We are waiting on an adoption match. When people ask about where we are in our adoption process, that is the basic answer we give them – we are still waiting on a match. However, that is lingo that you might not understand if you are not in adoption world, so I thought I would explain what that means so you might understand how to better pray for us.
First, let’s talk kinds of adoptions, and why you might choose one over the other:
- Domestic Infant Adoption – This is the kind of adoption we are currently seeking. This is an adoption that typically goes through either Private (you know or are connected to a birth mom personally), through an adoption lawyer, or through an adoption agency. Private is great if you know someone. The lawyer situation also works great- they can work similar to an agency, just taking out the middle man. Some people choose to go with an agency. We choose this option because I have struggled with infertility and have wanted the joy of a newborn. This will probably be our only newborn adoption. We choose to go with a private agency, and specifically Bethany Christian Services for several reasons:
- They have Christian Value – We wanted a place that our faith mattered. We wanted the birth families we were getting involved with to know that our faith mattered. We wanted people who could be praying for us.
- They provide counseling for the birth mom for life- The separation process for birth mom to child is a hard one – and we wanted to be sure our birth mom was going to be cared for. Our heart is for her as well as the child.
- They provide counseling for adoptive parents for life- Acclamation to a new baby is hard- and can be even harder when the baby is adopted. Bethany provides resources for our family for life.
- They provide counseling for the child for life- Again, this is amazing.
- They provide a common ground for communication- In an open adoption, they serve as a middle group for the adopting family and the birth mom until both sides feel comfortable sharing that information. They will mail all cards, pictures and even provide a place for us to meet.
- They take care of the needs first- Often in adoption, the adoptive family may help with needs of the birth mom. With Bethany, they provide the need upfront. The adoptive family is not responsible financially for those needs unless the baby is actually placed. This is helpful because the birth family sometimes have high financial needs, and this is protection for us in an already expensive process.
- International Adoption- This is when a family adopts a child from overseas. Usually the children are from 6-18 months at the youngest, but could be older children as well.
- Foster to Adopt- This is when you take a child from the foster care system. Often, they stay in your home for a time, and then you have the ability to adopt them. My amazing friend car seat writes a lot about this topic.
Our plan is to do all of these processes as we feel God has called us to the orphans of the world.
In each of these cases though, you have to wait for a match.
When we tell people we are waiting on a match, we are waiting for a birth mom to choose us. Before adoption takes place, the adoptive mom holds the power. Adoptive moms (through agency adoptions) go to an agency and usually get counsel about their adoption choices. After a series of meetings with a counselor, they will often choose to view profiles.
Profiles can be in different forms depending on the agency. For us, we have a profile on our agency website, with a letter, pictures and a short picture video. Our agency also has a book filled with all kinds of information about our family. All information is unidentifying- no last name, no address.
At our agency, we do not know every time our book is looked at. There are special cases when we do know- and I can tell you- I am glad I don’t always know. It drives me a little crazy when I know we are being presented to a family. Some agencies will tell you when you are being presented. However, the birth mom can look at many profiles.
Then, the birth mom will make a choice on a family. At this point, the car seat and tell you that you have a match. It means she has chosen you. In most cases, this means you will car seat – but sometimes, she isn’t in a place to do that. Sometimes, the baby is already born! Each case is different. You then have the choice to go on hold, meaning no other families will be shown your profile- and you have an adoption match!
What an Adoption Match is Not
An Adoption Match is not a sure thing. That is hard to write- because it sounds cold. As an adoptive mama who has gone through adoption loss, I can tell you that it sounds cold, but it is a reality. Adoption match is from the time that the mom identifies you as the family she chooses until she signs relinquishment. Until the papers are signed, the baby is yours in heart only. An adoption match is not a promise.
What to do during your Adoption Match Time
Some will tell you not to share if you are matched. Every person you tell – you have to go back and tell that the adoption fell through. My husband and I decided we wanted our adoption journey to be a testimony of faith, and so we have shared as much as we can through the process.
While you are matched, you will probably need to get some things. A car seat and a prepared diaper bag are the things I took time to prepare. I washed baby clothes. You prepare your home for a baby – and you prepare your heart.
You can’t hold back from beginning to love your child. You can’t think of the what ifs. You must move forward. Adoption involves risk – and if the adoption is interrupted or does not go through, God will be there to help you pick up the pieces.
I hope this helps you as you follow us, and others, in their adoption journey. I know we sometimes use vocabulary that people who have not adopted don’t understand. Right now, we are praying for an adoption match. You can join us in praying for specifics of our adoption.
Worshiping With My Life,