I truly wish adoption was more common and normal and that everyone at least considered the possibility, but right now I am grateful for the leaps and bounds made in the last few decades. Being adopted is no longer shameful or taboo, and the amount of people who have celebrated our family’s addition is incredible. The kindness everyone has shown completely overwhelms us in the best possible way.
For those not familiar with the process (which is most people!) I realized I tend to answer the same questions over and again. While I never mind doing that, I thought I would write down all the answers for those who have not yet gotten to ask – or might be too scared of saying something wrong! So that you can know more about adoption and we can celebrate the gift of Willow, here are the five most common questions people ask about our baby girl.
1) How old was she when you met her? This one’s easy. My teeny little baby was 10 days old when we first saw her (click here to read the story!). I cried my eyes out. It’s one of the top three memories of my life – along with accepting Jesus as my Savior and getting married to Nathan.
2) Did you get to pick her name? And if so, why Willow? Yes we did! Without going into detail we decided to honor her birth mother with the name, but we picked her first and middle names. As far as WHY we named her that, we just love the name Willow. Plain and simple :)
3) When can you post her picture online? Can we see a picture of her now? We can post her picture online once her adoption is finalized, although I am really not itching to do that. I have loved this sweet time of having Willow ‘to myself.’ Ever since her birth I have not worried about getting the perfect picture, or having Instagrammable moments, or exactly what I will post and how frequently. I always intentionally take a face-less picture for her monthly updates, but other than that I try to make this as normal as possible. I don’t want to look back and see a bunch of pictures where I tried to hide her (though I do this now and again). I want to know that we enjoyed her sweet face to the fullest, and I really don’t know how much I will post her picture online afterwards. I want to protect her privacy and allow her to make the decision of how much to share in the future. But yes, I will happily show anyone and everyone pictures in person – even if you don’t ask!
4) What does the finalization process involve? When will/did it start? Can she be taken away? The finalization process is INTENSE and while I had our lawyer (ha, that sounds so official!) explain it to me, I couldn’t repeat everything back. We started the process after we had her for 6 months (December 23) and it will take an indeterminate amount of time. Basically we have to fill out a lot of paperwork, show a judge that we want to adopt her and that there is no legal risk, and have the adoption agency certify she is neither neglected nor abused. In the meantime, there is no chance of her being taken away – she has been ‘ours’ since early July when all the parental rights were terminated. She just does not quite yet have our last name!
5) What about siblings? Will you adopt again? I hesitate to even put this up because honestly, we don’t really know the answer to this yet – and we don’t have to! We cannot begin the adoption process until she is a year old, even if we choose to go that route, but for a few different reasons we won’t be able to jump right back in anyways. We are thinking and praying through different options, and right now we are just enjoying the blessings of a baby and working through the difficulties of taking care of her. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE her and she is a blessing, but anyone who is a parent knows that the first year is hard in a lot of ways! I do know that both of us want her to have a sibling eventually, but the time is not right now and we have no idea how and when this will happen.
If you have ANY other questions, please leave a comment or ask me in person – I promise I won’t get offended! Adoption has been an incredible gift to us and I hope that by being an advocate for it, others will experience the same blessing we have. We love our little Willow!