Dividend Investing to try and quit the 8-5 daily grind as early as possible. This blog will be used to document my journey towards retirement. I'm not sure how long it will take or when I will feel comfortable enough to retire, but hopefully through passive income from dividends, I will be able to quit the 8-5 daily grind quicker than most of my peers.
Over in the Mid-Atlantic, it has been an absolute scorcher for the past week and other than some relief this weekend it looks like we are going to get back into the heat next week. Where I live, we missed all of the pop-up thunderstorms so it is wicked dry. Just 5 miles north received 4 inches of rain in two hours yesterday. Just the luck of the draw I suppose but the garden in our backyard is flourishing nonetheless! There is something so relaxing and awe inspiring about growing a garden.
I have suffered from high blood pressure for years now and between the pills I take and this garden, I swear my blood pressure has never been lower. If you do not grow a garden, you are missing out! I don't care if you live in the city with only one window - throw some mint in a pot by the window and make yourself some Mojitos!
For us, it is tomato, peppers (of all kinds), corn, squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, green beans & carrots! My wife was skeptical in the early spring starting from seed in our kitchen but she has changed her tune! Free food and all organic for the 8 month old baby - what could be better.
In other news, our second adoption is going well. We should find out the sex next week. I'm secretly hoping for a girl - I have always dreamed about walking my little girl down the isle and having a father daughter dance. Sure, its a long way away but its just something I have always wanted to do. Plus, one boy, one girl, we have both all set! No more adopting after that! I told my wife I want to try for a biological child again and after two years of inducing lactation, with no periods, there is little chance of conceiving right now.
It's still difficult to go to work everyday and receive pictures from my wife of our boy in the blow up pool out back or doing something funny. Again, if you are single/dating/engaged/recently married and want to have children, get your finances squared away immediately!!! I have worked for over 10 years now and at a 70% savings rate I could have been retired... No more receiving pictures - I'd be in the picture! So don't delay, save your money, invest in quality companies and you'll thank yourself when you are 30.
Our boy is crawling!!! Quick segway sure but oh man - people tell you that the first 6 months are difficult and its an ever changing life of difficulties after that - well they are right! The first 3 months were miserable. From 3-8 in our case was a breeze and now with the crawling, life if challenging again. No more leaving him on a play mat and doing the dishes - before you know it he's playing with the electrical cords or chewing on shoes. But it is a BLAST!! Best decision we ever made - adoption - love this kid to death.
So now that you are all caught up, here's the dividend total for the month of June:
V $22.38 XOM $48.05 TAP $11.95 O $40.81 PEP $39.82 DLR $11.11 M.M. $0.63 FTSE $275.69
The months keep rolling by and here we are half way through June and I'm just getting to Mays report!
Sorry for the delay as its been a busy few weeks. Our boy is changing so fast and all the milestones you hear about are here one day and on to the next one the following day. His new thing - crawling!! He is not going very far yet - say 2 feet - but he has just started to figure out that he has to move his hands forward when he moves his knees forward. For a week he would scoot his knees forward and then face plant LOL.
He has had Dada down for about a month but just recently started saying Mama! You have never seen a happier woman then when their child starts saying Mama for the first time. It is amazing to see my wife's face light up with happiness when a Mama comes out!
He is truly the joy in our life right now and yes it was a long journey of infertility and making the decision to adopt but it was worth it!
I cannot wait to see what the future holds when we add Baby #2 - wait WHAT - Yes, thats correct!
Our sons birth parents are pregnant again with a full biological sibling and have asked us to adopt this child as well. Of course we said yes!
Money is extremely tight right now - we even started a fundraiser to help with expenses - so naturally stock purchases are very few and far between.
I have moved around some money - selling some stocks and buying mainly just CVS so those purchases will be reflected in some added dividend income but otherwise, no big buying sprees recently or for the foreseeable future.
The 401K continues to be maxed out - my wife knows how important it is to me to solidify a solid retirement - even if we are not able to retire early any longer. However, the 401K does not pay dividends except for the FTSE fund or a surprise distribution from one of the others.
A big decision last January was to pay off our mortgage. Financially, with the large stock market gains from late 2016 to now, it was not the best decision but, without paying off the mortgage, we could not afford to continue to max out the 401K. Our mortgage ran about 1300 a month. I just recently determined that we are behind by around $30,000 if we were to sell all of those original holdings right now to pay off the mortgage.
