UPDATE: We are so excited to say that we have reached $1900 in our fundraising efforts, cause you guys are AWESOME!!! We can happily say that we now have the money we need to be able to get our Home Study under way and we have done an initial informational interview with one of our top agencies. To say we are excited is a major understatement. Also, get ready for some pretty sweet fundraisers we’ve got planned for the very near future. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! We can’t do this without you guys and we are so humbled by your generosity, your prayers and your support. If you would like to give, please click on the “Donate” button on the main page of this blog, or follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/becoming-the-mahler-family
And just as kind of an amazing side note: THE T-SHIRTS ARE HERE!!! Get ready for us to roll these puppies out soon.
Choosing An Agency
When Dustin and I first started to think about adoption we immediately felt like a ten ton anvil with a large question mark stamped on it was hovering over our heads. We expected to be crushed under the mountain of questions, information and advice that was coming at us the moment we said, “we’re interested”. Granted, it is exciting. I’m excited when I hear other’s stories of adoption, wether the adopter or the adoptee, there’s some amazing and beautiful stories out there.
But this was us.
And we were clueless.
In fact, we still are.
So, where does one start when making the first leap into the unknown?
Second piece of Handy Advice: Research is awesome. Do it.
These little tidbits of advice make me feel like I actually know what I’m talking about. I don’t, but Internet World, you get the benefit of our learning process…., so. You’re welcome.
The first step for us was research. Research. Research. And it’s still research. At this point in our journey we have narrowed down our search to two agencies, but it’s taken a long time to get to this point. Here’s my helpful list of how we narrowed this down:
- The internet is a great resource (no duh, Mariam) so I read a ton of sites dedicated to educating us newbies out there. Here’s some that I found extremely helpful for the practical side of our journey
- Creating A Family – This is a nonprofit educational site dedicated to adoption and infertility. It’s got some great tips on what sort of things are important to look for in an agency. Such as, birth mom care and counseling before and after birth, etc. (which by the way, is SUPER important!)
- Adopt Together – Hands down one of my favorite go to sites for information on pretty much every aspect of adoption. Seriously guys, if you’re going to start anywhere for information, this is a great place to do it. Their guides are user friendly bullet point style formatting (which I obviously love), and they are also a crowdfunding platform that is a nonprofit. I can’t say enough good things about this site.
- Resolve – This site is dedicated to educating a prospective adopting person/s on knowing legally what an agency needs as far as licensing and accreditation, as well as giving the adopting person/s a clear list of expectations concerning their future agency. For example, how long does the agency take to communicate with you? How qualified is their staff? What is the quality of service that you can expect to receive? Etc.
- I also turned to personal blogs concerning adoptions, because seriously. This is emotional, and there are more people out there than we may realize who are in a similar boat and they were kind enough to share their journey with the world. Here’s my favorite ones:
- Barren To Beautiful – This site isn’t dedicated to adoption, but it’s a woman’s journey through infertility. It has been an incredible resource of encouragement for me and Dustin…, especially on the days where we are feeling particularly hopeless about ever having children. Beautifully written and truly dripping in messages of God’s grace and kindness for the broken hearted.
- White Sugar Brown Sugar – Can I just say that I freaking love this woman’s blog?! This is a great personal and emotional resource if you are looking into transracial adoptions. This is one that you can recommend to your family and close friends as well, just to help give them understanding of what it might need to take as far as awareness and thoughtfulness concerning specifically white parents/family hoping to adopt a child of another race. Well written and truly fun.
- The Declassified Adoptee – This one might get me on my soapbox a little bit, but can I just say that I am so incredibly thankful for the adopted adults out there that are helping to change and educate the adoption community? It is important to understand the positive and negative impacts of adoption on the child who is being adopted. We pray for it to be easy, but the reality is, adoption comes with it’s own unique set of emotional tripwires. I may reference the author of this blog in future posts, and just as a heads up, her writings aren’t necessarily easy reads. There’s definitely some soul searching involved.
- I Am Adopted – I’m gonna let the author of this incredible blog be the one to give it’s description: “I Am Adopted provides an honest inside look through the lens of an adoptee helping adoptive parents identify their child’s struggles and triggers to improve their relationship with their adoptive family and society. The goal of I Am Adopted is for every adoptee to know that they were born on purpose with a purpose, and that they matter and their voice matters. No one was born on accident, and no one was a mistake. No matter ones spiritual or adoption beliefs is welcomed, loved, and embraced at I Am Adopted.” I love that.
- Last but certainly not least, Shared Personal Stories. Asking others you know (or don’t know) who are willing to discuss their journey of adoption, wether it’s the adoptee or the adopting parents, can open the door to a whole new world of perspective. Dustin and I feel like we can’t drink enough of this sort of Kool-Aid. It feels incredibly life giving to hear others share what they’ve experienced, good and bad, and it helps shape for us some of the first stages of our parenting choices.
There’s loads more out there in the digital and physical ether, but this is just a taste of what we’ve been looking at and what has helped solidify some of our adoption and parenting goals.
*for reasons of keeping some healthy boundaries on social media, we are keeping our agency choices private. If you have questions beyond that for us, please ask away! If we can’t or don’t want to answer a question we deem too personal, we’ll let you know privately, but accountability and transparency are important to us…, so fire away!