We headed home from our weekend in Dallas on a mission, to forge through our application and the necessary steps to be eligible by the end of June. Not to mention, we were even more motivated when we learned about the babies due late this summer. In order to be fully eligible, we must complete the 33 page application, write individual autobiographies, get physicals, gather all of our important paperwork such a birth and marriage certificates, have 3 personal references, have a background check and fingerprinting with the FBI, do a home study, write a Dear Birthmother letter and put together a photo album to be presented to prospective birthmoms. Needless to say, we were overwhelmed just thinking about it.
It’s an interesting feeling “applying” to be a parent, when it’s such a God-given desire we’ve always had. It’s difficult putting words to these desires, when we always thought the desire would be enough. It’s incredible what’s required to be an adoptive parent, and though the process seems insulting and unfair at times, there is so much hope in bringing home our baby. And that has to be our focus.
Tyler and I used the long drive home from Dallas to dive in and talk through many of the open-ended questions in the application. We discussed the role of a father, a mother, how we will discipline as a team, and how God will be central in our parenting and our family. It was difficult putting such important dreams and values to paper, but we did our best.
From the time we arrived home on Sunday evening, though tired from a full weekend and long drive, we started working on the application cover to cover. We quickly pulled together financials, information on our extended families and our home. We started gathering all of the necessary paperwork and started on our autobiographies.
As soon as we were a good way through the application, I began writing the Dear Birthmother letter. It was difficult starting the letter, knowing that this would be the first communication to our birthmom, the mother of our future child. It was overwhelming knowing where to even start, and how to have the words to communicate our hopes and our gratitude. I was most excited about designing our family photo album, since this is something I’ve always enjoyed. This also proved difficult, trying to communicate and visualize our marriage, our interests, friends and family through a few well-chosen photographs. For so long, our lives have been clouded by our infertility struggle, but looking through the pages, I had a tremendous sense of gratitude, feeling truly thankful for the happy and blessed life we’ve lived together.
In addition to the paperwork and application, we have also started getting our home ready for the home study and a baby. This weekend we re-installed smoke detectors and bought a new fire extinguisher. I started tidying rooms and closets, and Tyler embarked on a chalkboard screen project to conceal the hot water heater in our utility room.
Every day this week, we worked 2 full time jobs – our day jobs, followed by our evenings and weekends which are filled with adoption paperwork and projects. And through it all, though it’s exhausting, there is a sense of something much greater. Purpose. For so long, we were trying to do what we felt God had for us, enduring intense fertility treatments and excruciating news every single month. Though we were always looking up, we were moving through life with what felt like not much direction or purpose. We are thankful for a sense of purpose, and we know without a doubt that God has already scripted a beautiful story for our family. We are thankful to be tasked with working for something so profound. We are thankful for direction and in advance for what will be a life-changing gift.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17