It happens regularly. I’d say weekly. We find ourselves in a meeting or in a hallway or over coffee, and someone asks about our adoption stories.
I’ve learned to trim the story down a little bit – at least Zoe’s story. There are so many intricate details to her story….prophetic foreshadowing, meetings that seemed chance at the moment but were momentousness later, and so on. It’s easy for me to get lost lacing the details together and watch the listeners’ eyes glaze over. But they’re important to me. She’s my girl.
Anna and Mercy’s story is so fast that people often think they misundertand us. It’s true. We learned about them on a Thursday morning and walked out of the hospital in Florida with them about 32 hours later. I blogged Zoe’s adoption, but I twittered the twins, because it all happened at lightspeed.
I remember Dwayne Roberts calling me in the airport…in the midst of encouraging us in the journey, he asked “What ethnicity are the twins?” – and I didn’t know! We’d been moving so quickly that I never asked.
Once the stories are told and they’re oohing and aahing over the girls, we often hear it….
“Wow,we would adopt too if they just dropped in our laps like this! It sounds so easy!”
Truthfully, it’s not that hard. Yes, there is paperwork to fill out, fingerprints to be taken, doctor’s exams to be scheduled and so on. There’s also money to be raised (sometimes even after the fact – we’re still not done with the twins…hard to raise that kind of cash overnight!). Even so, it’s not prohibitive. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.
As for the “dropping in our laps” part….that’s where I have to fight my tendency to roll my eyes, because yes, we did adopt babies who we connected with from a comment on our blog, but we were able to adopt because we made ourselves ready to adopt by doing one simple thing that you can do too: Get a home study.
Home study? What’s that?
In laymen’s terms, a home study is a way for an adoption agency, a lawyer, and the court to know that you can provide a stable environment for a child. Without one, you are not able to adopt. Understand – if babies dropped in your lap as quickly as we found the twins – you could not adopt them without a home study.
How do I get one?
Find a social worker or counseling agency in your who will do a home study for you. Make sure that they will give you a copy of the study – sometimes they are contracted to specific adoption agencies and are not able to release it to you, even though you’re paying for it. The home study will cost you around $1000.
Whoa – $1000? For fifty pages of paper about myself?
Yes, home study’s cost money. If you’re going to have a child- by adoption or natural means – you’re going to get used to the fact that you will fork over multiple times more than this on a regular basis. This is called the cost of living. It will not be the first thousand you spend and it will not be the last – but it is the amount that you have to spend to be a viable candidate in the world of adoption.
The study itself is a series of interviews, writing of your own story, paperwork and recommendations. It will take you some hours to get done. You will get tired. And once you adopt, one night at 3am you’ll be walking the floor with a baby and laughing about how much easier the home study was than actually having a baby can be. My point is that it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible, and you’ll do harder things if you’re successful in doing this.
A few months before we adopted the twins, we felt we wanted to be ready for an emergency situation like theirs, should one ‘drop in our lap’. Our home study was finished the day before we heard about them. Two days before we held them in our arms. Had we not gone ahead and got the study done when no babies were in sight, we would never have been in a position to say “We will take them – now!”.
So now you know. Don’t say you don’t know where to start.
Suggestion – if you have a friend who longs to adopt but doesn’t know where to begin, forward the permalink to this to them…and be sure to be there when they say ‘yes’, so you can pitch in a few bucks!
Also, link to The Zoe Foundation, where one of our goals is to build a national database of thousands of Christian families who are not only willing to adopt, but have done the work of a home study, saying “we’re ready to adopt – we will take them, now!”
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