Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meet the Family Adoption Services

We met face-to-face with Susan and Rick and all of the social workers and staff at Family Adoption Services (FAS) yesterday while we were in town for Christmas, so we now have a little more information to share (although not the answer to the biggest question--"when?").  Basically the way it works at FAS is that when a birth mother comes to them and wants to give her baby up for adoption, they work very closely with this mother, making sure that she receives the care and support she needs during her pregnancy. The mother has the option to choose the adoptive parents or have FAS match the parents with her child. If the mother wants to choose the parents, she is given "dear birth mother" letters from families who the agency feels would be a good match for her child (which we have already written and turned in--I don't think I've had to write so much, since I was in school). They don't tell you if you are chosen, a due date or even an approximate due date.When the baby is born, since, in Alabama, the birth mother has five days after the baby is born to change her mind, FAS cares for the babies during those five days. Once that period has passed, we will get a phone call saying that their baby is here and we can come pick him/her up. So basically, we know nothing until the day before the baby is placed with us. They do this to spare the adoptive families the traumatic experience and loss that happens when a birth mother changes her mind. So, we have to be prepared to get that phone call at any time. This is going to be VERY hard for me, because I am a planner and I like to know WHEN things are going to happen. I like deadlines and checklists so I can manage my time and budget for all of this. We have decided to go ahead and get a nursery together so that we will be prepared and not have to worry about that, at least. The other challenge that is presented is the cost. We had budgeted for a cost of $14,000, which is what it would have cost to have a placement through AGAPE. However, the placement fee at FAS is $22,000, significantly more than we had budgeted for. So, let the saving and fundraising begin, again!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A New Avenue

            Well, a lot has happened in the past week! It really is amazing how God works, certainly in very unexpected ways. I'll start from the beginning...My mom received a letter from a former student's parents a few months ago with an update on the young man's life and their new grandbaby. In the letter, they also shared that they now run an adoption agency (the husband is an adoption attorney) and that if she knows anyone interested to send them their way. At the beginning of our journey my mother mentioned this to me, but I blew it off, stating that we wanted to adopt a child from the foster system. I totally forgot about this, until my mom brought it up again at Thanksgiving. Because of our frustration with how the process has been going, I told her that I'd be willing to talk to them. My mom called the woman who runs the agency (Susan) and gave her my number. Susan called me that same day and talked to me about their organization (Family Adoption Services), which is in Birmingham, AL. They work with birth mothers to find adoptive parents for their babies. Upon hearing that we were open to a child of any race, she became very excited and indicated that we should get all of our paperwork and home study to her "quickly." I will spare you the gory details of what a nightmare it was to get all of our paperwork from our social worker "quickly." The important thing is that she has it as of today! Todd and I feel that AGAPE had a purpose in getting us started on our journey, but that it's time to move on. We are now officially taking a different path on our adoption journey and are pursuing an infant adoption rather than from the foster system. We feel so much more at peace with this new avenue, as Susan has been wonderful so far and we feel much more supported! There's more to this story, and I will share it very soon!