Autobiographies are hard

One of the tasks we are working on for our home study is write an autobiography about each other (individually, of course!) describing our strengths and weaknesses, upbringing and even personal beliefs. This is hard and a task that people tend to leave for the last, but we decided we can get a headstart on this.

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It is easy to tell our story, it is even easy to share what is going on in our lives and this adoption, but thinking about the past and writing things down is actually harder than it seems, but fortunately there are guidelines in place for what to write, specifically when asked to describe likes and dislikes, family upbringing, relationships, etc.

Have any other adoptive parents struggled with this?

Birthmoms and what they mean to us

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(In order to protect the privacy of these brave women, we are omitting names or even stories we have heard, as those are not ours to tell).

One of the things we loved the most about the training we attended was the panel towards the end where we were introduced to adopted parents, adoptees and birthmothers who had placed their children for adoption. We really enjoyed hearing all of the stories and experiences, but what we got the most out of was the stories we heard from the birth mothers and their experience.

Before going to this training, one of the things that we had conversations about was the subject of open vs closed adoptions. We had talked with our friends that have adopted, and got a wide variety of feedback about their personal experiences. At first, the term “open adoption” seemed a bit daunting, and it was hard for us to visualize what that would look like. Based on our research, personal experience, and the guidance from others, we felt that a semi open adoption was something that we were interested in. Throughout the weekend, we felt our hearts be moved so deeply for the birthmoms that we met. We felt a confirmation in our hearts that having the option to contact the birth mom, and keep her or her family updated on the life of our child, is not only something that we are open to, but something that we are excited for. It is easy to get caught up in differences and worries. It is easy to worry about the things that make an open adoption sound scary. We have learned that although we may be very different in many ways, there is one thing that is the same. We both love this child. We both will make life changing sacrifices for this child. We both will see The Lord in new and amazing ways through the gift of adoption. We both are different pieces of the puzzle of who our child is, and we would not be complete without each other.

Birth mothers make a huge sacrifice when they decide to place their child for adoption, sometimes they decide on their own, sometimes the birth father or their parents are involved in their decision. Regardless of what moved them to make that decision, there is still grief, there is a loss and there is the need for healing. One of the things we loved the most about our agency is the fact that they continue to offer support and counseling to the birth families as well, as some agencies kind of just match and then it is the end of the story. They are often forgotten or just seen as a means to an end to a family who is adopting and then they are just left to deal with it on their own. We talked at length with the case worker during our consultation about the process of healing and what that looks like for them, which is why they encourage that even if a closed adoption is what the birth mom wants to still write letter and maybe send pictures to the agency as they have seen before that in some cases they will come or contact them just wanting to know how the child is doing and this also helps them heal and be reassured that they made the right choice.

We know nothing about our birth mother, if she will want an open or a closed adoption, if she will want to get pictures and letters or not. We don’t know what she likes, what her background is or anything. We don’t know if the birth father will be involved in the decision, or won’t care. There is so much we don’t know, but we are excited to get to that place, even if that is still a while away. Birth mothers are strong.

Adoption Training Recap

13265889_10101091827551121_5528441057411522763_nWe just got back from Albuquerque, where we got to attend a training with our adoption agency (find out more about them here) and we were very impressed with the agency we chose and very glad we chose who we did to go through for this adoption. There were so many things that we enjoyed about this training about the process, the agency itself and more.

So let’s start from the beginning: We first of all got to meet the staff and 3 other families that are in various stages of the adoption process and really clicked from the start with them, had some fun ice breakers and got to learn random facts about each other. Then we moved on to being introduced to the Director and her staff and loved getting to know them and hear their connection with adoption and why they do what they do. At that agency they do great work, not just placing children with loving families, but they minister to the birth parents and continue that relationship with them, adoptees and adoptive parents for years to come. We were very impressed by that and hearing some stories of the relationships they have built over the years.

After that we got into some of the more nitty gritty stuff and talked about the actual legal process and when to expect to pay adoption fees (which to us have always made sense as adoption is a complicated legal process and there are many pieces that need to come in place for this miracle to happen). It was re-assuring to know and understand more of when to expect certain things to come, when things were due and the process and procedures that occur with an adoption.

