Hart told me over Christmas break that he was ready to start looking into adoption. My initial reaction was... uh...what?! Wait... now I'M NOT READY! I had to work on praying through my thoughts and feelings that I was having and then towards the end of this month, I could sense my heart changing again. We decided to get more information first about when the next DSS orientation was and then plan to attend to find out more information.

Both of us were leaning towards DSS, but were skeptical due to rumors and wanted to be cautious. We had heard a few stories about DSS and just weren't sure about it or how successful it could be. We knew some families that had flipped from DSS to a private agency, but we also knew plenty of families that were currently adopting or had adopted through DSS with wonderful results. We decided to remain open towards DSS and move forward when we felt God leading.

We attended the DSS orientation last Wednesday. Cynthia Jeffers did our orientation class and she was AMAZING! She was so honest and straight forward, yet funny and truthful all at the same time. The kids in the foster care system were "her children" and you could tell she cared about all of them wholeheartedly. After hearing everything, Hart and I got back into our car to go get Micaiah and we both knew this was where we should start.

We were one of 6 couples there. We learned a lot about the foster care system and the workings of DSS. We know we will have to be patient and be our own advocates in some ways, but we both can see a light at the end of the tunnel already.

South Carolina DSS appeals to us for several reasons:
  • It is free to adopt through them versus the thousands of dollars it takes to adopt through an agency. 
  • The children that are adopted through DSS come with Medicaid until they are 18. 
  • At the end of the adoption, you can negotiate a subsidiary and it is possible to receive a small amount that can go towards the care of the child until they are 18.
  • Most children that are put into the foster care system have been neglected or abused or abandoned. 
  • They seemed to generally be excited about their families and wanted to help find the right match, not just any match. 
  • Finances are not a discouragement, even for lower income families like ours. 
South Carolina DSS "fears":
  • Any adoption involves some amount of risk. There is a possibility that one parent has relinquished rights, but the other parent has not and that the child could be taken away. This is not all cases, but seems like a risk factor in a substantial amount of cases. 
  • We want a very young child, newborn to 1 year old, preferably newborn. We don't know how long it will take to get a match. One reason we are beginning our adoption process now is so that we can be very flexible on when we get a match. If it take 2 more years, then we understand and are not in a rush! 
I'm excited to blog through this process as much as I can. Last night Hart and I got in bed and ate M&Ms and excitedly began filling out a BUNCH of paperwork. We worked on our 10 page autobiographies and laughed and looked at each other's papers for most questions.

It has BEGUN!

I've never seen Hart so happy to sign his name over and over again!
Our perfect for us little one is coming home soon and we are getting ready!

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