Our Journey to Adoption and a Winnner

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Sandra

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Hi dear APJ! Can you believe it is already December?! Where has the year gone? First of all the winner of the Dutch goodies is Gina! Congratulations. Please get in touch with Portia (portia_turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) so that I can get in touch with you.

As I recuperate from pneumonia (and cannot wear any fragrance), I would like to share a deeply personal story with you.

Adoption is a beautiful experience. It has touched my life in the most miraculous ways imaginable. You will hear it time and again though that adoption is not for everybody, but hear my story and maybe this will change your mind.

About 13 years ago, long before I was a perfume addict, my husband and I, after a couple of years of trying to have a baby, decided to adopt a child. We were naive about the process, what it all entailed and we had no idea where to begin our journey.

Our Journey to Adoption

Adoption was only something we had heard about through celebrities or the news. Close friends of ours all had their own children and were obviously not able to assist us in starting the process.

Where do I begin? Both my husband and I were foreigners living in Vienna. A couple of google searches in German yielded us one single private adoption agency specializing in overseas adoptions. Eager to get the process started, we made an appointment with the agency and were flooded with a wealth of information which was daunting.

This private agency took us by the hand and started interviewing us and taking our money at regular intervals. They told us specifically that as we were foreigners we were not permitted to adopt within Austria. On we went… Once we reached a certain stage in their process, we were informed that we needed to get a license for adoption in Austria. This license was going to be approved by the Department of Child Services and we managed to set up an appointment with them quite quickly.

At this point, we had been in the process for a couple of months and we looked at the license as a hurdle that we needed to overcome. We showed up to the appointment on time with our folder in our hands impatient to start the legal procedure for getting approved to actually adopt a child. As the meeting progressed, the questions became more intimate. Suddenly the bomb of a question appeared when she asked why we were traveling internationally for an adoption and not adopting in Austria!

Imagine our surprise! We explained that the adoption agency told us that we were not permitted to adopt in Austria and she responded- “rubbish, of course you can – you are permanent residents and pay your taxes”. She then went on to explain that because the adoptions were supervised by the Department of Child Services, that we would be able to adopt a baby, just a few days old, and that we would only have to pay the court fees. Needless to say, that changed the course of our journey. We decided to go ahead with the procedures to adopt internally in Austria. Shockingly, shortly after we made that fateful decision, the private adoption agency was accused of child trafficking and was completely shut down, all impending overseas adoptions were put on hold. Thankfully we were nowhere near them.

The Department of Child Services then moved us through the system flawlessly. Interviews were set up where they asked many personal questions, we had to get a certificate of health from our GP and we had to write essays about our spouse and why we thought they would make good parents. Interestingly, part of the procedure to get the license was to go through a ten week course on adoption which was, to be honest, a psych evaluation of all candidates. The instructors certainly did not divulge that it was a pysch eval, but if you have any imagination you can figure that out. We loved the process of playing their so-called games, and trying to figure out what they were learning about us in the process! We met adoptive parents and adults who had been adopted as babies and we were able to listen to their stories and engage in invigorating discussions about their thoughts, feelings, experiences and advices.

Thankfully, the ten weeks passed without a hitch and we managed to move onto the next stage, which included home visits. Before embarking on this journey, we moved from our small cramped flat, into a bigger flat, downtown which actually had a separate room for a baby. Knowing that we wanted to adopt, we did not decorate the room and it stood empty for a couple of years and this proved quite useful as the home visits also wanted to know whether or not we had room in the flat for a baby.

One of the most poignant procedures that we had to go through, was the home visit which included health questioning by the inspector. It is not what you think, this was questioning us, would be parents, about what diseases, deformities and health ailments we would be willing to accept. We were certainly not prepared for this step, but we thought about it as the first question was fired and thankfully both my husband and I were on the same page. Going through each disease, deformity and ailment was eye opening and we both answered that even if we had gotten pregnant, we would not know what health issues the baby would have, so we would accept everything. Medicine is advanced enough these days that we would be able to give the baby the best possible care available.

After all of this, we finally passed and received our license to be able to adopt a child. It was such a moment of joy to finally be placed on the waiting list! We celebrated by buying a unisex onesie and a stuffed horse to decorate the baby’s bedroom. Now started the grueling waiting process and we were informed that it could take years, especially in Vienna.

Stay tuned for the next installment on Christmas.

Wishing you all a wonderful Advent season filled with good tidings and joy.

