If you aren't familiar with adoption... I will explain how things will work. We have talked tentative plans but you know babies... they come when they want, sometimes with no warning, sometimes they have to be booted out so we are flexible and just so excited for the time to come! When our expectant mama goes into labor she will call our case worker. Our case worker will call us to give us the low down and meet our EM at the hospital. Once it is confirmed that our EM is truly in labor (dang false alarms), we will hop on an airplane to start the journey of picking up our daughter. As amazing as it would be to be at the hospital when the baby is born, we are praying that the labor and delivery for our EM is short, safe, and easy. Luckily there are a few daily direct flights from Austin to Las Vegas on Southwest and we have a gaggle of miles so hopefully we'll be able to get on a flight asap! We will head to the hospital where we will get tagged with parent bands and get unlimited access to our girl. The hospital our EM is giving birth at is extremely adoption friendly (makes me sad that there are hospitals that are not) and give adoptive parents lots of support. The required period before birth parent relinquishment is 72 hours in the state of Nevada so then we wait. And pray and get to know our baby girl. We won't get custody of her until relinquishment is signed. If there is room in the hospital, baby will stay there for 72 hours/or until relinquishment but if the hospital needs beds and baby is ready for discharge, our agency has a cradle care family that will care for our baby. Cradle care is temporary foster care and this family is so gracious to offer their home and loving services to families waiting to get custody of their fresh newborns. Once relinquishment is signed by the birth family, baby is ours, irrevocable in court. At this time, the state of Nevada will submit an ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) to the state of Texas and we must remain in the state of Nevada until we are approved to come home. Basically it is one state saying "This baby was born and the adoptive parents are from your state, can they come home" with lots and lots of legal paperwork. We are told to expect it to take 7-10 business days so Las Vegas will be our home for the first few weeks of a family of 5. I've had friends who it has taken 4 days to be approved and others 2 weeks so again... everything is up in the air. We've decided that my parents will fly up to Vegas with Ford and Lucy once we get custody of our daughter, I would be able to do 4 days but can't imagine 2 weeks without my babes. We don't have to stay in Vegas specifically, just the state of Nevada while we wait. We found out that part of the Grand Canyon is in Nevada and 3 hours away from Vegas so we may go there for a few days... not knowing what life will be with 3 kids, 3 and under. Once ICPC gets approved, we head home as a family of 5 and let the fun begin. Hopefully all of the people on our flight back from Vegas will be too hungover to be annoyed with our crew... 2 lap children and a 3 year old. YOLO.
Will we have a Halloween baby? Will we spend Thanksgiving at a casino buffet in Las Vegas? It probably sounds stressful to most people the thought of not knowing when and where you'll be for up to 2 weeks with a newborn but that's what makes this even more exciting. God HAS provided and He WILL provide.
We will finalize her adoption 6-8 months after she is born. What does that mean? We will have physical custody of hers and she will be OURS, but our agency will have "official custody" of her until we finalize. I put that in quotes because I am not sure what it is called. She will be our daughter, on our insurance, we can fly where we want, do what we want, so there is nothing to worry about. We will have a few visits from our social worker from the time we get home with her until finalization but nothing should stop finalization. And that will happen over the phone for us since we are out of state.
Phew that was a lot of information! Sorry for the overload but I realize that very few people know how the adoption process works. If you have more questions, feel free to email me!