Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I haven't posted in a while, so here's a long overdue update...

            Danielle and I visited a lawyer yesterday afternoon.  This, for me, was a very exciting step.  Allow me to digress for a moment.  I talked in my first post mainly about Danielle, who she is, and how great of a mother I think she’ll be.  I didn’t say anything about my desire to be a father.  I’ve looked forward to being a dad for a long time.  I look at the relationship I have with my dad, and I’m excited to have that with a child of my own.  I see fatherhood as being one of the most incredible, and most humbling, relationships that I could hope to have in my life.  I look forward to watching my child grow up, and especially watching (him or her – I’m not particularly partial) grow to have a relationship with the Creator.  I look forward to taking my child fishing, teaching my child to catch a baseball, play the guitar, or anything he or she may enjoy.  It’s actually a hard thing for me to put to words, how I look forward to, even long for, the experience of fatherhood.
            So, back to the visit to the lawyer.  In researching Spokane attorneys, I’ve only found one actually listed as an adoption attorney.  There are several that specialize in family law and divorce that will take on adoption cases, but this guy not only specializes in adoption law, it’s all he does.  He and his wife were unable to have kids, and have adopted three, and he took it on himself to take on this role so he could help others through the process.  And in talking to him, it really seems that is really what he is in it for.  To help.  He doesn’t take cases pro bono, he still has to support his family, but his rates are reasonable.  It looks like, including all state fees (court costs, home study, etc.) this process will end up costing less than $10,000.
            This lawyer was a great source of information, too.  He referred us to someone to do our home study (we’d actually been referred to this lady before, so this just strengthened that referral), and outlined the steps we need to take.  He will also work to help match us with a birthmother.  This is huge.  This is a large part of what ends up costing many people $20,000 to $40,000 for an adoption.  He won’t be the only outlet we use for this; we will be working with various other local sources.  But his help here will be important to us. 
            So, we’re off to a good start.  This will most likely still be a long process, and I wouldn’t expect to have a child in less than a year, at the very least.  But, that’s where we are, and I, for one, am very excited to be here.
            P.S. – Just as an update.  We’ve decided against the foster care system, at least for our first child.  With the foster system, it is actually very unlikely for a couple to have a child under the age of 18 months placed with them, unless that child has an older sibling already with that couple.  We would really like an infant.  Also, and this was the biggest deciding factor, once a child is placed with you in the foster system, the ultimate goal is still for that child to be back with its family.  That means that, even if an infant was placed with us, it could be with us as long as a year, and then a family member (such as an aunt) can decide to adopt, and the child goes to them automatically.  I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea, it’s good to work towards keeping the children in the family if possible, but that’s not where we want to be at this time.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have a child for a year, and have that kid taken away.  However, this doesn’t mean we won’t foster in the future.  It’s just not the option we are choosing to take at this time.

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