I suppose everyone wants details about our adoption match. I love how when adoptions come together, they are just so meant-to-be.
I love this quote by Hugh Jackman who adopted his two children due to infertility. “Everyone’s in the right place with the right people. It sounds airy-fairy, but it’s something we feel very deeply.”
Yeah, it kind of does sound airy-fairy...but I know God has a hand in how this all happens. Anyway...on to the details!
Remember my last adoption update? I mentioned we were working with a lawyer who specializes in private adoptions? This is the route we are taking.
Let me back up a little…
Back in the beginning of January, a friend from high school named Nicole messaged me on Facebook saying that her brother-in-law is an adoption attorney and was looking for more families to represent. Nicole knew my husband and I wanted to adopt through my incessantly self-serving Facebook and blog posts. :) She asked if she could forward our info to her brother-in-law. Um…let me think about that for .00041 seconds. YES!!!
The next day, the lawyer called and explained how he connected birth mothers and adoptive families through private adoptions. He spent two years serving a mission in the Marshall Islands and speaks Marshallese. There happens to be a significant population of Marshallese people living in Arkansas, including a woman he knew during his stay on the Marshall Islands. The woman he knows refers women in unplanned pregnancies considering adoption to this lawyer because he speaks their language. (BTW, the lawyer is Paul Petersen. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We gave the lawyer the go-ahead to show our website to potential birth moms.
We were presented with a match on February 1st and took some time to get some questions answered and search our hearts. I discovered that two women I know from my childhood also went through this lawyer. It assured me to know that people I personally know have had upstanding, good experiences with this lawyer.
With all our questions answered, we took a few days to search our hearts and pray about the situation. We officially accepted the match last week.
Here are frequently asked questions for all my hungry readers:
June 19, 2012
Ultrasound happened on 2/7 and says the baby is a girl.
Where will the baby be born?
Arkansas, United States
What are the birth parents like?
Birth parents are in good physical and mental health. All indications say the adoption will go smoothly with no contestation. Both birth parents are from the Marshall Islands and have lived and worked in Arkansas for some time, so our baby will be of Pacific Island descent. We do have other details on the birth family, but these details are private and it’s not my place to share them with the blogosphere.
Will we have to go to Arkansas?
Yes. We will need to be in Arkansas for ten days (let me know of any fun things to do in that state) and then we will bring the baby home.
Will we have an open adoption?
Yes. I haven’t been in contact with the birth family yet, but hopefully I will soon. We will meet and spend time together at the time of the birth and hopefully will continue contact and openness.
Is this through the same agency we used for Jocelyn's adoption?
No. Although we were listed with them, we never stopped our personal finding efforts. About half of all adoptions happen through word of mouth and this proves it. This is considered a private adoption because it is facilitated by a lawyer, not an adoption agency.
Where are the Marshall Islands?
The Marshall Islands or, more accurately, the Republic of Marshall Islands or RMI are located in Micronesia, west of Hawaii, east of the Philippines, and north of Fiji. Basically, WAAAAY out there in the South Pacific.
photo from Wikipedia
What do Marshallese people look like?
They are Pacific Islanders like Hawaiians, Tahitians, Samoans, etc. They have brown skin, big dark eyes, and black hair. The RMI was governed by Japan for quite awhile, so some Japanese ancestry is there as well.
I have found a few blogs of children of Marshallese descent. If you want to take a look, check out these links.
How does Joci feel about becoming a big sister?
It depends on the day. When I ask her if she wants a baby sister, she often says, “No.” But when I ask her if she wants a baby to come to our house and if she wants to help change diapers and feed the baby bottles, she gets excited.
What happens next?
Like any expectant parents, we get things ready for the baby to arrive. We will correspond with the birth family as much as they want and plan our long trip to Arkansas in June. We will fly out there for the birth, stay ten days in the state per Arkansas law, possibly finalize the adoption (Arkansas let's you finalize right away), and come home and have a big party.
We are thrilled and very fortunate. A four month wait seems so long compared to our seventeen-day wait for our last adoption, but it will be nice to have extra time to prepare (and hopefully not stress out too much). Adoption plans are fragile and fall through all the time. Yes, I am worried about that. It is a risk of any adoption and we are keenly aware of what could happen. But worrying doesn't ever do anyone a bit of good. :) For now, we are just enjoying the emotions of today and praying for this beautiful baby girl and her expectant mother.
Did I cover everything? What else do you want to know?
P.S. I've been getting a lot of Google traffic on this post. If you have any questions for me or want any more info about my experience with my adoption, don't hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or message me on Facebook.