Monday, June 4, 2012

Adoption seminar recap

I think in my mind, I kinda pictured the adoption seminar to be in a hotel conference room type atmosphere with anywhere from 25 to 75 people. It turned out to be much more laid back than we anticipated. Long story short, three couples missed the memo that the scheduled seminar time had switched from 2pm to 9am. Oopsie. :) They were very gracious with us, and did not turn us away. :) The director's name is Victory, and she has been involved in the adoption world for almost 50 years. She was very down to earth and the small setting allowed us to ask questions and have more of a conversation than a presentation. Here are a few of the key points that we walked away with-

The flow - In a nutshell this is how it all happens -  application, lots of paperwork, meeting with a social worker in our home, waiting to be matched, meeting with birthmother, baby is born, birthmother's rights relinquished once discharged from the hospital, take baby home, finalization in court a few months later. :)

The agency size - Perhaps it is because I understood this to be a well known and respected agency, but I assumed that there would be one to two hundred couples being matched every year. Not the case! On average, Night Light works with about 20 adoptive couples every year. It was comforting that we will not just be a number in a large organization. They are very personable and want to really know their adoptive families. I really liked that.

The compassion - NightLight Christian Adoptions helps women dealing with unplanned pregnancies to understand their options, and get counseling and support with the decision that they feel is best for them and the baby. They typically counsel about 75 girls a year, most of whom end up keeping and raising their child. The 15 or so who decide to give their babies to adopting couples have literally had their hand held through their pregnancy, and rarely change their mind at the last minute. Ryan and I both really appreciated the love that this organization has for the girls that they come in contact with.

The matching process - Birthmothers are able to narrow down their criteria for the couple that they would like to raise their baby. Adoptive couples are able to present their criteria for a baby/birthmother as well. NightLight takes those two lists and pairs up accordingly. Since the number of pregnant women and the number of adopting couples is fairly small, a birthmother will typically have 3-5 couples' profiles to look through and she will select one that she would like to meet from there. Profiles include a letter to her from us and information and pictures of us, our home, our families, church, etc.

The convenience- all of the legalities of this process are taken care of within the agency. It's a one stop shop. We do not need to find our own social worker or attorney. whew!

Overall, everything seems pretty straightforward even down to the schedule of payment. Although adoption is not a simple thing to go through, going over the order of events made it seem less daunting. Ryan and I have been a little unsure if we would be accepted by an agency, since we are younger than the typical adopting couple, and we have not been married for an extended amount of time. Would they take us seriously? We don't need to worry about that anymore. :) As we were walking out, Victory looked at us and said, "You seem like a very nice couple. You're going to do just fine." ::sigh of relief::

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like it went very well and you learned a lot about the process! Thank you for the update :) I was thinking of you both over the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like you found a great agency. It's neat they only work with a small amount each year, they must put a lot of time and energy into each adoption. Good luck, hope things continue to move in the direction you wold like. Thinking of you!!

    ReplyDelete