Update 2013: Since writing this post, my wife and I have adopted 4 children. We are so blessed and are very lucky to be their parents. Go here to learn more about the adoption process.
- We adopted Preston – cutest little afro puff.
- We adopted Mylie – sweet little baby girl.
- We adopted Lakin – my little ball of energy and joy.
- We adopted Norah – but I haven’t written about it yet.
Our little baby boy was born June 23, 2008. Lakin (pronounced “lay-kin”) is our 8th child and we brought him into our family through the blessing of adoption. For long-time shmula readers, you might remember that we just adopted Mylie in November 2007 and we adopted Preston in November 2006. Yup, we did it again, and we’re very, very happy.
Some people ask why we have so many kids, or why we’ve adopted so much. I’ll attempt to answer those in the People Are Dang Nosy Section Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section at the end of this post but, first, I want to explain a little about the Adoption Process.
The Adoption Process
The process is challenging. Because there is a lot of ourselves invested — in time, money, and emotion — in the process, we’re willing to put-up with things that I normally would not. This is not surprising; in fact, this is Queueing Psychology at work. As a reminder, below are the tenets in the Psychology of Waiting Lines:
- Unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time.
- Process-waits feel longer than in-process waits.
- Anxiety makes waits seem longer.
- Uncertain waits seem longer than known, finite waits.
- Unfair waits are longer than equitable waits.
- The more valuable the service, the longer the customer is willing to wait.
- Solo waits feel longer than group waits.
The process itself can clearly be improved. Below is the process that we went through for both of our adoptions. Because there is no “adoption” Standard Work, then you will find a lot of variation in the industry and, we all know, that variation from a process perspective isn’t a good thing and leads to an inconsistent and poor customer experience. Nevertheless, below is our experience — in general:
- Search for Adoption Agency
- Download Packet
- Print Packet
- Fill-out Packet
- Mail-in Application
- 3 Reference Letters
- Fingerprints (6 week wait)
- Health Assessment for everyone in family
- Proof of Marriage
- Employment Check including Financial Health
- Homestudy (took about 1 month)
- Family interview
- 1:1 interviews
- Agency Write-up
- Agency Committee reviews file
- Accepted as Adoptive Family
- Create Profile (parallel process above, 2 weeks)
- Agency calls us to tell us situation & ask permission to show our profile
- If no, then we continue to wait
- If yes, then Agency shows our profile to Birth Mother
- If Birth Mother chooses our profile, then we meet Birth Mother
- If we like birth mother and she likes us, then we are matched.
- Make arrangements for day of delivery
- Relinquishment in Utah is 24 hours after delivery
- After Birth Mother signs relinquishment papers, then Adoptive parents sign documents & pay Agency Fees.
- Bring baby home.
- 3 post-placement visits by the Agency at 2, 4, 6 months.
- After last post-placement & 6 months after relinquishment, then can finalize with attorney and judge.
Adopted Versus Biological
Guy Kawasaki — a fellow Asian and someone I admire — has adopted a few kids also and said this — something that I believe is true and important:
You can love an adopted child as much as a biological one. A man’s contribution to a pregnancy lasts about ten seconds — five if he told the truth — three if you asked the mother. And yet I’ve met many men who who were skeptical about adoption because they didn’t think they could “bond” with a child that didn’t have their DNA — ie, the ten-second commitment. This is simply not true: when you hold your precious jewel for the first time, no one cares if none of those chromosomes came from you. Certainly not the baby. Certainly not your wife. So get over it. Your DNA isn’t the Holy Grail — to mix several metaphors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Dude, so why so many kids?
My wife and I love children and we believe in the institution of the family. We have 5 biological kids — 3 singletons and 1 doubleton and 3 adopted — but they are all thankfully ours. By the way, the ‘singleton’ and ‘doubleton’ talk is old Set Theory talk coming out. Fun.
Even more fundamental, though, is this: when all is said and done, on my death bed, I will not wish that I had spent more time at work or other similar activities. All I will take with me are my relationships and my memories. The most meaningful relationships are those with family and with dear friends. We believe in the family; it’s where my wife and I receive our greatest joy, experience our toughest challenges, and also where we gain our deepest learning.
So, are you a white guy? What are you, bro?
Actually, I’m not Caucasian. I’m Filipino, my wife is Caucasian, we have 5 biological kids together (so they are 1/2 Filipino and 1/2 White, and 3 kids that are African American.
Hey man, why adopt? — Why you gotta be doin’ that?
Good question. My wife and I can produce biological children. My wife has always wanted to adopt — her heart is big, kind, and charitable — and she teaches me everyday. I have come to believe in adoption and am a huge proponent of it now.
There are many children in the world that need loving parents. We are doing our part to help in the most meaningful way we know how: bringing children into our family, parenting them, teaching them to be the best they can be, and watch them grow and contribute back to society. We’re really blessed to be the parents of our children.
What kind of car fits all ya’ll?
We drive a big 15 passenger Ford Econoline Van. I’ll be the first to admit that the Van is not cool, incredibly offensive to our environment (I’m really sorry), but it’s what fits our family. I have attempted to make it less uncool by installing 2 DVD players in it that drop from the ceiling. The 2 DVD thing is pretty cool.
Ummm, so wachu tizzle, wizzle?
I’m not sure what you mean, but drizzle, fizzle.
Hey, so where’d your hair go? — You are balder than an eagle, man. Dang, you ugly.
Thanks for noticing. Yes, I have no hair. I am developing a theory about hair and here it is: I believe that hair is for the insecure. Deep inside, you’re hiding something.
Do you drive like a big ‘ol bus or something?
Please see response above but, to answer you briefly — Yes.
Man, your house must be packed. How many bedrooms you got in that thing?
We live in a modest home. We have 10 bedrooms, but our kitchen and living room are a little smaller. Pretty much all of the square footage in our house is in bedrooms, but every child has their own room and my wife and I have our own room that she let’s me share with her.
That’s pretty cool that you’ve adopted so much. Good job, man.