This was an eye opening experience to see just how powerful compounding returns are. Granted, if the stock market had fallen by the same amount over the past year, we wouldn't have been able to pay off the mortgage at all but hindsight is 20/20. I am warming up to the idea that it was not a terrible decision - less stress and sleeping better at night because I do not have that lingering bill each month is a blessing. Next time, I'll be sure to make a more prudent decision on paying off big ticket items.
That enough rambling for now - here is May's report:
UVE $14.64 - And they just raised the dividend!!! CVS $14.00 - This will increase substantially next report! BTI $25.18 SKT $32.35 OHI $335.43 - And what a rally since the lows - Might trim position if it hits $35 this time O $40.64 ABT $4.32 - Sold to buy CVS after a 60% gain MM $0.82
A stellar month! $94 more than this time last year, $42 more than last quarter! Hope you all had a great May! ADD
This is a post that some of you might have been wanting now for a few months. The reason it has taken so long is that the Adoption Agency finally got us the expense report.
Fair warning, this is going to be rough for the frugal crowd who reads this blog. It was rough for me to comprehend that our hard earned dollars were going to uber rides and poor budgeting and I like to think I'm not that frugal compared to most readers. So lets get right into the numbers:
A grand total of over $45,000!
Now, lets be clear, we knew the costs up front. We knew that we were going to pay $45,000 but what we didn't know was the breakdown of those expenses.
All expenses in gray are Birth Mother expenses. All expenses in orange are agency fees.
The birth mother costs were $13,500.
The agency costs were $30,000.
Obviously I have issues with both of these costs. For now, lets go over the birth mother. These costs were incurred over a 6 month time frame which means that her costs were roughly $2200 per month! As a family of 3 right now, we are averaging $1,500 per month. Granted, if we took out the $550 per month rent cost, her total would be $1,650 per month but that is still $150 more than we spend per month - as a family of three. Not to mention, shes on food stamps which should reduce our out of pocket expenses in that category. As most of you know, food is usually the biggest expense in anyone's budget so if you use government assistance, that cost should be much lower. Walmart cards totaled: $5700, Rent of $3,400, Cash of $1,500 and the final biggest issue I have is: Uber of $650! The Uber trips averaged over $100 per month. My gas costs of driving to and from work every day for an entire month do not even add up to the much. I fill up my tank maybe twice a month - if I drive extra on the weekends. The thing that bugs me the most about uber is that she also received $220 of bus passes. In the state of Florida, the bus passes cost $49 per month. Our savings in that category would have amounted to over $500 if she only received monthly bus passes.
Now onto the agency fees: $30,000
Think about that - if you have a $75,000 per year job, the agency costs alone will take up most of your net income for the entire year! The biggest issue I have is that the agency fees of $15,500 do not have any impact on all the other fees of ICPC, TPR, Finalization, Counseling and the biggest crock of shit: $5,250 for advertising. I would have liked to have known what the $15,500 of adoption services pays for when in my opinion, ICPC, TPR, Finalization, Advertising and Counseling should have been included in that cost. In my mind, the $15,500 is going directly into the lawyers pockets which aggravates me. This company supposedly takes pride in building families but yet they immediately charge an arm and a leg (plus kidney, liver & spleen) to help families build their dream.
Unfortunately, adopting families do not know where their money is going until everything is said and done. Adopting families do not receive weekly/monthly updates on where their hard earned cash is going. The company is not transparent with this information up front and I think that is wrong. $45,000 invested over 18 years would easily pay for the adopted child's college or a nice down payment on a house in the future.
These costs were just for the adoption. Before this, there was $1500 for home studies, travel in July to meet the agency and birth parents: $1000, Travel for the birth and a 28 day stay in a different state: $4000. Post placement cost: $500. Background checks, physicals, fingerprints, miscellaneous stuff: $1000.
Total of: $8000
Grand total of all costs: $53,000
Now, with that being said, we are beyond blessed to have the child that we always dreamed of. There is nothing better in the world to come home to a smiling, laughing, unconditionally loving child. No matter how good or bad your day has been, they make it better!
As for birth mother expenses, I have calmed down over the past few weeks and realized that this woman was so strong and loved her child so much that instead of bringing him into a difficult situation, he is now in a home that he can be cared for and loved beyond measure. We are truly grateful for her. It was a relief to know that she was being taken care of throughout the process and our child was getting the nutrients and doctors visits necessary to make it a successful birth. Do I wish she would have taken less Uber trips, sure. But instead of taking the bus when your 6 months pregnant and its 95 degrees out, I'd rather her get to her appointment safe and sound with less stress.
