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ElizabethAnn

The Trimesters of Adoption

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ElizabethAnn    687
THE FIRST TRIMESTER


This is the learning trimester, when you begin your psychological pregnancy and yes, when you experience all the nausea, mood swings and fatigue that afflict any parent-to-be. During this time, you go through Abrazo's admissions process (inquiry, application and orientation) and (if accepted) remit half of the agency fee (for pre-adoption education/coaching/casework). You have your homestudy done by a local Master's level social worker, you get FBI and CANRIS/criminal checks done to satisfy Texas requirements. You have pre-adoption physicals done, with labwork. And you prepare a "Dear Birthparent" profile to be viewed by expectant moms who are planning to place. You remit funds to be held in escrow at Abrazo, for use on case expenses, keeping this account at a balance of $3K every month. You and your spouse go to counseling or support group meetings, read plenty of books, keep up with your orientation buddies via the Forum and phone calls, and you have check-in calls with your Family Services Coordinator, who tracks your homework and sets up calls for you with prospective birthparents looking to find just the "right" home for their precious baby-to-be.

THE SECOND TRIMESTER


You get chosen by a prospective birthmom or birthcouple, receive the case assessment, elect to match if there's a fit, and then begin the all-important process of building a friendship to hopefully last a lifetime. You make a special trip to spend a weekend with her or them well in advance of the due date, knowing that waiting until the due date is the most stressful point of all at which to meet! You call each other regularly, to check in, and you receive periodic updates from your Family Services Coordinator as to prenatal progress. You begin having a weekly "Date Night" with your spouse, knowing how important this mommy-daddy quality time will be once a baby comes home. You get feted at baby showers if you so choose (gently reminding folks, though, that you WILL become a parent when the time is right, but you won't know until then whether this case falls within that timing.) You make sure your nursery is ready and you keep your file at Abrazo up-to-date so that no last minute omissions can delay your baby's homecoming when he or she is ready to go!

THE THIRD TRIMESTER


You travel to your birthparents' locale for the birth, if so invited, and are present at the hospital as her loyal supporters throughout her hospitalization. You don't have nursery privileges, since the baby isn't yours yet, but you enjoy any opportunities to visit with the newborn when he or she is with his/her mother in the hospital room during the 48+ hours following birth before discharge occurs. At or after that point, the agency staff meets with the birthparent/s to help them launch whatever plans they feel are best for their child's future, and if that includes you, then Entrustment is completed, with the birthparents relinquishing parental rights to the agency and you accepting the duties of a fostering parent. You settle up your account with the agency, remitting the balance of all fees and anticipated case expenses. Abrazo releases the child to your physical care, and you enjoy a honeymoon with your child in the birthparent's locale, continuing to visit with them until approved by Abrazo to leave for home. You then maintain regular communication with your child's birthparent/s, and at least monthly contact with your Family Services Coordinator, via phone calls and written progress reports. You have quarterly supervisory visits with your homestudy worker. And within 6-12 months, Abrazo clears your file for finalization and you return to Texas for the adoption hearing in court and a reunion visit with your child's birthfamily.

And then?! You come back for Camp Abrazo each year
with your child's birthfamily and celebrate together,
admiring that little person who made this journey all worthwhile.
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Steven&Melissa    977

Bumping this up for all the new folks... this is a great breakdown of the process from start to finish!

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ElizabethAnn    687

Thanks for reviving this, Melissa! (Newcomers, please take note: you now must have five face-to-face visits with your homestudy worker in the first six months following placement, compliments of the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services Residential Childcare Licensing officials, who decided apparently that adoptive parents needed monthly post-placement interviews, instead of quarterly. What WILL those fun-loving crazy bureaucrats think of next?! )

:rolleyes:

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Steven&Melissa    977

Bumping this up again! It's a good one!

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mandcf    11

Thanks for bumping it up, this was very helpful! My husband and I are in the first trimester; attending parent orientation in a couple of weeks.

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DPJ    227

There is a wealth of info here! Keep posting.....and esp reading....

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stisdale    18

Noticed that we need to keep the Abrazo file "up to date" in order to avoid any last minute omissions that could delay you from bringing the baby home. We've completed our Home Study a few months back and I'm wondering what last minute things could pop up that we might have neglected. Any ideas?

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Stork Central    1,052

Your physicals and homestudy need to be current within a year, so you should have plenty of time before you need to worry about that, but do be sure to stay on top of your quarterly homework obligation, and keep active on the Forum (or regularly attend a local adoptive parents' support group meetings.)

Oh-- and DATE NIGHT! Don't forget to keep up with that, too, every week! ;)

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seacrys    2

This may sound weird, but since we've been matched I find myself wanting to strike up conversations with pregnant women to compare their due dated are and how prepared with my level of preparedness. A close friend that recently had a baby is coming over this weekend to check out the nursery and ensure that I have enough inventory. I laughed at her when she felt that she wasn't prepared for her third child. Now I guess it's time for payback.

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KSchmidt    3

This is a wonderful layout that really describes what to expect throughout this journey. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you think about all that needs to be completed, but we just remind ourselves that everything is one step at a time and that it will be here before we know it. Thank you to all who have shared- it helps so much to hear what others have gone through and to get a better understanding on what to expect.

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Monica281    456

Bumping this one up for all the new folks who have just recently attended orientation.  There is a lot of great information on the forum so don't be afraid to dig in!!  

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