Yesterday was the trip to City C for our in-person, one-on-one interview with my favorite agency so far. It was a really good visit, however the distance from our home is a little concerning. Almost 1 hr 45 minutes one way :-\
Honestly, I'm a little surprised I didn't walk away from that meeting beaming with certainty that we had found "The One". They take a very hands-off approach to the birth parent/adoptive parent relationship. They don't even send a social worker to attend the very first meeting of expectant mom and prospective adoptive parents. Kind of a throw you into the deep end and you either sink or swim philosophy. Which, I understand their reasoning, but that doesn't mean I think it is the right philosophy for M and I. If this were our second adoption or something, I think I would feel a lot more comfortable being left to our own devices to forge a relationship with the birth parents.
Apart from that aspect, though, I really like everything else about the agency: the way their education and homestudy process works, the fee schedule, the size of the agency and their connections and reputation in the community. Clearly they are doing something right. But there was something about the presentation by the agency in City A that made me feel more comfortable and confident about their commitment to openness and encouraging continued contact with birth parents. ::shrug:: maybe its just a difference of where the birth moms are coming from.
Another thing which can be seen as a positive or a negative is that with City C agency, we need to have our application submitted by early the week after Thanksgiving because their next education series starts in early December. If we miss that one we have to wait until March, I believe. So, we could get started on this process rather quickly, which is nice. But, are we ready to make that decision and jump right in? Around the holidays?
To account for this potential accelerated schedule, we'll be calling the agency in City B tomorrow evening or Monday evening. At the moment, I think the agency in City A has pulled slightly in the lead, but it is very narrow. Their education series is a little more spread out though, and only in the evenings; whereas City C agency has 2 full day courses and then you are done. Scheduling for that is easier than lots of evenings. No pressure or anything, right? Just one of the most important decisions we will ever make.
Does anyone have thoughts on meeting an expectant mother for the first time with no social worker present? Because I think that is my only hang-up that is keeping City C agency in second place.