Overall our adoption experience was better than expected. In less than one year we completed all necessary background checks, physicals, home studies, etc and adopted a newborn! Some people go years without even being matched to a birth family and then sometimes once they are matched, the birth family pulls out of the adoption.
We have an open relationship with the birth family, and we are grateful for them and they are grateful for us. It has been a wild year but I would not change any of it!
If anyone is thinking of adoption, feel free to contact me. I'm an open book!
Four months in the books and its time for the Dividend Update! These posts serve as a reminder that even though we may not have much in the market right now, every little bit of income counts!
Short month in regards to companies paying us but that is okay! We still managed to have a $10 increase from last years April even after selling off a portion of our CSCO position to fund other things.
The big increases we are seeing right now are all related to the 401K. I am putting in over $900 per paycheck to maximize that faster in order to receive full paychecks at the end of the year when we will need it the most. More on that in a future post!
Furthermore, when my wife worked for Amedisys their company match was all in company stock. Well, their stock is hitting new highs day after day it seems like - even today on a 200 point down day for the DOW - the stock was positive. So, the position is pushing her 401K to new highs day after day which is fun to see. I have most of her 401K in S&P 500 but 20% now in AMED. This is an account that I don't look at but maybe once a month so its fun to see it continue to grow with no additional input from her.
With that said, lets get to the report...
O $40.46 CSCO $56.21 M.M. $1.08
Its fun to watch O grow month after month through reinvestment - .26 cents more that just last month.
May should be a banner month with OHI paying as well as new positions opened since last year. OHI had a decent earnings and the stock has performed well so I'll be reinvesting the dividend again. This position is growing quite large but I'm monitoring it constantly and if it can get up over $30 I will feel much more confident about it. More to come next month on that! Hope everyone had a great April! ADD
The months are rolling by in 2018! Having a child sure does seem to speed things up. I'm not sure if it is the constant state of busyness that you are in or the fact that you keep such close track of time (1 month old, 2 months, 3 months, etc) that makes things move fast but let me tell you - time flies!
All the more reason to stay frugal, save, and invest those extra savings each month into quality dividend paying stocks. Then, all of a sudden you start receiving checks and life is good!!
So without further adieu the March 2018 dividend income report:
V $22.35 XOM $44.66 UVE $14.57 TAP $11.89 O $40.20 VHT $13.73 FTSE $61.93 PEP $34.56
Solid month in March! This was a gain of $139 from last March. The gains came from new positions in XOM, TAP, O and VHT. Increases in dividends/payouts from UVE, V, FTSE and PEP.
V had a phenomenal growth rate of 28.5% due to reinvesting a dividend increases!
FTSE is a 401K position that increased $20 or 50% from last year. Just goes to show that maxing out the 401K is really paying off! Like I have mentioned numerous times before, this is one of 6 401K holdings I have and I would surmise that all of them had at least $20 gains in payouts but the funds automatically reinvest them without giving out dividends/capital gains.
It will be a quiet April with regards to income as I have just 3 companies that payout. However, O is a true power house in the portfolio now and $40 of income each month really goes a long way in increasing each monthly total! I wish all stocks paid monthly...
Hope everyone had a great March!
Maybe the weather will finally break here in the mid - atlantic and we will get some nice weather in April! Winter has held on long enough, I'm ready for the sunshine, warm weather and being outdoors more! ADD
The month of February seemed to fly by for me. I suppose only 28 days in the month and having a 4 month old child will do that to you. It is amazing to see him grow and change and he is now turning over, smiling and almost laughing when you tickle his belly.
He is going through quite the sleep regression right now and is up 3 - 4 times per night. Before having a child, other parents would talk to me about not sleeping and just how angry and upset you can get over stupid things with your spouse and gosh... its true! Sleep is a much needed thing and for all you out there without kids, enjoy it!!! At the same time, it is amazing how productive you can be without sleep. Now, as long as I can get a good 5 hour stretch, I am usually fine throughout the day. Before, I had to get at least 7 hours or I felt tired.
That long paragraph all to say this... If you are just graduating college or younger, save and invest!! Mr. Money Mustache had it right when he retired before having a child.
If I could go back to when I first started working in high school and saved 50% of my income and invested it, financial independence might just have been possible.
Kids are exhausting and more importantly - I hate being at work and missing things that he does throughout the day. Most likely this feeling will only get worse as he gets older and I can take walks/hikes, ride bikes, play catch, etc throughout the day.
