we won the lottery! {our adoption story}

Starting our Adoption || WestStreetStory.com

For those of you that may have opened this post because you think we are now millionaires from winning the lottery, I apologize.  But, we did win a lottery and because of it, will be much richer than a million dollars could ever provide.

We won the adoption lottery!

We are starting our adoption!

A few weeks ago, we contacted Adoptions of Wisconsin (AOW) just to touch base with them again since it had been about a year from the time we had our initial meeting.  After that initial meeting a year ago, we also made the decision to try and get pregnant one last time.  After struggling to get pregnant, and thinking that we may need fertility treatments in order to do so, we held off on signing the adoption contract as we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford both fertility treatments and adoption at the same time {even though we would have loved to do both}.  We didn’t end up needing to go the fertility treatment route {I got pregnant with Laughton the month that was the deciding factor}, but we saved the adoption paperwork knowing that someday soon we would adopt Laughton’s siblings.

In thinking about how we wanted to spend Laughton’s due date, I suggested we officially sign the adoption paper work on that day.  I was naive to think that AOW would have a spot on their waiting list, available to snag, when we were ready to sign on for adoption {just like they did a year ago}.  Thank goodness we did touch base with them when we did, and did not wait until Laughton’s due date {which is coming up next Monday on July 28th!}, because we learned starting an adoption wasn’t going to be as easy as we had thought.

Last year, when we met with them, AOW had an opening on their waiting list.  When we called a few weeks ago, they did not have an opening on their waiting list.

With AOW, you can sign on to be added to their waiting list which simply means you are waiting to become a part of their Outreach Program.  While on the waiting list, you are not shown to birth parents, you are just on an official list waiting in line to get moved into the Outreach Program.  Once you are in the Outreach Program, you are then shown to birth parents that are considering adoption.  AOW only lets 11 people/couples be on their waiting list and there are only 12 people/couples in their Outreach Program at a time.

Since there wasn’t room on their waiting list, we were told to contact them each week to see if a spot had opened up.  It could take one week to get on the waiting list, or it could take months.  They just do not know when a match or adoption will happen!  And it was going to be all about timing.  We would just have to be lucky that we checked in on a day when an opening became available.

While we continued to check in with AOW each week, in hopes that we could snag a spot on their waiting list, we decided to look into the adoption program at Lutheran Social Services (LSS).  This was the program we were referred to by my doctor’s office.

Again, we were very sad to learn that just like with AOW, with LSS even though we wanted to start the adoption process, they would not necessarily let us.  The way LSS works is that every July and January they hold a random drawing to see which couple would be allowed into their program.  This July, LSS was going to draw only 2 names out of the hat and there were about 20 couples in the drawing, last we heard.

A random drawing?  Call in each week and hope we are lucky enough to be calling in first after an open spot became available?

In other words, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to start adopting as we had hoped.

All of this news was really hard for me to comprehend.  I just couldn’t believe it.

But then it happened.  Graham contacted AOW the Monday morning before we left on our trip and there was an opening on the waiting list.  We immediately sent in the check and signed contract and were officially placed on the waiting list as of July 3rd.

We could not be more excited to be starting the adoption process with AOW.  However, wouldn’t you know…..a few days ago I got a call from LSS that our names had been drawn from the hat.

A month ago we didn’t think we would be able to adopt.  Now we have too many options!

I feel like we have won the adoption lottery.

We did turn down the opportunity to adopt through LSS as we had already signed on with AOW.  So, I hope the next couple that LSS drew from the hat is just as excited to be adopting as we are!

The next steps for us include getting our adoption profile book completed {the 12 profile books in the Outreach Program are shown to birth parents in order for them to decide who they would like to meet with and potentially choose to adopt their baby} and also complete our education plan.  The state of Wisconsin requires each adoptive parent to complete 18 hours of adoptive parenting education.  We are currently working on a plan that incorporates in-person classes, reading books, and taking a few online courses.

We were told that it would be a good idea to complete the profile book and education as soon as possible as there has been a lot of movement on the list very recently.  This was exciting to hear since a few weeks ago it didn’t appear as if getting on the waiting list would even be possible.  To be fair, nobody can see into the future, so I guess it is really hard for any agency to know how quickly, how many, or when an adoption would take place {and thus, opening up a spot for a new couple to begin the opportunity to adopt}.

But to give us an idea, we were told that on average, once we are off the waiting list and into the Outreach Program, it would be about 2 years for an adoption to be finalized.

So for now, Graham and I will begin the waiting process.

As we occupy our time, Graham is back to work and also spending his free time working on a landscaping project he has been wanting to do since we bought the house.

Although I am “back to work”, it is more just with my printable files and on a part-time basis as I am revamping my IBJ website and plan to launch it by fall {I am also working on designing the profile book, of course, to try and complete that as quickly as possible}.  Part of the IBJ website revamp includes a revamp to my ordering process and offerings, which is why I am not targeting until the fall to have it completed.  Although I will begin taking new print orders again soon, everything I take on will be with the mindset that it has to have the ability to be completed quickly, if needed.

The reason for this is that Graham and I could be matched with someone that is 8 months pregnant {or even further along}, therefore not having the full nine month pregnancy buffer, and I would need to be able to be off of work for 12 weeks once the baby is born {it is an AOW requirement, but would be something we would do anyways}. 

On top of working on the new website {trying to decide how IBJ will operate over the next couple of years} and our profile book, I am also occupying my time with blogging!  I look forward to sharing more often and sharing projects and recipes as this blog was intended for!!  So, stay tuned.

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Comments

  1. Amie Steger says

    Oh my goodness!!!! I am so happy for you and Graham!! :) I’ll be praying that you are matched up soon with a birth mom and your sweet baby and Laughtons little brother or sister. This child will be so blessed to have you both as his/her parents.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, as always, Amie. And thank you so much, again, for the prayer blanket you made for Laughton! He told me he is excited to share it with his future brother or sister for many years to come :)

  2. Meghan says

    Your blog came up as I was googling about adoption agencies in Wisconsin. I’d love to chat with you. Is there a reason you chose one over the other? Any other ones you did research on?

    Good luck in your journey!

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