Tomorrow is our required meeting with our agency!
I am excited and anxious, all at the same time. Most of all I’m expecting it to be a really refreshing time for us, a few months into the paperwork process. To hear from the staff, and to meet other couples who are experiencing the same things and hear their stories I am hoping will be really inspiring, encouraging, and informative.
This meeting happens only once, after your formal application has been approved and you’re officially working with Bethany as your agency for adoption. The meetings are offered quarterly for all of their families currently in the process, and typically they come before the home study — in fact, part of the meeting includes “what to expect” in your home study.
We, on the other hand, just barely missed the cut-off for the April meeting when we submitted our application.
Our agency assured us that it would not put us behind at all to attend the July meeting. We could just complete our paperwork first, they told us, instead of what’s typically the other way around.
We could potentially see this as a negative, to have jumped right into the home study first. But I can see twice as many positives to coming to the meeting at this point:
- 1) the questions we have to bring will be way more specific at this stage in the game, and
- 2) we’ll be able to offer support and advice to other couples who are where we once were.
Here is a part of our letter of invitation…
This is a very important meeting, and we expect all of our adoptive couples to attend. … The purpose of this meeting is to thoroughly inform you about Bethany’s adoption program, policies and procedures. … Bethany’s history, our various adoption programs, and what you can expect during the home study process. … These group sessions are frequently said to be the most informative part of the adoption process. It is important to keep in mind that you are not in competition with the other couples who will be attending the meeting. Instead, this meeting gives you a wonderful opportunity to meet other couples who are interested in building their families through adoption. As you will see, the other Christian couples may have some of the same questions and concerns that you and your spouse may have.
It’s interesting to me that they mentioned not to feel “in competition” with the other couples. That thought had never once crossed my mind until someone asked me back when we were about to submit our application, “So if you get yours in before other couples, does that give you a better opportunity to adopt before them, or more quickly? Isn’t that weird that other people are trying to adopt through your agency at the same time?”
I committed to myself from the very beginning to not feel as though we are “competing” for a child.
God has a very specific plan, and should He grant us a child, I believe He has already determined exactly the one for us that is meant to join our family. I’d rather wait a longer-than-expected time for the child we are meant to have than to somehow force anything that isn’t right.
You have to admit, the whole process can feel kind of… weird. You put together this picture-perfect profile book of your life in hopes that a birth family will find you to be an attractive candidate for parenting their child, you then wait to be “chosen,” and all the while you’ve got all these other families “in line” who are hoping and praying for all the same things you are.
But that’s not something we think about. Because in the end, it makes absolutely no difference. It could be pretty tempting to portray ourselves in the best, most “our -life-is-unbelievably-wonderful” light. But I want to be as truthful in every way as possible… so that the birthparents’ choice is based on a real connection, and an honest knowledge of where she is handing over her child. In the end, I can’t imagine going through this process not knowing that God is in control — that He is sovereign and can be trusted and is working all things for good as He sees it. It gives me an unbelievable peace. And so we just keep moving forward, step by step.
Although this all-day meeting is taking place at Bethany’s NC office farthest away from Wilmington as possible (in the town of Arden), I’m thankful we have family to bunk with for two nights to break up the trip, driving up tonight and coming back on Saturday morning: Trey’s parents in Monroe. Not to mention family who live in Arden to have lunch with on our break midday tomorrow: Aunt Carol, Leigh, and Courtney! Sooo excited to see them all, even just for a short while!
After the crazy dream I had last night, I should probably be preparing in my mind that, no, there is no remote possibility that we’ll be bringing our baby home from this meeting (not that there was any possibility in the first place)… Even if they tell us it’s ok that we haven’t finished all the pieces of our home study, and this is definitely our baby. Ha!!
Meeting recap to follow, after we get back…