Friday, November 30, 2012

Adoption Process Update

(This is really just an email sent out to our family and friends, but I thought it would give some insight into what we are up to)

Family and Friends,

I hope you all are doing great!  We had a wonderful thanksgiving in Connecticut seeing Belinda, Chris, Charleigh and Shirley. It was such a blessing to be with family!  

I wanted to give everyone a little update on where we are at in the adoption process.  We finished our "classes" last Monday.  We basically have taken 8 weeks of classes learning information about the adoption process, trauma and how to work best with kids from "hard places".  We have an intake interview with the social worker that taught our classes this Tuesday, and there she will give us all our paperwork. That will take a bit to finish, as we have to do background checks, fingerprints, medial examinations and other stuff.  After we finish the paperwork, we start our homestudy. This is a 3 part interview process, one together as a family, one separate and another together.  During this process we work with our social worker to identify what type of kids we can best parent.  After the homestudy is complete, we can start to contact state social workers, who have "custody" of the "kids in waiting".  We put our profile in for any kids we want to be considered for, and they do interviews to determine who is the best fit for each child.  We don't know how long this will take, what age our kid (s) will be, what issues they will specifically have, and how many we will take into our home.  

What we do know is that we will foster them for 6 months, and then the final placement paperwork will make them officially our kids.  

We also know that our children will come from a background of trauma (physical, emotional, acute, and/or ongoing) and most likely neglect. These are usually kiddo's who parents have lost the right to parent them. The biological parental rights have been cut off.  So, needless to say, these kids need a lot of love and have a lot of learning to do.  At some stage in their development (often in the very beginning) all the teaching and loving that normal parents do, was stopped.  They did not learn the attachment, social skills and society norms that us and our kids have grown up knowing. They really didn't have a loving parent teaching them that they are worth loving and precious, they way most parents do! 

Let's be honest, all of us have some great kids!  They all have their little issues (like we all do) but our kids are really well behaved and love other people. So, these new kiddos are going to be quite different from what we are used to as aunt's, uncles, and grandparents... at least for a while.  Chris and I will have a lot of work on our plates to form an attachment with them, to love them unconditionally, to parent them through the tough times as they are still stuck in their survival mode from their past.  They are going to act out of survival for a while, until we teach them new ways to coping with their feelings and anger.  They will exhibit the behaviors at times that seem inopportune or inappropriate.  They will most likely exhibit behaviors that are typical with a child about 1/2 their chronological age.  Imagine a 10 year old having a tantrum like a 4 or 5 year old might!  It could/will be quite the scene.  But, we are in this for the long haul!  We are in a marathon of parenting, not a sprint!  We are more than excited and know that God has called us to this challenge to give these kids a glimpse of redemption and love.  

I tell you all of this to give you a chance to prepare emotionally, as you will be a big part in these kids lives!  I know most of you probably won't see them a lot, since we live far away, but that doesn't mean you can't know what is going on and pray for them.  

Ok, that's all for now!  If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email or call.  Chris no longer has his cell phone (just his work phone), so feel free to call my phone to get a hold of him too.  Please pray for us and our future family as we seek to grow.  We look forward to sharing more with you as we continue in this process.  

Christina and Chris