In other news, the bathroom is still a work in progress. The spackle is a daunting task and I just finished the first coat last night. Sanding today, second coat tomorrow...
Investment wise, as it stands now, we are maxing out my 401K & HSA but unfortunately, we are not able to contribute any money to taxable investments. So, the dividends you see each month will not increase other than dividend growth and reinvesting those dividends. My 401K only pays out dividends in one of the funds, and all others just reinvests them into the fund. Therefore, my dividend total will not increase due to the 401K.
With that being said, lets get to the dividend income!
Dividends for February 2018:
OHI -- $327.16 O -- $40.02 SKT -- $31.17 ABT -- $4.29 BTI -- $22.87 MM -- $0.40
I am really enjoying that big dividend from Realty Income (O) every month! With the stock price depressed, that $40 is almost buying an entire share each month!
The OHI dividend has been frozen but through reinvestment, that should continue to grow. I like what the company is doing, focusing on the financials and managing delinquent rent payments from operators. With roughly a 10% dividend, that is more than enough and the payout ratio is still relatively low for a REIT. There is definitely more risk involved with this investment right now and I might stop reinvesting the dividends into the company in the near future. I am going to wait for one more earnings report before making any moves. At $1300 per year in dividends, that could be a new position in another company each year to further diversify my holdings.
BTI got hammered over the past month but thankfully that dividend reinvested at a lower price point! I still like the future of BTI, especially now that they are doing quarterly dividends.
Hope you all had a great February! Summer and warmer weather is right around the corner! ADD
Quick post as being a new dad is tough and we are remodeling our bathroom right now. We only had a shower pan in the bathroom because the previous owner was an old lady and could not lift her leg over the bathtub wall. Anyways, this past weekend I ripped that shower out put the new tub in. New plumbing, water lines, sheetrock all around, it was exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. Just need to tile the floor this coming weekend and put back the toilet and vanity and then things are looking up! The mundane and difficult task of spackle awaits me the following weekend. But now, on to the reason why you clicked...
PEP -- $34.56 O -- $38.68 CSCO -- $88.52 M.M. -- .53
A relatively weak month but O's monthly check will be much needed in the months to come. The portfolio has been hammered much harder than the market recently. OHI & O are really hurting the portfolio but the dividends will roll in the month and hopefully by stock at these cheaper prices. One can only hope! Hope everyone had a nice January! ADD
So here we are, 2017 has come to a close. What a year it was! Paid off the house, adopted a child, lived in Florida for a month, and still received a nice some of money from dividends!
I am still working up the cost of adoption post so I figured I would throw this one in here first.
In total, we received income from 6 different funds in December and here is what it looked like:
UVE - $27.83 V - $20.71 VWILX - 72.78 VHT - $19.97 FTSE - $156.86 MM - $5.44
Total - $303.59
So, we cleared the $300 mark and best of all, the totals were not so lopsided like they are for my OHI holding. With FTSE being a mutual fund with a basket full of stocks, there is less risk than just one primary holding. Like I posted last year, my company/Vanguard changed up the investment mix for my 401K and 3 of my other funds do not pay dividends or capital gain distributions anymore. We investors are told that they are automatically reinvested into the fund...
In 2017, we received a total of $2,750 in dividends! Our expenses for the last 6 months of the year, not including adoption expenses were averaging $2,500 a month. With recent investments, including TAP, O, SKT and BTI, we are projecting over $3,000 already for next year. Slowly but surely we are climbing our way back to where we were before all the big life changes.
2018 is already shaping up to be one of the best years yet. Having a child is truly life changing and incredible. If we can keep expenses running low and add around $1000 a month to the taxable account throughout the year, we should gather around $500 more per year in dividend income.
If you do the math, obviously you can see that retiring early is essentially out of the question. Like I said in the previous post, having a child and one income changes things. I wouldn't change anything though. We are enjoying every minute of our growing family! Hope you had a great 2017! ADD
After we were chosen, my wife started chatting, through text, with the birth mom. At first, the birth mom was very shy. Only ever texting when we texted first. This is to be expected as we are complete strangers and are looking to adopt their child. So the conversations start small. How is she feeling, what are her hobbies, etc.
Before we knew it, she wanted to meet with us. So at the end of July we took a trip down to Florida to meet the birth parents, both mom and dad. The meeting as you can expect was challenging. Both families shy, anxious, nervous, hoping things go well, but overall... grateful.
