A Long Over Due Update!

The other day I was sitting with my therapist and she asked me how the grieving was going.  We don’t always talk about Taryn and lately it’s mostly been about the adoption.  I said that, that was a good question…how was I doing?  When people talk about the stages of grief…you assume you are going to hit each of those stages and spend equal amounts of time in each one dealing with things.  But, that is sooo not the case, especially in the death of your child.  This I did not know!  I did not know you grieve differently for differently things.  I thought grief was grief.  Well, I am happy to report that I am on the back-side of moving through the different stages of grief!  I didn’t think it was going to all work out like this though.  Because, honestly I don’t mourn the loss of Taryn.  I miss her.  I miss the daughter we would have had, the sound of the voice she could have had, and all the experiences we were planning to have with her!  I missed out on so much of her life, and the bit of life that I had with her was not normal at all, so in some respects it made the physical loss easier to handle.  The emotional loss is the hard stuff.  Yesterday our church played the song that was playing in my head the entire day of her passing and for the first time I didn’t cry because I was sad…I cried because I was thinking of how she was worshiping in heaven with me at that moment.  I am SO thankful of the promise of eternal life in heaven with our Father, because I will have eternity with my baby girl!  As long as this life on earth seems, I know it is only a moment compared to the eternity I will have.  Little did I know how comforting those thoughts would ever be, and how much it would help me heal.

Every day seems to bring some bit of emotional and mental step forward.  Working through all the adoption stuff has raised lots of emotions.  Emotions that hit every person that chooses adoption.  Adoption is not easy!  Checking boxes, and completing forms is the simple stuff, it’s the writing and reflecting on the person you are and the type of family you want to have that drives you crazy!  Ben and I truly have it easy, but when you have to type all this stuff out…you start to doubt the person you know you are.  You start to doubt the values and faith that you know you have.  You start to doubt that you are even fit to walk in public let alone raise a child!  Then you go talk to your spouse or your friends…fish for compliments…feel better…go write some more!!!  It’s craziness!! 

All this writing I keep talking about…all the writing that keeps me from blogging because I have no desire to write another word…let me give you a run-down of all we have to do.  I am going to list all the questions we have to fill out.  Keep in mind we can not just answer with one word.  They want at least one or more paragraphs!  Our Autobiographies were 6 pages each. 

Attorney

1.      We have to provide answers to all these questions, keeping in mind the Birth Parent(s) will see our answers.

  • Please describe your reasons for wanting to adopt
  • Please explain why you are unable to have children and what you have done regarding the process of infertility work up.  How have you felt about this process?
  • Why do you think birth parents choose adoption for the babies?
  • What contact, if any, are you comfortable having with your birth mother?
  • How do you think that your life will change after you adopt?
  • Do you plan to be a stay-home parent?
  • What are your thoughts on disciplining children?
  • Describe any experience you have had or presently have with children.
  • What qualities attracted you to your spouse?
  • How do you and your spouse resolve day to day decisions?
  • Describe your home and neighborhood and any community activities.
  • What is a typical weekday like in your home?
  • What is a typical weekend like in your home?
  • What do you and your spouse enjoy doing together?
  • What do you enjoy doing by yourself?
  • What is your religious faith and how do you practice?
  • Please describe any medical problems you have.
  • Have you ever received counseling and if so, for what purpose?
  • Describe your extended family including the amount of contact and their feelings regarding your adoption plans.
  • Describe your childhood, sibling relationships, with your parents, school experiences, and social experiences.
  • Describe your hobbies, interests, and personal talents.

2.      We also have to provide a Profile to the attorney so they can give it to the different Birth Mothers who would be a good fit for us.  We have to gather all the pictures and write out the general text.  We have contracted with a lovely woman of Our Chosen Child who will be putting it all together into a little magazine type book, our Profile.  Here are some examples of what she has done… http://www.ourchosenchild.com/profile

 Homestudy

 1.      We have to answer all these questions for our home study.  The home study is how the state of CA decides if we are fit to adopt a child.  A social worker, after reviewing all our answers will then meet with us each separately for 1-2 hours.  Then, a few weeks later we will have a home inspection.      

  • How would you describe yourself? (personality, strengths and limitations)
  • Describe your spouse’s/partner’s personality and strengths. What would you change?
  • If you have children, describe their personalities, likes and dislikes.
  • What steps have you taken to prepare your child for an adopted child coming into the home?
  • What do you feel are the strong points in your marriage/relationship?
  • What type of goals do you work toward in your marriage/relationship?
  • What are usually the areas of disagreement?
  • How do you handle problems and conflicts?
  • Please give a brief statement describing your thoughts about religion and its place in your life.
  • Adoption Home Study Questionnaire
  • If you are childless, what experiences have you had with children?
  • How do you (or how do you plan to) discipline your children? Give examples.
  • Define discipline:
  • Define misbehavior:
  • What is the difference between discipline and abuse?
  • What aspects of childrearing are important to you?
  • Do you and your spouse/partner agree on childrearing and discipline?
  • What do you expect from your children?
  • What goals do you wish your child to achieve?
  • Why are you applying for adoption?
  • Do both of you wish to adopt?
  • What have been your parents’ response to adoption and response of friends and relatives?

2.  Autobiography 

I. Childhood
• How would you describe your childhood?
• Describe your relationship with your parents and siblings during your growing up years. Also, your present relationship with them.
• What do you remember of your parents’ marriage? Were there any financial, health or marital problems?
• What did you like about your mother and father? What would you have liked to change about either of them? Which one of them do you resemble most in personality and why?
• What parental expectations and messages did you get?
• Which parent provided positive feedback to you?
• What type of discipline was used in your home? Were they strict or lenient?
• Would you raise a child similar to how you were raised? If so, why? If not, what would you do differently?
• Was there any sex education in your home when you were growing up? If not, why do you think not? How would you discuss the subject with your child?
• What was your personality like as a child? What interests did you have?
• What was your school experience?
II. Adolescence
• Describe your adolescence.
• What rebellious experiences did you have as a teenager?
• When did you start dating? Describe your life as a teenager.
• Describe parental discipline during adolescence and parental attitude toward the teens.
III. Adulthood
• If you went to college, describe your college experience.
• If applicable, describe your military experience. Did you receive an honorable discharge?
• Outline your work history from your first job to your present job, including dates, job descriptions and your reasons for leaving each position.
• Are you satisfied with your present position and what career goals do you have for yourself?
• If applicable, describe any previous marriages or long-term relationships, including length of marriage/ relationship and reasons for divorce/separation
• If applicable, describe any history of drug and/or alcohol use, past or present

So, as you can see it is a lot of the same questions, but not really and we have to answer them differently because they are for different people and different purposes.  It’s just a lot!!!  Anyhow, it’s why I now have a low self esteem and I don’t blog!  Hahaha!! I am kidding!

We are just finishing up our Profile right now, hopefully should be done with that this week.  All the writing for our Homestudy and Attorney is done and we have our first meeting with our Social Worker on Monday the 26th!  We are sooo almost done with all the paperwork-not fun-at all, part of the process!!!!  Then, it’s just waiting for the child God has chosen for us to parent!

(Sorry for all the random formatting…I wrote my post in Word, and WordPress didn’t like the formatting!)
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2 Replies to “A Long Over Due Update!”

  1. My Lord… I am exhausted just reading the questions, Janelle and Ben! “Kudos” to you both for writing the answers… Very intense, I am sure… Good to know that you are almost done with this part of the process. Now comes the fun part! You both remain in our prayers..

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  2. I remember those days of answsering question after question. Hang in there – I know its a lot but the bundle of joy you bring home as a result is going to be worth every last bit.

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