a complicated adoption process

I’m writing this while snuggling the sweet little person who now calls us mom and dad in the NICU. I’m not using LP’s name on the internet or posting pictures until our adoption is complete for a whole lot of reasons.

Since being matched with LP three weeks ago — holy shit! How did that happen?! — I’ve gotten a LOT of questions about the adoption process. The short answer is that it’s complicated.

LP was born 13 weeks early. He’ll be in the NICU until he reaches his due date of early October and his health issues are resolved. We are currently in the period known as legal risk. During this time, the birth parents still have their parental rights and he’s still on their insurance. They picked us to be LP’s parents and we’re not worried one bit. They way we see it, LP has a LOT of people in his corner.

We’re his parents and one or both of us go to the hospital to see him every day. We cuddle him as much as possible and help do his cares (temps and diapers mostly). He gets to use all of the blankets and clothes that we brought in for him. (Thanks to the friends and family who quickly jumped in to help!)

When he’s ready for discharge (sometime in the next 6-7 weeks) we’ll take official placement. With placement, we have all of the rights as parents, but the agency will still be his legal guardian. We can travel with him and make medical decisions for him.

From there it’s just a matter of waiting for the courts and paperwork to catch up. At this point, it’s likely that the adoption won’t be finalized until next spring/summer.

As LP gets older, we’ll fill him in on the details. It’s his story to share (or not) and we completely respect that. He knows that we’re his parents, even though he didn’t grow in my belly. His birth family did an amazing thing for him and for us. We’re simply grateful.

As for how we’re handling things: we’re doing the best that we can. We canceled the trip to South Africa when we found out that we were picked. That cleared up a lot for us. We’re still closing on the new house and moving at the end of the week. It’s a “one day at a time” situation. I’m going to try to keep blogging over the next weeks and months. As you can imagine, it’s hard to find the time to contemplate fi when we’ve got other stuff on our plate.

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