Hearts, home and bags ready

We had a difficult week last week. Without going into much detail we heard of a potential opportunity that seems to have fallen through by this point. While last week was definitely hard for us, we felt that if the time was right, we were ready to receive a child in our home.

Our baby room is pretty much all set. Obviously it will forever be a work in progress as we add and as a child grows in it, but we have the basics of what you need to welcome a child. First few months, the baby would sleep in our room obviously, but it is definitely good to know that we have everything pretty much set and ready to go.

One thing that we have learned and has been the hardest for us is that with adoption there is no time frame, it isn’t like having biological children that you know you have so many months to prepare for a child, that has been one of the hardest things for us. Yes, we could get a call that a pregnant woman wants to meet us and she may be half way through pregnancy or close to giving birth and that would give us some kind of hypothetical time frame, but we could also just get a call and have to take off. We are grateful that we have both had that talk with our employers that we may just need to leave suddenly one day and start our leave at work, we are both blessed to have understanding bosses that are perfectly OK with that happening.

We are more ready than we have ever been, our home and hearts are so ready for this!

baby-room

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Hope in what comes next

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Well family and friends, this is it, the moment we have been longing and waiting for. Agency paperwork has been sent to have a profile, homestudy approved and completed, adoption book mailed to the agency. Now we just wait for the call.

We have been waiting for this moment to come for a year and a half almost, there is nothing left for us to do but wait. Until now we had a goal in mind like “OK, well now we need to do this, or send this document, etc…”, we had stuff to do, but now all we have left is to wait. At any given time from now on we could get a call from the agency that a birth parent is interested in our profile and would like to meet us or we could get a call that a baby has been born and they feel we would be a good home for him or her. At this point all we have left is to wait and be patient and hope.

 

Things are actually finally moving

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The theme of the majority of 2016 for us has been WAIT, be patient, this is a theme that whether we wanted to or not, we learned we had to embrace, we had to do it and we had no way around it. Waiting has been the major theme for us, from moving from a waiting to wait list, to a waiting list and now we officially are an active family with our agency.

The last couple weeks we finally received our completed home study and this was submitted to the agency yesterday, meaning that in the eyes of the State of New Mexico we are fit to adopt parents. We also had to fill out lots of paperwork and go over things that we would be OK and not OK in a child, this last part was hard as we had to go over a list of things that we would be willing, consider or not be willing to parent. Some things we would not have a problem and others we had to cross out the list. We say weird because this list really is something we would even have to think of if we had biological children, and we kept being told that “there is no wrong answer”, but it still felt a little strange to go over what we feel comfortable.

So at this point we basically are finishing up the paperwork (of which there is a lot when you are adopting) and mailing that back to the agency so they can officially show our profile to birth parents. We also just a couple days ago received our photo album, which we will be giving to the agency as well. Once that happens we literally could get a call in a matter of weeks or even months, it is out of our hands completely as we wait to get a call from the agency.

Again, we wait, but this time this could be the final waiting before we become parents.

Just keep on waiting…

Bragging about my wife

This week, our social media was flooded by pictures of proud parents posting pictures of their children going back to school. While we are years away from that on our end, I do have to brag that a student went back to school this week as well…

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It might be a little hard to read but it says “1st day of graduate school!”. Yes, that is correct, my beautiful wife is now pursuing her Masters of Social Work. While she actually started with a couple summer classes in July, this week marked her official return to full time school. Danielle is part of the advanced standing program at NMSU, which means she will be getting her Masters in one year instead of two, while still juggling a job and an internship. I am not sure how she has so much energy and determination, but I am so proud of her!

Ever since she graduated with her Bachelor Degree, it has been her dream to go back to school and get her Masters but when we first got married we were not in the right place or time for that to happen. I know our child will be very proud of having such a hard working and smart Mom to look up to because Danielle herself was raised by a very strong Mom who always worked hard and put her children above everything else in life.

I am so proud of my love!

Luis

Guerrero summer and upcoming things

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Hi everyone! We fully acknowledge that we have not been very good at keeping you posted on what has been going on in our journey this summer (so far, of course!). This is in part because things have been a little busy here at the home front, Danielle is full gear back in school pursuing her Masters in Social Work and I (Luis) have been very busy with work and being a full supporter of my wife and her education.

We have been meaning to update the blog for some time now but the lack of news and other things made it difficult to sit down and do it, but we have some great news moving forward with our adoption that we have been holding on to for a few days as we decided what to do exactly.

So early this week we got an email from our adoption agency asking for an update on how our fundraiser is going and letting us know they have been considering moving things a little bit faster and asked us if we would be interested in starting our home study early through a contracted Social Worker that they work with here in Las Cruces. They told us to discuss it and think about it as this would definitely save us time because then we could get listed sooner and they could start showing our album to birth mothers a lot sooner if we do it now as we are so close from being off the waiting list and becoming an active family. Doing this could potentially save us around 3 months as the home study is a 90 day process and they can’t start doing it until we have completely been taken off the waiting list, which is why they recommended we contacted this social worker that they have done a lot of work with and is based here locally (remember, our agency is in Albuquerque, which is about 3-4 hrs from here).

After talking about it we decided that yes, we would like to move forward with it so hopefully we can start working on our home study soon. This is a crucial part of the adoption process as it gives the agency, the state and birth mothers a bigger picture of who we are as individuals. Our agency works directly with birth mothers and some of them get to pick who they would want raising their child (in some cases they prefer the agency choose for them), so making sure we get all of our ducks in a row is very important.

The agency gave us the contact information for this social worker, although we will probably still hold off on calling her for a couple weeks as there are some things we need to prepare for around the house that we weren’t expecting to have to do for another 2 or 3 months at least, but we will soon!

We will keep you posted on how this goes soon, again sorry for the lack of posting and updating lately.

Love,

The Guerreros

Another beautiful story

Please take a moment to watch this video. We have no idea who this couple is and have never met them, but we loved and cried with their story. Something about hearing the experience that others have with adoption is extremely touching and relatable to us.

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.