There are a LOT of scary things happening in the world right now (particularly if your world is America and you appreciate science and using facts as a method of logical argument). I could focus on that. I am focused on that. But at some point, to have a life I enjoy, I have to talk about the good things happening in my world too.
The best thing happening in OUR world right now is that our family is about to get larger by at least one small person. That's right, we are planning g to adopt through U. S. foster care. We're hoping to adopt a child between four and eleven years old.
So far we have taken classes through Northern Virginia Family Services about how to be a good parent to children coming from the foster system. We gave a large check to Catholic Charities to begin our home study, and we filled out piles of paperwork. The home study is going to a new level this week as I have my first one-on-one interview. I'm anxious and excited to get started.
My motivation for changing the blog name and starting to write about this process is to be an open door to others who are going through the process (or just have questions!). If I was pregnant, I could post pictures of my growing belly or have semi-regular reveals about gender or birth-plans or results of sonograms. Instead, we're going tone working with teams of case managers and advocates to find the perfect addition to our family; a forever family for a child who is waiting to come home.
Adoption does not seem to have quite as much pre-arrival excitement as the nine months of pregnancy. There are few to no women in my social circle who have grown their family this way. There are fears from well-meaning friends and family about what kind of child we "could wind up with." It seems inherently wrong to approach our future child this way - quietly, with professionals, and little to no fanfare.
I wonder about and pray for our future child. I have so many questions for them. I wonder if they will like me or compare me to their biological mother. I can't quite get their room ready yet because our child will arrive with more than just a personality based on movement in the womb, but with a soul that has lived and seen hardships in their short years on this Earth; a soul with opinions and style all their own.
So while I will only mention it where it seems socially acceptable in my circle of friends, here I will talk about this journey. It did not begin by peeing on a stick and I won't have to give up wine or soft cheeses, but my journey to be a mom is just as valid and worthy of celebration. Here I will celebrate and talk about some of the more arduous parts of the process. This is the place where the evolution of our family will be documented. There won't be pictures from the side (though now I am brainstorming how I could make that work in some way) or discussion about my changing body (though I imagine gray hair is probably in my future).
There will be celebration. There is joy. And two adult humans and two sweet dogs are about to get a permanent house guest. Let's get excited!