Many of you have asked “Why DSS?” and “Where are you in the process right now?” So, I thought I’d fill everyone in at once! :)
All throughout 2011, we wrestled with the Lord regarding HIS timing and direction on starting the adoption process. We ebbed and flowed from sadness about infertility to being fed up and just wanting to “move on” with adoption.
We pursued international adoption as we have both dreamed of adopting a little girl from China–maybe with special needs? When we discovered that we both had to be 30 (yes, I am married to a younger man) we knew we would be delayed several years…not to mention you have to have a certain BMI (yes, body mass index?!?) and all sorts of other stipulations, plus it was going to cost a significant amount. We checked out a few other countries, yet, again and again, we were discouraged by the price tag and volital nature of the process.
We then attended a private infant adoption workshop assuming that would be the Lord’s will for us, as many of our friends had gone this route. Yet, as we sat through the seminar, nothing moved us toward this and if anything, we were yet again discouraged by the price (not that we are scared of fundraising, because that’s how we make a living!) and by the fact that if we were to conceive in the middle of the process, we would be deleted from their system and would lose any financial investment we had made toward the process.
Our last option, that we said we would “never do”, was through the state of South Carolina Department of Social Services…but we thought we might as well do our due diligence and attend an informational meeting just to say we gave it a chance.
In December, we attended an info session hosted by the *MOST* amazing social worker. She spoke for over 2 hours as both a parent of adopted children and as a social worker who has worked in “the system” for years.
With tears in our eyes, we both were completely convicted and convinced that we were to take a step of faith and give DSS a shot.
Why DSS? Besides the fact that the Holy Spirit made it pretty daggum clear that for now this is the way we are to proceed…
- *It’s a real live child.
- *It’s a real live child from a very bad situation (taken from their homes) who would gratefully have a loving family
- *There is a committee that matches families and children based on their needs and abilities vs. a mom choosing from photo albums or waiting on a list and getting the next baby in line (Nothing wrong with these ways of doing things, of course! It just spoke to us!)
- *The process is seriously easy-peasy!
- *It’s FREE!
We sheepishly laughed…because after hearing for 2 hours that with DSS “if you say 1 child, that means 2, 2 means 3 and 3 means 4!” we didn’t know if she were joking or not! (They say this because if Baby Momma has another baby, you get first dibs to him or her…who knew?!?)
So, since December, we’ve completed:
Info Session 12/7 Application SLED/Protective Services Authorizations Fingerprint Report Discipline Agreement Form Financial Form Family History Form 14 hours of Parenting Classes Disaster Preparedness Plan 10-page Autobiographies Physicals/TB testing Child Factors Checklist (what we will not take in a child–this was heart-wrenching!) Openness Checklist (what legal risks you’re willing to take) Documentation (Birth Certificates, Marriage License, Social Security card, Driver’s Licenses, etc.) Photos of us and our home References Fire Inspection: Scheduled for MONDAY, FEB. 27!! Department of Health and Environmental Control Inspection: They are running 90 days behind…grrr…we shall see. Home Study: Will take about a month to complete WAIT: For who knows how long? Oh, right, the Lord. That’s who :) Home Study Approval GET MATCHED with a referral OR TWO!!!! Visit with child (INSERT CHILDREN!!!??!!!) Fall in love Bring them home August 6th!
Wait for TPR (terminate parental rights)
- 30 Day Appeal Process
Meet with lawyers Adoption Paperwork Gotcha Day in Court and PARTY AFTERWARD!!!
We have been told that the squeaky wheel gets the oil when it comes to DSS, so you can bet your bottom dollar we will both be making some very politely persistent phone calls along the way!
So, that’s why we chose DSS and that’s where we are in the process. Please pray that we pass the Fire Inspection on Monday and that our DHEC inspection & Home Study take as long or as short as the Lord desires for us to be matched with our little munchkin!