The O'Malleys Adopt

Follow us through the ups and downs of domestic newborn adoption

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Homestudy, Paperwork, and Prayers

Once we had decided to adopt, we jumped in with both feet. That first weekend we were immersed in paperwork. We had signed on with our wonderful adoption consultant Susan VanSyckle at Christian Adoption Consultants. We were reading through all the info she had provided, as well as working through our homestudy paperwork.

The homestudy process was as intense as everyone warns. I think we filled out a combined 18 hours or so of documents and spent additional time gathering supporting items, getting fingerprinted, medical releases etc. It took two full weekends to get everything done and ready to go. Our visit prep was also very intense, made more so by the fear of not getting everything “just right.” But the actual visit was much less stressful than I had anticipated and our social worker was just wonderful. We did not have to remove our wall sculpture that my husband built and he understood the boxed of items waiting to be sold on Ebay. He did not go through my cleaned out pantry for expired items or spicy food (I had read horror stories online.) And our pool was not going to disqualify us so long as we install the fence we had purchased before finalization.

A big stack of homestudy paperwork, ready to be mailed

A big stack of homestudy paperwork, ready to be mailed

We had our approval on May 29th 2013. I felt more excited to receive that approval than my college diploma.

When you’re adopting, they call this stage “paper pregnant.” You may not have a belly to rub, but you’ve got that signed document saying you’re expecting a baby. It’s an amazing feeling! And perhaps even more significant is the permission this gave me to really EXPECT a baby, something I had never given myself permission to do through infertility. Permission to begin imagining his or her fingers and toes, and think about what they might be doing *right now*. Are they kicking? Sucking their thumb? Are they about to be born or not even conceived yet? What color would their skin be? Eyes be? What would their little personality be like?

And with the expectation came prayers. Prayers are precious for adoptive mamas. Because we don’t have ultrasounds and stirrings of a baby in our wombs. Instead we have stirring in our hearts that prayers cultivate. And with the danger of sounding trite, all the sayings I’ve seen about how adopted children grow in their parent’s hearts, they are so true. Our baby would not be more real to me if I had a big belly to remind me of his or her presence in our lives. They are here, just not HERE.

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The Messy Years

As I’ve thought about my previous post, I realized that we sound so passive from 2003-2011. The reality is that those years were full of challenges that sidetracked many hopes we had regarding growing our family. Our marriage grew deeper and closer through the trials. God revealed Himself. The Church surrounded us with support and encouragement.  Those years were full of good, God honoring life lessons.

As messy as all that is, it is part of our adoption story for it has so much to do with how much excitement we have as we count the days to meeting our baby. As soon as we formally began perusing this adoption God re-lit a spark of hope that those tumultuous years had beaten out. I wholeheartedly feel adoption is the answer to the questions we asked God over those years: “Why is it taking so long for God to start our family?”  The answer is in a general sense adoption, but also this particular adoption.  This year, at this moment. We believe that there are no second bests and plan “B’s” with God. He is the sovereign ruler of our lives, who orders each step for His glory in His children’s best interest.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28. 

ALL things. So powerful.

So when we finally look into the eyes of the child God brings into our lives, we will be staring straight into the “good” that God has worked for us. The blessing that was not 10 years late but exactly on time.