Lots of fragrant kisses,

Sandra xo

44 thoughts on “Our Journey to Adoption and a Winnner

  1. Sandra, thank you so much for sharing the very personal adoption process with us. What a gruelling few years you must have gone through, never knowing if and when you’d be parents. It takes very special people to adopt a child. I hear in America it costs a lot of money, which seems absolutely crazy.
    Can’t wait for the next instalment!

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    • Hi Tara, Thank you for reading. The difficult part was not knowing when or even if. They psychologically prepared us for that by telling us to not buy anything for a baby. Obviously I did not listen carefully. 😂 Any adoption theough a private agency will cost a lot of money. That is why we were so surprised that we were allowed to go the social services route.
      Sandra xo

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  2. Sandra, this is an uncannily timely post! You’re sharing something very close to home and personal, looking forward to the next installment. My hubby is an adopted person. I know other adoptive parents and it is a long and sometimes arduous journey. It takes great strength and determination to follow through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cassieflower for reading and your kind words. It was a long process and I am still surprised that I actually managed to do everything in German. I miss having my friend who also adopted a child where we would meet and discuss anything that was going on and the kids could happily play together. It would be great to hear from other adoptive parents or adoptees about their experiences.
      Sandra xo

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  3. I’m looking forward to reading more of your adoptive process story. I was adopted as a baby, now as an adult I couldn’t be more thankful for my adoptive parents and the birth mother that gave me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts Kathleen. I can only hope and pray that our son will feel the same way when he is a grown man.
      Sandra xo

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  4. I was also an adoptee and in the 60’s in the US it was all done through social services, not nearly as challenging as today. I look forward to hearing the rest of your story.

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    • Thank you for sharing MMKinPA! I would be curious to know what it was like in the 60s to go through social services. Nowadays they try to weed out all crazy people with all the hoops and challenges.
      Sandra xo

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  5. First, Sandra, thank you for the treats that I won. Second, thank you for bringing love to a child who needs it. You have a giving heart. That will be a lucky kid. Blessings.

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    • Congratulations Gina! No, no, we are the lucky parents. He opened our minds and hearts to a capacity that we did not know existed. He is pure love and joy.
      Sandra xo

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  6. Sandra, I’m so glad it ll is going well. You and your husband will surely be great parents, perhaps way too generous and forgiving! I hope your child will find you very-very soon. All the best to you three 😉

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  7. Thanks for sharing your story, Sandra. I hope you will soon become happy parents of an even happier child.
    I’m always shocked by the strict procedures for adoption. In my homecountry, Croatia, last year only some 60 children were adopted. In the whole year! New family laws make it even harder to apply for adoption and I am really sad about it.

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    • The truly disheartening thing is that there are so many people who have children and neglect and abuse them, while there are people who were born to be parents, but by some stroke of bad luck or medical problems will never have the opportunity.

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    • Hi Neva, We became parents 9 years ago and now I am comfortable to share our story. I think that the strict procedures for adoption need to be in place because they need to weed out the suspicious people as much as possible.
      Thanks for reading,
      Sandra xo

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  8. I hope you recover soon! I loved reading your story and can’t wait for the next instalment. I have several friends who have adopted children, and those are some HAPPY families and kids. Happy Advent to you too!

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  9. This was such a pleasure to read–even seeing the emotional ups and downs of that journey and process. Thank you so much for writing about this. I can’t wait to read the second part, where you meet your son.

    (My best friend was adopted, and she cherished the idea that she was chosen out of all the babies, rather than being a “here is the one you made, get on with it” child.)

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    • Thanks Crikey. Writing about it is actually a cathartic exercise. Your best friend is right, adopted children are chosen in a myriad of ways starting from the simple desire to become a parent. We chose to become parents and we chose to adopt a baby. It helps him see it in a different light as well. Thank you for sharing as well.
      Sandra xo

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  10. I had no idea until I became a parent of the whole other realm of emotion possible, a life where I am completely responsible all the time for another human being and the immense joy it has brought to my life. I too look forward to your stories to come. Best wishes to your family this holiday season!

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    • Hi VerbenaLuvvr, becoming a parent has been the most miraculous gift in my life. Thank you. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season as well.
      Sandra xo

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  11. We all could see here how much love Sandra has to give, but she gave it to a complete stranger. I won the draw and expected perfume samples. What I got was a care package to make me cry, laugh and appreciate the goodness of fragrance friends. Thank you for your generosity, especially at this time when my position was eliminated at work and the U.S. government does not protect or take care of people who lose their jobs. They are expected to lose everything, take loans and go so far into debt they never will come out. At a time of fear, it is good to get hope and joy. My heart is full of gratitude for how you went out of your way to make my new year better. Thank you, Sandra. Be blessed.

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