Well, the first round of paperwork has been completed. The autobiographies have been written. Both Carla and I have finished writing our life stories. If that assignment wasn't enough, we then had to complete the most difficult checklist of our lives. The checklist asked us to say whether or not we were willing to be presented to birthmothers who had certain medical conditions themselves or in their families. The list also asked us to check whether or not we were willing to be presented to birthmothers who had some exposure to drugs, tobacco, or alcohol during their pregnancy. The checklist does not mean that we will absolutely adopt any child with this medical history, but that we are willing to be presented to a birthmother with these certain medical histories. If that mother were to choose us, we would still be presented with the specific information about this woman, the birthfather, and their families. Only then would we have to commit to whether or not we would be able to go forward with an adoption.
It is unbelievable difficult to fill out this type of a checklist. We would all like to say that we would happily adopt any child that came our way. However, this process requires us to be completely honest about what we are actually able to deal with and what our lives will allow us to care for in a child. Carla and I both had to get past the idea that it felt wrong to say there were conditions that we were not equipped to deal with. We had to get a more honest place of accepting what we feel we can truly do. We want to be able to provide our child with everything that he or she will require and if we can't do that, we would rather be honest about it now.
As we were filling out the checklist, we couldn't help but think about how many of these medical conditions exist in our own family histories. With any birth, with any child, there are risks that are involved. It is impossible to have a child who is not at risk for anything, but I suppose that is just a part of being a parent. Knowing that there are risks and knowing that you are going to be there for your child no matter what happens throughout his or her life. Looking at it from that perspective helped us to fill out our checklist with a bit more ease.
We finally got it done. We completed the rest of what we had to do and we have now scheduled our next meeting with our adoption counselor for January 17th so that we will hopefully be able to register for the next class that we need which is being offered on January 19th.