First Steps…

So….this is happening!

Dave and I knew before we were ever married that we wanted to adopt.  At least one child.  The long term plan is two children – eventually.  But for now, as we begin our journey into adoption, we have decided that we are going start with just one!  And we are now in the process of pursuing the adoption of a Chinese child.  We began this process not really knowing what the first steps would be or how to even make them.  But as with all first steps, you take them with a bit of trepidation, some blind faith, and, more often than not, a heck of a lot of help and guidance.  And we have received that in spades from friends both new and old.  Some we knew well, others we only knew casually, and some we’ve never even met in person!  Yet they have been there to answer anything and everything.  We are realizing that this new community of which we are becoming a part is one of total love and support.  Those that have been through this process – some of them multiple times – are not only willing to help but are eager to do so!  They are excited and overjoyed about what we are doing and more than happy to hold our hands while helping us to navigate these first steps.  And we are so excited, so encouraged, and so very grateful for all those who have already offered guidance in the few short months we have been on this road.

While we are still in what is considered the beginning stages of this process, it feels like we’ve already been at it for much longer.  I have pored over adoption sites and the different programs available.  We have a wonderful social worker that is helping us through this process and who also came highly recommended by several friends.  At the very beginning we felt drawn to adopting from China.  But we wanted to be open to the different options out there and available to us.  We looked at domestic adoption.  We looked at the programs in several other countries.  We thought about going ahead and jumping in with both feet and getting two kids at once – ideally a sibling group.  But due to either the status of certain countries’ adoption programs being either on hold or not so above board, our not meeting the exact criteria of certain countries for various reasons, and personal choices, we have found ourselves returning to the now certainty that China is where our child is waiting.

We were initially somewhat surprised to learn that the adoptions in China now are actually 51% boys and 49% girls.  We had always heard that most of the adoptions available in China were girls.  Over recent years, that has changed and there are now boys available, too!  We are fine with either gender so we were happy to hear that this is the case.

We have learned some new terminology over the past several months that we wouldn’t otherwise have possibly ever known.  I think my favorite is that we are now what is known as “paper pregnant”!  And, believe me, that is NOT an understatement!  According to those wonderfully helpful friends, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg of the paperwork that will be required of us.  And I already feel like I’ve filled out more forms, done more photocopying, and spoken with more state and federal officials than I have in the past ten years total.  But it is all worth it.  Because the other thing all of our friends and family members who have taken this journey as well have shared is that once we are holding our child in our arms, all of this will be a distant memory.  And I know that is true beyond a shadow of a doubt.  We have already spent time imagining holding little hands and washing little faces.  And we cannot wait to do it for real.  We visualize the end goal as we wade through the process and never doubt that every signature, every stamp, and every visit to an official’s office is simply one more little step that leads us to the child we cannot wait to meet.  And hold.  And love.

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