David and I met with our case worker for our joint interview a few days after our classes ended. We had some minor paperwork to fill out, and then she asked us some questions. She started asking us the questions and we gave pretty short but complete answers. Then she told us that what we tell her has to go into about a 10 page report to the court, so we got the hint that she needed us to ramble a little more! One of the questions asked us why we wanted to adopt and for how long have we been wanting to. I told her that adoption was something I remember thinking about back when I was at least in middle or high school. I don't know why I was thinking about it that early other than I had a good friend who had been adopted. I'm sure I also had learned the scripture that states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27) I liked the book of James when I was in high school for some reason, and I read it a bunch of times. That verse must have struck a cord in me at some point. So since then I have always had adoption in the back of my mind. When David and I married we tossed around the idea of having one homemade child and then adopting one. We thought we'd see how the first one went and then decide from there. At that point adopting would have been our secondary means of increasing our family. Now, of course, it has become our primary means since finding out about my infertility. Maybe if David blogs he can recall his answer to this question...I'm pretty sure his was a lot shorter than mine!
She also asked us about religion and what part it played in our lives. So we told her we were Christians and believed that God is most important in our lives. She asked if we go to church regularly and we told her yes and that we also have a small group of Young Married couples that we meet with for Bible study, fellowship, and social activities.
We moved on to discuss our preferences for our baby's race, health, and medical history. David and I discussed this at length before this interview because we knew it was coming. We were told in almost all of our classes not to be ashamed to be honest about what might make us uncomfortable. The race of the child was easy for us; neither David nor I had any hesitations that we would accept a child from any racial background. I was surprised during my classes that many adoptive couples were a lot more restrictive. I couldn't relate to the idea of only adopting a child from a certain race, and to be honest I've had a hard time being non-judgemental about that idea. However, it is not always just about the adoptive parent's comfort level. Family members come into play and many couples will be more restrictive to avoid problems down the road with their family members who might not be as open. David and I are aware that we may have family members that are not happy with our choice, but we have decided that God's desire for us is not to look at the color of the child but to know that the child is God's, and that He has handpicked him or her for us.
When it came to family medical history the baby's health, I had no restrictions. David did have some restrictions because he was worried how he would handle certain issues. I had a very hard time understanding his restrictions but I let him set the boundaries because we were counseled it is better to go with the parent who is more restrictive rather than end up with a child that one parent would have trouble bonding with. Some of it also had to do with a lack of confidence on David's part that he would be able to take care of a child with major medical problems. The nurse in me I think keeps me from worrying about that. Again, it's hard for me not to be judgemental toward David about this, but I had to let my own ideas go and trust God. If David chooses to write about his own restrictions, I will let him do that, but I will leave those to him.
With drug use and alcohol I also had no restrictions. David again had some so we went with his desires. Our restrictions are based on amount of drug/alcohol use, not which actual substances are used. So we're ok with more casual use, 1-2 times per month, but not weekly or daily use.
At the end of our interview we were given a form to fill out to decide how open we wanted to be with the birthmother. Our agency requires a letter and at least 5 close up pictures to be provided for the birthmother to view if she chooses quarterly for the first year. After that, it is up to the adoptive couple how much interaction they would like. The birthmother is aware of the couple's desirs, so that plays a part when she chooses the adoptive family to place her child into. We had to decide whether we wanted to have an open adoption where the birthmother has regular contact including visits with the child, or whether we wanted to do the minimum and provide only letters and pictures the first year. We didn't complete this form until the day of the home study, which was about a week after this interview. So I'll keep you in suspense until I write about the home study!