Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Family of 3

TheSullivans2008

We began the adoption process in 2008. We had been becoming more familiar with adoption as a few of our close friends were in the process, but it really hit home with us when we found out that someone close to our family was expecting. She was 15. I cannot imagine being that young and expecting a child. Parenthood is hard when you’re prepared for it! I wanted so badly to hug her and tell her that it would be ok. She ended up parenting her son with the help of family members after considering adoption. But we knew we wanted to be ready should something like this come up again.




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We used an independent social worker to do our homestudy, and we had our first visit the fall of that year. We were ready (homestudy approved) by April of 2009. We were constantly developing a network of adoption contacts and always hearing of situations that got our hopes up. We were thinking about working with an agency in Florida as a few of our friends had worked with them, but it never felt RIGHT. (We know now, it just wasn't meant to be.) We also talked with an agency in Dallas and a small agency here in Kansas.




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Meanwhile, through an adoption connection, I signed up to be on a Yahoo! Group. The adoption connection found her daughter through contacts she made on that group. We never could bite the bullet and sign with any one agency. It just didn't feel RIGHT. We were Sacred Selections recipients and we wanted to use the funds granted to us wisely and we just weren't sure where we were going to do that. We did, however, sign with a few smaller agencies and a referral service that I found on the Yahoo! group. They basically just keep your profile on hand (for a nominal fee) should a situation come up with an agency and they didn’t have a family that fit. We were turned down from agencies for being too "church of Christ". We were quoted exorbitant prices ($40-50k) from some agencies. We were taken aback by some agencies callous attitude toward children of different races (BTW, I am not saying that interracial adoption is for everyone - everyone has to make decisions for his own family, but the attitude that children of a different race are somehow LESS was appalling to us – and it was from more than one agency!) This adoption thing wasn’t easy!




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After many months (and many tears) and with a kick in the pants from a few dear dear friends, we signed with Lifetime Adoption. We mailed the signed contract on my birthday (September 8, 2010).




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We were excited. We were making plans. We were ready to become parents. We were SURE we did the right thing with Lifetime (and I still believe that). Then on October 6, we got a phone call.

I had gotten many calls from Heaven Sent (the referral service we had signed with) telling me about situations. She would fill me in on the details (boy or girl, race, when the baby is due, costs involved) and then she would ask if we wanted our profile shown to the expectant mom (and the answer was always yes!). So when I saw her number on the caller ID, I just figured it was the same song different verse. However, she said there was an expectant mom in Indiana that wanted to talk to me. RIGHT NOW! WHAT?! I didn't even know our profile was being shown! I've never talked to an expectant mom! What do I say?! What if I say the wrong thing!? AHHHHH!!!! But the expectant mom put ME at ease. And she wanted us to be her son's parents. She saw our profile and she "just knew". She couldn't give him the life that she wanted for him. She loved him. She was due in 6 weeks.

Our church friends threw us a “Travel Shower” which was snacks for the road, gift cards for restaurants, change for vending machines at the hospital – What a blessing!! It was wonderful to know that we had support back home for the journey ahead.

We headed to Indiana the day before he was born. We met up with the lady from the agency at the hospital the morning of November 23. Our baby boy - Josiah Timothy - was brought to us just a few minutes after he was born (via c-section). We got to love on him and bond with him for a couple hours before he was taken to the nursery for his bath.




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However, due to some difficulty breathing, he ended up in the NICU for 4 days before we could take him home. We went every day to visit him and hold him and feed him and change his diapers. He spent most of this time sleeping!


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On December 1, there was a court hearing to terminate parental rights and he was our son! We went to lunch that day with Josiah’s birthfamily to celebrate our new extended family!


Leaving NICU

Due to the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) laws, we were "stuck" in Indiana for 10 more days. This allowed for us to snuggle with our new baby and enjoy the amazing hospitality of some wonderful Christians in Indiana. But how we longed for home!

 






We got the call on Friday, December 10th and headed home! We drove straight through and Grandma was there waiting for us to meet her new grandson.

We have made many new memories and enjoyed so many milestones. Adoption is truly a blessing and we are amazed every day at this gift we have been given.








4 comments:

Led About Mama said...

Very happy for you!!! I've heard good things about Heaven Sent and am glad you had a good experience with them!

Alicia said...

I'm crying reading this post. I know it's been a long road and I am so thirlled that it has worked out so perfecttly for you!

Amy B. said...

I Loved reading this post, Erin! So happy for you guys. It WAS meant to be.

Sharon said...

I didn't realize you had put a new post on here. Read it all. LOVE IT!!!