And after the initial jitters wore off, both families opened up about their histories and talked as we had been friends that we hadn't seen in year. We elaborated on the texts that had been sent back and forth like how they met, hobbies, family, future plans, you name it. The conversation never felt awkward and there was never any hostility towards the situation we were in. Both families were grateful that each other had come in to their lives.
So after the meeting, the birth mom continued to text back and forth with my wife. The conversations growing deeper and more elaborate with each passing month.
The process was going as smooth as it could go...
Around early September we received the latest sonogram charts and it said that she was due the first week of October. My wife, bless her heart, demanded that the agency pay for one more sonogram for the birth mom. The first sonogram did not have the best pictures and it seemed silly to only have one appointment. Thank god she did that because after the second sonogram, the due date was pushed back 3 full weeks!
We made the decision that we were going to be in Florida on her due date because we did not want to miss anything. The birth mom did not want us in the room but she did want us at the hospital so as long as she didn't give birth beforehand, we were going to be there.
October 23rd was the due date. We packed our bags and headed down to Florida. Staying over night at my cousins in North Carolina and getting to Florida on October 24th.
We booked a hotel room starting November 1st because we had a free stay with a family friend until then. Thank god for family!!
October 25th comes, then the 26th, 27th, 28th and we started to wonder if this child would ever come out!
If he didn't come out before November 3rd, the mom was going to be induced.
So, the 29th, 30th 31st roll on by... We move up to our hotel on the 1st, the 2nd comes and goes and finally on November 3rd...
OUR BABY WAS BORN!
The birth parents invited us in to the room only 20 minutes after the birth. The mother looked great, our boy was being cleaned off and for the first time, we held him!
We stayed in the room with the birth parents for maybe 20 minutes or so and then the nurses came in to take us to our own room in the hospital. As we departed the room, leaving the boy behind, we embraced and shed some tears of joy. The only real emotion of the entire process. We were so relieved that our boy was healthy, the mom was healthy, the adoption process was almost coming to an end, that it was hard to do anything but cry. It was a long time since we had began trying for a baby of our own and this was the moment when our family would finally grow.
So the nurse took us to our room and our boy came in just a couple hours later.
We have an open adoption with the parents so we send pictures, texts, video, etc back and forth with them and that was part of the reason why the birth parents picked us.
In the hospital, with the open adoption, we let the birth parents have him as much as they wanted. They would make the decision on when to have the nurses bring him to us and when the nurses would come in to take him back to them. At times this was tough because when he left, we never knew when he would be coming back, but overall it went very well.
We wanted to give the birth parents as much closure as possible before the papers were signed.
So, each night we would have him and each day they would have him.
And then the big day... November 5th, 2017... the birth parents signed the adoption papers. He was going to be all ours!
The birth parents brought him to our room for the final time and we hugged them good bye, thanking them for everything they have given us. The meeting went very well. As mentioned earlier, there was not much emotion. No one cried, no one was angry, everything was peaceful. It was truly like this was meant to be. We have the utmost respect and love for the birth parents and I think they feel the same about us.
It was truly a perfectly fantastic adoption. We were fortunate.
So, after our stay in the hospital we had to stay in the state of Florida until the Interstate Compact paperwork was finalized. This essentially certifies the adoption and allows us to transport a baby across state lines - at least that's how I thought about it.
Unfortunately, this is not a quick process. Our agency told us that it would take 7-15 business days.
Are you frickin kidding me!! Up to three weeks for some damn signatures!
If there is one thing that I would change about this process is that it should be mandatory for the states to complete this paperwork in no more than two days. One day in Florida, one day in your home state. There are families that are trying to go home! And not only are you away from family and friends but the costs of staying in hotels/AirBnBs adds up. The states are hurting the financial future of families at a time when families are already paying significantly to grow their family. If families had to stay out of state for 15 business days... That is a total 19 days - weekends included. At $100 a night, that is $1900 that an adoptive family is paying out of pocket. Invested at 7% for 18 years and you are looking at $6,500 that could be used for college tuition, car, house down payment, etc. Right off the bat this child is $6,500 poorer than if you can leave in two days.
Once again, we were fortunate. Even with a government holiday thrown in and paperwork not being sent to the state until Tuesday, we received our permission to go home on November 16th, just seven business days later!
So we left for home on November 17th, 26 days after leaving...
Part Three coming soon! Fun financials coming in that post!
For those of you following along with the blog, you might have noticed that I have been a bit vague with upcoming (read: historic) news and how it relates to our financial situation.
I have been putting this news off for quite some time because I just was not ready to put it out there.
But now I am: WE ADOPTED A NEWBORN CHILD!
