I always thought that I would want to adopt one day. When Eric and I were first dating, I made sure that he was on the same page and was “okay” with the idea of adopting. About one year after our first wedding anniversary, Eric and I went to a general adoption information session at Lutheran Social Services in Minneapolis. During that info session, we learned a little bit about each different “type” of adoption offered by Lutheran Social Services: including domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and the Minnesota Waiting Children program. Both Eric and I felt like we wanted to adopt through the Minnesota Waiting Children program. The timing, however, wasn’t quite right. I had just finished law school and did not yet know whether I had passed the bar exam (luckily, about one month later, I found out that I had). We both decided that in another year, we would find out some more information and decide when to “officially” begin our adoption journey.
About 10 months later, we went to an information session on the Minnesota Waiting Children program at Children’s Home Society & Family Services in St. Paul. After that meeting, Eric and I went to the Mall of America to go on rides at Nickelodeon Universe, and the whole time we kept talking about our “kids.” We were both so excited and happy thinking about being parents to a sibling group.
The next step in the process for us was to take Adoption Education Classes through Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS). We spent all day Friday and Saturday there, learning about a variety of topics including different parenting techniques and parenting children who have experienced abuse and neglect. That Sunday, we ran the Twin Cities Marathon together with my dad. I barely finished in time to get the shirt and medal.
Eric and I decided to take the adoption process slow, because I was still building my law practice (it was almost a year old at that time), and Eric was still attending night classes to get his Applied Mathematics degree. In May of 2011, we were fingerprinted and did our background checks as part of the adoption application process.
We also filled out the massive adoption application. The most intimidating part of the application was the essay, or the “Self Assessment Homework.” There were 23 questions (and each question had 2-6 bullet points) about our personal and family history, our relationship, our religion, etc. We each had to write our own answers to these questions. Eric and I decided that the best way to conquer our essays was to take a weekend day, and have one of us sit upstairs at a computer and the other one sit at the kitchen table on a laptop, and type away.
After we sent in our application to CHSFS, we received a phone call telling us that we had a social worker, and that we would be starting the home study process soon.