Are You Thinking About Adoption?

Are You Thinking About Adoption?

One the great passions of my life emerged about four years ago with the training for fostering children and then the subsequent adoption of our twins. I love giving information and encouragement to those who are interested in the process. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s not easy but it’s worth it for you and any child you have in your home.

Almost 10 years ago, my husband AJ and I felt God was telling us that we needed to adopt. At the same time, we were hearing about the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti and the subsequent crisis of orphan kids it caused. But, we just felt too inept to do anything, as we already had one child, Drew, and I was pregnant again at the time and very sick through the pregnancy. Once our daughter, Elle, was born, my husband and I had a difficult time adjusting to having a child, as we were two people used to be constantly on the go and loved to get things done – which wasn’t so easy anymore. For five years after Elle was born, AJ and Iargued over who felt the most called to adopt at any given moment. When Elle was about two and a half,we felt like parenting had become a little easier and we knew what we were doing (at least a little at this point), and so at this point, AJ and I were on the same page about adoption. We looked into various agencies that were recommended to us but just felt like the fees were crazy (usually in the $25,000+ range), especially when we knew there were kids right in Massachusetts (where we live) that needed homes. At this point in our life, which was almost exactly five years ago now, we made the jump to move into a home that was three times the size of our first home, giving us plenty of wiggle room to adopt. We then started thinking about adopting a sibling group, assuming that if we were to keep with the birth order, we would probably be connected with a toddler and an infant.

Training and filling out loads of paperwork took about six months. We started the state mandated MAAP (Massachusetts Partnerships in Parenting) training in September of 2016 and finished right around Thanksgiving of 2016. Knowing our family would be changing drastically in a short amount of time at the beginning of Decemberwe took Drew and Elle, then 5 and 3, to Disney World for the first time, and during that trip the twins we’d adopt were born (but we didn’t know this yet).

Six weeks after we finished our class, we were still waiting for background checks and all of our info to be read over when we got word there were twins who we could take home from the hospital. The state speed through all of our paperwork because there was no one who was already licensed in Massachusetts who could take on infant twins. Their older siblings had already been removed from the home, so the risk was on the smaller side even though the state’s number one goal is to reunite children with their families if at all possible. Thetwins were born nine weeks prematurely and were teeny tiny when we got them from the hospital at six weeks old, about 5.5 to 6 pounds. Looking back, in all honesty, I’d say AJ and I were naïve and cocky to think we’d be totally fine taking on twins…. But that innocence that we could do it served us well in the first year and a half. It was definitely hard managing two babies but that was NOTHING compared to once they started walking. You would not believe the amount of white hairs I’ve been plucking out the past two years.

The whole time we raised them we were bringing them to weekly visits with their birth parents an hour away. At times during the process it looked like possibly their mom was making strides to get them back and I was panicky about that because of the parents’ history. About 560 days after the twins entered our home, we finally adopted them in August 2018. They are now officially Vera and Grayson Migonis, and our older two are obsessed with them (and sometimes livid with them when they wreck their rooms or Legos, but mostly just obsessed). Our journey to adopt Vera and Gray was one of the smoothest ones I’ve heard, so definitely not all adoptions go just like ours did. AJ and I have felt in the past year that our family might not be totally complete and told the state that we’d be interested in fostering another child, so you may hear more from us on the adoption road in the future… but we’ve already been waiting for a year and know that if there is another child for our family then we will find each other at the perfect time; we just have to keep our house open.

I love talking to people about fostering and adopting (especially through your state) and would love to answer any questions. Please feel free to email me at jen.migonis@gmail.com or send me a note on instagram at @migonishome.

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Jen Migonis