With this blog starting as a financial independence blog, I want everyone to know that - Our financial landscape has changed so drastically that it is hard to be on the path of financial independence any longer.
I hope this does not push any readers away from the blog, but it is the truth.
Kids, especially the cost of adoption, change things.
So here is how it all went down... It was December 2016, my wife and I decide to take a 2 week vacation. We would travel from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California. It has been 2.5 years of marriage and we had been trying for children from the get go. Both of us have always wanted children but at the time, the struggle was becoming overwhelming.
We needed a break from life.
During the approximate 2000 mile drive from point A to B, the conversation of adoption came up. We talked through our life. Where we were, where we were going, what we want, you name it. The constant was always a child.
The calendar changed over and it is now January 2017. We make the decision to start the adoption process. During our research (mainly by my wife) so many people/blogs said that the adoption process was long, hard, and a lot of paperwork.
What we found out (for us, we were fortunate) is that it was the complete opposite.
The paperwork is not the difficult. We are both detail oriented, focused, organized individuals and it did not take more than two weeks to fill everything out. The long pole of everything was of course the state government getting our background clearances, finger prints, etc
After the initial paperwork, we had to receive final approval from the state. For this, we had to have three meetings with a social worker. The social worker came to our house to check out everything and make sure it was a suitable living space. A firefighter came out to check on the safety of our household and yes, we had to make some updates like installing hard wired smoke alarms but overall, no big changes.
Everything was cleared. We were approved!
From that point, we created a profile and used a central agency to broadcast said profile out to multiple agencies throughout the United States of America. The agencies that we designated our profile to be broadcast to were "adoption friendly states." These states have an irrevocable adoption policy which states that once the birth parents sign the adoption papers, the adoption cannot be revoked. It is official. These states include: Florida, Texas, Utah, Illinois, and a couple others... not ours, unfortunately.
Once our profile along with our preferences (examples: boy, girl, white, black, blue eyes, brown eyes, no drugs, no alcohol, closed adoption, open adoption, special needs, etc) were sent to the agencies, we started receiving perspective situations (babies).
For those wondering - we left our preferences open to all potential candidates. Therefore, we received every situation in every state that we broadcast our profile too. Like I said, we wanted a child so bad that if a situation seemed right to us, we were going to present to the family.
So, we started receiving situations around the end of May. Four total months since we began.
At first, the situations came in hot and heavy and it was overwhelming. You think to yourself, is this the right child for us? If we do not present, will anyone else present? What if the next situation is better than this one? So many questions and emotions throughout this time.
The second situation we received was a perfect match for us but we were scared. We had only seen two situations and were uncomfortable presenting at that time. Not to mention, the child was going to be born the 16th of June. Only three weeks away! It was wild to think we could be parents in just half the time of a normal pregnancy. No time to prepare and buy the necessary items to have a child. It turned out that maybe we were not ready. We got cold feet and let the situation slip by. We did not present to this family.
So anyways, the weeks passed by. The situations would come in waves. Five situations one day, none for three days. We started to get anxious.
What happens if another situation we feel comfortable with never happens? Did we screw up by not presenting to the one in June? Why are we adopting? Let's just keep trying to have our own child.
Without a doubt, this was the toughest 5 or 6 months of our marriage, our lives, for that matter.
And then it all changed...
One day, my wife received a situation and she forwarded it to my email. For us, we would each read the situation first. No matter what time of day it was emailed to us, we would not talk about it until we were in person and both had read it on our own. We were each left to make up our own mind first. I would recommend that to anyone going down the adoption path.
So... we met after work and discussed the situation. Turns out, we both really liked it! The birth parents were around our age, she was due in October (time to prepare), health history was within our comfort level and we both had a gut feeling that this was the one. Not to mention, it was a BOY!! LOL
So we presented our profile to the couple.
Agonizingly waited for a few days.
And then, on my wife's birthday in June ... a phone call!!!
We were matched, they accepted us!
We will be parents in just a few short months as long as everything goes through!
We were through the roof. We were ecstatic. We were anxious. We were nervous. We were relieved...
The way adoptions work is that the adoptive parents (us) receive the situations and the ones they like, they present to the birth parents. Now, this is the hard part... the birth parents have to like you back in order to be matched. Some of the birth parents might receive 20 different adoptive parent profiles to read, review and then ultimately make a decision on. Some families go years presenting to birth families and are never selected.
We were very fortunate.
We presented to one family and that one family chose us...
This is a long read. A continuation post coming soon!