Some of you have asked about Joy's arrival. We were quite surprised to say the least! Here's a little back story.
My pregnancy with Faith was complicated and I was told by my wonderful ob-gyn that most of my complications would like be repeated in further pregnancies. At the time, we weren't thinking of more children we were just enjoying the one we had. As she grew, we came to realize that we wanted another child. Dan and I both have siblings and love that relationship. Neither one of us was looking forward to another experience of Julie being pregnant but thought we'd try to get pregnant AND explore adoption.
We had heard great things about our agency from other families and went to an orientation meeting. They went through the process for both international and domestic. We talked and chose domestic - only problem was that so many people wanted to adopt domestically that our agency used a lottery system to determine which families could join the program. We entered the lottery and weren't chosen. We kept this up for four more attempts, six months apart for each. Finally on our fifth attempt we were the alternate family!
As the alternate family, we were guaranteed a start in January 2006 or sooner if one of regular families opted out or was screened out. So we kept on waiting. That January we attended adoption classes and completed tons of paperwork. By March of 2006 we were paperwork ready - our portfolio was done and birthmothers could start looking at our family as a possible forever family for her child.
Things were quiet for awhile - not unexpected, we were at the end of a line of waiting adoptive families as our agency lists families from longest waiting to newest waiting and operates under a birthmother choice system. Every March we would receive the paperwork to renew our homestudy and update our information. Every March we did. There were a few times that a birthmother selected our family as one of her "short list" to see portfolios but we were never the family she selected as her match. We would get emails from our agency asking if we would be open to a birthmother with this situation or that situation. At the beginning, we were pretty choosy and didn't say yes every time. By the end, we were starting to feel "why not?" since no one seemed to pick us anyway.
In the mean time, nothing was happening in the let's get pregnant option and it seemed like every one we knew was expanded their family. My sister completed two international adoptions in the time we were waiting. My high school friend adopted her son internationally. Another high school friend had her third child. My sister-in-law and her sister both had babies. Another friend married and gained instant step-children. We were starting to feel that maybe we were getting too old, that our family would be complete with just one child. Faith didn't really need to have the sibling relationship - she was super close to her cousins - that's almost the same.
So we were up to our fourth renewal, to start our fifth year of waiting for a child. When the paperwork came, I just put it aside. We weren't ready to think about it. Dan and I talked, and talked, and thought, and prayed, and talked some more. It finally came down to that we weren't quite ready to say with our whole hearts "We are done. Our family is complete." So we sent back the paperwork at the end of March when I had the time to complete it over spring break.
Our social worker knew of our concerns and said she was glad that we had decided to continue. Then came the fateful day of Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
to be continued