pay any amount of money for our little blessing. I will say that it was between the $15-25,000 range.



Will you adopt again in the future?
I hope so! We are waiting and praying for the right timing of it all.


I have always heard that adoption is so expensive! Is it very expensive?
Yes, but I want to say again it was worth every penny and more.

My husband and I may adopt and would like to know if there are any programs out there that help pay for the process?

YES! There are numerous grants available to help people with some of the adoption costs, as well as loan programs and a Federal Adoption Tax Credit and in some states a State Adoption Tax Credit.

How did your adoption go through so quick (start to finish)? I've heard stories of couples who go through the process only to be agonized by the wait, which some say can take years...?

It did go quick, we started our home study in November of 2008, went active with the agency (meaning our profile could be shown to expectant mothers) on Dec 23, 2008 and we were matched on March 5 2009.


(the night we got "the call")


How did it go so quick? Lots of prayers! The wait can be agonizing, it was really hard to leave it in God's hands and have faith that His timing would be perfect but we did our best and are so thankful our adoption did go so fast!


What is the thing that surprised you he most about adopting?

There were lots of things that surprised me, but what surprised me the most is how much I would love a baby that I didn't carry in my belly for 9 month and give birth too and who wouldn't share my DNA. I knew I would love any baby God blessed us with but never did I expect just how much I love him! And how none of that stuff matters anymore AT ALL. I love Grayden more than words can express.


Did you ever consider adopting from another country besides the states?

Not really. We don't qualify to adopt from many other countries at this point so we just went right to domestic.

Was it a very invasive process? One of my daughter's classmates was adopted from China, and her mom said they had to fill out approx 20pages of info about themselves.

Yes, paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. The home study consisted of a 35 question self study for both Robb and I to answer, fingerprinting, physicals, individual interviews, compined interview, a home inspection, and friends referrals.


Was Grayden born in Michigan or did you need to travel to another state?
Yes he was born in Michigan

Did his birth mother choose you, or did the agency?
His birth mother chose us. She saw our profile online and then requested to see our profile book we made along with a few other couples. She decided she wanted us to be the parents in her 7th month of pregnancy.


My husband and I have just started looking into adoption to expand our family.....any advice for me?
Hmm, my advice is DO IT :) And guard your heart, it really is an emotional process full of ups and downs. I say to people all the time that "adoption is not for the faint of heart." You have to be strong!

What arrangements to you have with the birth mom as far as contact?
We email her with pictures quite often, once or twice a week. And so far have had 3 visits with her since he's been born and another one in the planning stages for next weekend.

How involved were you with her before he was born?
We emailed a few times a week and she'd let us know how she was doing and how her appointments were going, we discussed names and really just spent those couple months getting to know each other better.


Did you bring Grayden home from the hospital or did he have to go to foster care for a while?
Yes, we brought him right home from the hospital.





How often do you get told that Grayden looks like Robb? (Because right now, at least, he totally does! I think their resemblance is so special :))
A lot!! I personally don't see the resemblance (other than the fact that they're both super handsome) but we do hear it a lot. No matter who he looks like we think he's a perfect fit for our family!


Do you have a separate blog about your adoption?
Yes, I updated it a lot while we were going through the adoption process just to keep track of things that were happening and where we were in the process but I don't update it much anymore. I had been writing all his monthly posts over there but you may have noticed I have been switching them to this blog. Currently I only post over there when we have visits with his birth mom. I have chosen to keep it private, for the privacy of his birth family.


What are your plans for telling Grayden about his adoption?
that's a great question. We already tell Grayden about his adoption. I just randomly bring it up, we know he doesn't understand yet but that way we think it will just come naturally to talk about his whole life long.

We didn't want to hide his adoption from him until a certain age or something and then sit him down one night and tell him his background, that just seems so movie-ish . I think it would be awkward had my parents sat me down on my 13th birthday and told me I was adopted.

So we have already begun to tell him about his birth mom and I pray for her with him and we read him children's books about adoption. It just works for us!

17 comments:

Rebekah said...

I'd be a rich girl if I had a $1 for every time someone said said Ty looked like Ben. Happens ALL the time. All three of us have dark hair...that's about it! I've gotten used to nodding and saying "thank you!" :)

Jeannie said...

I have followed your blog for some time and have wondered about some questions you answered, so I thank you for your honesty and willingness to answer!

Tena said...

I think it's wonderful that Grayden is adopted, and that you are being open with him about it. I used to babysit for a couple of little girls who were adopted, and they had this wonderful book about it. The book focuses more on foreign adoptions, but both the girls were adopted domestically. It is a beautiful story. http://www.amazon.com/Over-Moon-Adoption-Karen-Katz/dp/0805050132/ref=cm_lmf_tit_2

Kirsten: said...

Great post! Thanks for being so honest! Grayden is a GREAT addition to your family!

Makenzies Miracle said...

I have followed your blog for a while and want to say that your son is beautiful! When I read the details of your adoption I was amazed at how truly small this world feels sometimes! 30 years ago I was born in Grand Rapids MI. My mother and father adopted me through Bethany Christian Services and many years later my own family did foster care through them! 30 years ago open adoption didn't realy excist. Some days I wish it had because there are so many unknowns! Today I have 4 children and a great life! Almost 3 years ago my youngest child suffered a serious brain injury leaving her with some very special needs! She is our little miracle! Her story can be found at www.makenziesmiracle.blogspot.com! Your growing family is just amazing!

Jessica said...

thank you so much for posting - answers to such basic adoption questions REALLY does help those of us that are just starting this journey. Reading it in books just doesn't compare to putting a face to the answers we try so desperately to answer. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Thanks for telling us all of this. My hubby and I have been talking about fostering to adopt, but we have to make sure our other children are 100% on board.

Deb said...

Blessings to your family. I just recently read your story and I'm impressed at Robb and your maturity! I work at Bethany Christian Services and am glad you had a great experience! It's a pretty great "family" to work with and they'll be there for you in the future, too! Blessings!

Daniels Five said...

Thanks for sharing your story, My parents adopted two of my brothers about 36 years ago (they wer 3 & 5)and things were so different. I love your honesty it is an insperation to all.

Erin said...

It's been wonderful to watch how your blog has grown and changed with both your sons playing a part!
Your family is beautiful and really an inspiration to anyone looking to adopt or to give up for adoption!
You guys look so amazingly happy!

fah said...

My coworker gave her daughter up for adoption. She was only 16 at the time, but chose to have an open adoption as well. Her daughter is now in her early 20s and mycoworker is very close to her daughter and her daughter's adoptive parents. I think it's great that they can have any type of relationship and that her daughter understands why she made the decision to give her up for adoption.

jenni said...

I think I cried 4 different times while reading this post/looking at the pictures. The picture of you and Robb the night of "the call" is just so special... you can just see the joy in that picture! Sigh.

So precious!

Holly said...

Thank you for answering all these questions. I've always wondered some things about adoption and this helped!

Myndee said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I've been following your blog since you were on BOTB. I'm so glad to see how everything has worked out for you guys. Your faith has been an inspiration to me. Your little Grayden is adorable. :)

MiniMe Mom said...

Thanks for sharing all that. A few times, I got a little choked up when I saw pictures of you two together. That is so special!

Celine said...

Thank you for answering all of our questions. I just know one day Grayden will thank his birth mother for making such a selfless decision, and giving him the most amazing parents anyone could ever wish for.

A Love Worth Waiting For said...

This was such a huge encouragement to me today!! Thank you!