This January brought us the best phone call ever: we got placed with our son!!!! The year started off poorly since there was a death in the family, not to mention that we were feeling dishearten by the lengthy adoption process. However, at the end of the month, our lives would change forever!!
With adoption, you typically have 2 scenarios: you are either matched with a birth mom who is in her 7th month of pregnancy, or a birth mom decides after delivery to make an adoption plan. You never really know which one will happen for you so you should be prepared for both. As would happen with us, we got an email for a potential match with a baby (our son!) who was born 4 days earlier! This had been our second potential match of a baby already born (the first being the day before this one). We had received several potential matches over the course of 8 months, but this was the first time for us in the span of 2 days that we got matches with babies already born! I have to say that this scenario is very exciting since you get to see pictures of the baby!! The flip side is everything happens in lightening speed and you just have to do things quickly. This is why it pays to think ahead! We were so happy that we bought all the items for the nursery ahead of time since we had 2 weeks to prepare for our baby!! Of course, most things could be assembled after we brought our son home, but we wanted to paint the nursery before he came.
Since we were out of state, things got a bit more complicated than matching in state. We couldn’t just go pick him up and bring him home since there are a lot of clearances & protocols that must be followed before exiting the state your baby is born and entering your home state. So potentially, you could wait for over a month if either state bureaucracy lengthened the process. That could get very costly if you have to stay in a hotel for a month or so. Luckily, our son was born healthy, just slightly under weight, but he was discharged from the hospital in a few days. Our agency then placed him in foster care with a loving couple that was taking care of our son and a baby girl as well (the couple had also adopted years back from our agency). They were amazing and made waiting a lot easier since we knew he was loved!
The first thing on our mind was to meet our baby!! We got plane tickets for the following weekend and both sets of grandparents came to meet him as well. We were very fortunate to have close friends in the city where our son was staying and they graciously offered for us to stay at their house with the baby. That made a world of a difference since we felt at home and didn’t have to worry about anything, just take care of our precious little one! We then had to fly back home without our son since we didn’t know how long the clearances would take. That was very painful and tearful for the both of us but we had such wonderful foster parents which made it a lot easier to handle. However, as luck would have it, as soon as we flew back home we’d have to turn right back around to take possession of our son!
In order to start processing the interstate compact clearance, the state requires the hospital records of the baby’s birth be released to the agency. The city in which our baby was born is notorious in taking weeks to release the medical records, which meant we’d be waiting for awhile. Luckily our agency called numerous times to find out the status which helped to expedite the process. This part of the process took 2 weeks and once the records were released we flew in to take possession of our son and start the waiting game with the interstate compact clearances. The state we were adopting from has a very quick turn around for approvals, however, our home state was not known for it’s promptness. We, again, were able to expedite the process by contacting our governor’s office to see if they could help us bring our baby home soon. We could not leave the birth state of our son until the interstate was approved. Part of our family lives in that state so we took this opportunity to introduce our baby to his great grandparents, and numerous loving relatives. This was a wonderful bonding experience for our family, and our baby had his first of three welcome parties! After over a week, we finally got our clearances and were able to fly home. I have to say, that even though our state took awhile, they were actually quite thorough and made sure all the documents were in order.
Our total wait period from the time we got matched to our state clearances was a little over 3 weeks. So if you are adopting out of state and don’t have friends or family to stay with, be sure to budget a lengthy hotel stay if you want to be there the whole time or try to split up your time like we did. Be sure to enjoy this time, even though all you want to do is come home with your baby. The hardest part is getting matched, the clearances will take their course and it will get done. All you need to think about is the love you’ll be showering on your baby forever!!!