The next morning we got to hear from both of the Case Workers that work for the agency, one works primarily with the birth parents and the other with the adoptive families and conducts their home studies. Both sessions were very informative and full of stories and anecdotes of some of the things they have seen through out the years. We took a lot from the case worker who works with birth families as far as what they process is on the other end of the spectrum.

The last part was a mix of Q&A, as well as a panel made up of a combination of birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents and we loved every second of it, specially the part with the birth mothers (more on that in a later post). It was awesome to learn about their stories and experiences and what the process was from them. Overall this was a great weekend and a very refreshing weekend that confirmed to us why we picked the agency we picked and look forward to work with them as we proceed with adopting.

The next step for us will take place once we officially move off the waiting list (we are #2, and we met #1 and they were great people that we hope get bumped up soon!). We are guesstimating maybe another month and a half or so where we will go back to Albuquerque and visit the agency so we can do our orientation/pre-home study paperwork and go over paper work.

Family and friends, we thank you for all your support and prayers and we are excited that we are moving on with this process. This weekend was a very refreshing, encouraging and emotional weekend for us and very good in so many ways. We loved the staff and getting to know them and can’t wait to continue to be in contact with them during the adoption process.

 

The example of others

Just like the title says, we love reading and hearing other stories about adoption. Recently we saw this on Facebook (click here to get to link). This couple went through a similar experience as us (except we didn’t really go to IVF or fertility path) and found adoption being the way for their life and their family.

Today, they still continue to maintain their blog in a similar fashion we hope to in the future after we have completed our adoption because we feel a big calling in our lives aside from being parents, is to help others cope and find support when it comes to adoption because even though there are tons of websites, many books and blogs, adoption is a hard journey and can seem like a hard and even lonely journey at time. Don’t get us wrong, family and friends have been a great support circle for us, but it is always great to hear and learn from other people’s experience who can relate to what we are going through.

Please check out their blog and we hope that ours inspires others in the future who may be in the journey of adoption or just starting.

Things are getting real now…very real!

shutterstock_152604476-337x251We leave to Albuquerque, NM in just a few days to attend a mandatory CYFD adoption training through the adoption agency we are working with as stated in our previous blog post. This training serves a dual purposed, the first being of course a state required training in order to proceed with the adoption process and the second purpose to be introduced to the agency staff as well as officially begin the process of adoption. We are still a long ways away from actually having our child placed in our home and in our lives, but it is actually starting. This is actually happening.

The adoption process is officially starting.

For what has been about a year we have been getting our finances in order, praying, preparing and getting excited for one of the biggest adventures in our lives. This year has been very trying as we have been faced with our fears and have learned to overcome them (like for example, how in the world are we going to afford this?), but we have also grown closer and have been in the process of being molded into the parents that we are going to be.

But now things are getting real. It is no longer “hey, we are planning on adopting!”, it is shifting and transitioning into “we are starting the process of adoption”. This is the moment we have been waiting for, and some time in the future that will end in us being parents.

We are amazed at how things have progressed and there is still a long process to go, but we are excited that things are finally moving along and can’t wait to tell you all about the training and what our next steps will be.

Love,

The Guerreros

Adoption training in a couple weeks

Hi Family and Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last month, we have been a little busy and also not too much has happened other than the yard sale. As we said in previous posts, we kind of entered this weird stage of nothing happening with our adoption and just stagnant waiting, but this is taking a change…

IMG_0741We are going to our adoption training in a couple weeks!

A couple weeks ago we got our official invitation from the agency inviting us to attend their training, which is the official beginning of the adoption process with them. Of course, we are still months (maybe even up to another year) away from actually have a child in our arms, but this is the very beginning as we have so far mostly been fundraising and have moved from waiting list to waiting list.

After this training (which is a state mandated training) for adoption we will hopefully soon schedule our home study so that after that long process is completed (it can take up to 90 days to complete), our profile can be shown to birth mothers that the agency works with and hopefully we get the call that a woman has chosen to give us her baby for adoption. Again, this all could easily still be several months or even up to a year, but we are hopeful that it will happen.

The training is a state mandated training but will also have some great activities like learning about the agency, meeting the staff in person, testimonials from families that have adopted, adoptees and even birth moms that have given their babies for adoption. We have a lot to look forward to with this training, it will be an encouraging, but also an emotional few days, but totally worth it in the end.