The Adoption Experience (Pt. 1/3)Posted in Adoption Stories
By Gabe McAteer
As a writer for ParentFinder, I get to work with interesting people every day. Writing their profiles gives me a look into their lives, who they are as individuals, and their hopes and dreams of a family. But I’ve noticed that I have never asked myself, “what is the adoption process like for them?” What are they thinking throughout the process? How has it affected their daily lives? A parent profile is a small glimpse into who a person is before adoption has had a profound impact on their life. But what if we took a look at a couple hoping to adopt during the process, what does that experience look like?
Luckily, Ashley from Colorado Christian Services (CCS) was nice enough to talk to us for this piece. She divulged information to me that I did not consider or experience before. I would describe the interview as personable, not intimate, but that does not change the fact that I got to see what goes through the parent’s mind as they go through the adoption process. Here is what the Ashley had to say about her and her husband’s adoption experience.
First off, thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and talking this out. Let’s start at the beginning. Why did you too choose adoption?
Well, adoption was not our first plan to start a family. We tried to conceive naturally but, simply put, we struggled with infertility.
How did the two of you handle that?
I believe that we had a great mentality moving forward, we welcomed adoption with open arms. However, it does help that I was adopted by my family. I joke that it must have been my destiny to adopt! Looking back, it just seemed like the natural thing to do for a couple in our position and we were both very comfortable starting the process.
I agree, it does sound like it came from a movie! What was it like getting started?
Challenging at first because we wanted an adoption agency that would see us as people and one that would cultivate a good relationship with us. CCS did just that.
They cared about adoptive parents and birth mothers alike and did their best to make sure everyone was comfortable and informed. They even included an adoption seminar that we called, “adoption camp,” where we spent time learning about the process. CCS covered legal questions and the financial in’s and out’s of the adoption process. But more importantly they took the time to give people in our situation time to grieve. During this camp, we even got to meet birth mothers who placed with CCS, which was very helpful. It was nice to know there was an identity and a chance to connect with someone.
That sounds great, I know a lot of agencies that we work with do the same, in regards to the camp. So what happened next?
After the adoption camp, we moved onto the home study process. We were both blown away at how complicated of a process it was. We had to get our fingerprints taken, background checks, letters of recommendation from our church, work, and neighbors. However, I believe our home study was very unique because we became great friends with our caseworker, Christine. Christine was very supportive throughout every step and is now a close friend of our family.
The last step was the adoption profile which, surprisingly, was the second toughest part of the adoption process. I think we had a tough time thinking about what we wanted to say and show in our profile but it was incredibly helpful to have the adoption video profile. Making the video was very useful and offered a dynamic look into our personalities. Once our adoption profile was completed we moved onto the hardest and most nerve wracking aspect of adoption, waiting for the call.
Check back on Monday, October 30th for Part Two of our Adoption Experiences Series.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with us, please feel free to contact Colin or Gabe with the subject line – Adoption Story to Share.