So, in the meantime, my husband A. and I decided that we should start to pursue adoption. This was always on the table for us as a way to create our family. Even before we were married, I told him that I wanted to adopt at least one child during my lifetime, and that it was not negotiable. Luckily, he thought it was a wonderful idea. So, when the time came for us to really consider what the hell we were doing with all of these drugs and treatments, considering adoption came along quite naturally.
Through a friend, I found a wonderful group in my city that works as an adoption agency, but focuses the bulk of their efforts on the birthmothers. They provide them housing if needed, counseling, tutoring, supplies, life skills training, and anything else they might need. Most of it is free or very, very minimal in charge to the birthmothers. And the decision about whether to parent or place their child is entirely up to them. They can receive all the help in the world and then choose to parent their child. No pressure at all. The agency does not make the decision or require that they place their child for services to be rendered. They also do everything in their power to ensure that the decision is solid- which is in the best interest of the birthmother and the child.
We loved the philosophy of the agency, heard good reviews from our friend, and decided to get the ball rolling. We wrote our letter of intent to adopt (the first step in our state) and began doing service with the agency. Oh, yes, this agency is different in another way. They ask the members to volunteer their time in order to allow them to provide their services at little to no charge. And as a potential adoptive family, we also benefit from fees that are about a third of those charged at a traditional agency, maybe on a quarter of that for international adoptions. We joined for the good vibes, though, not for the savings.
Another bonus- we did not have to stop treatments or neglect other agencies (if we had chosen to join them) in order to be a part of this agency. Their wish is that you become a family, and if they can help- great. If you get pregnant or find a child through another agency, that’s fine too. The core staff members are very grounded and truly appreciate the struggles of infertility, the desire to become a family, and everything that goes into having that as a big part of your life.
(For those wondering, you really do have to live in my city to benefit from this agency)
We jumped in with both feet and started volunteering. We have done fundraising, tutoring, and various other little things as needed. We love the group. We love getting to know all of the other waiting couples. And we really love that most people who have become parents through this agency- continue to volunteer their time. Willingly. Out of love for the agency. That, in itself, speaks volumes.
Well, not to give away the end of Volume 4 (hell, who am I kidding, it’s given away in my profile), but in the throes of working with this agency, we managed to get all knockered up. Normally, the placement time is about a year from the time you join. Pretty good, overall. We officially joined around May of 2004. My due date is May of 2005. Can you see a problem? Yeah, me too.
So, I’ve been pondering for quite a while as to exactly when I should call them to tell them our news. I want to have our files delayed, but not closed. I am still determined to adopt, and my love for this agency is still strong (in fact, we are still actively volunteering). I figured I would wait until 12 weeks- seemed like a nice round number. Well, now I’m at 16 weeks and I still haven’t called. It’s as if I’m calling to “break up” with them, or tell them “let’s see other people for a while” and I keep delaying and delaying. Of course, Jo, in her brilliance, has written a great post on this very thing today.
I will get off my duff and call. This week. Really. I promise.
If not, you are welcome to come and kick my ass.