Be forewarned. Adoption is long and somewhat cumbersome process. There are numerous hoops to be jumped through, the authorization forms are a pain, and the contracts come with a heavy helping of legalese. Worse still is narrowing the decision on who you should try to adopt. A good fit, after all, is extremely important.
We searched for weeks before Melissa fell in love. She found a beautiful 14-week-old boy that she just had to have. Though we decided quickly that he was the one for us, nothing comes that easy. As with most things worth having, adoptions are hard to come by. In fact, they can be among the most difficult things to secure. Our problem was that someone had one-upped us on the wait-list. We did everything possible to strengthen our application, but the final decision was not in our hands.
Last Saturday was the day the contract was to be finalized and the adoptive parents were to meet their little one. The only option we really had was to arrive early and hope the other application would fall through. Melissa took the first shift at the adoption center and was actually able to spend some quality time with the little boy we hoped might be ours. She stuck around for several hours, talking with workers and growing more attached, before she sadly pulled herself away and headed off to work. Hope was flickering as she left though because the other applicants still had yet to show. I took the afternoon shift and persistently lobbied those in charge on our behalf, but the response never seemed to change; there was someone ahead of us on the list.
Then, late that afternoon, it happened. Whether I wore the adoption staff down or they themselves simply wrote the applicants ahead of us off as no-shows, I’m not certain… but the decision was made and he was ours. There was paper work to fill out and future home check-ups to schedule, but I could leave with him that night. When Melissa called from work for an update, I led her to believe that nothing had been finalized and we wouldn’t know anything until Monday. All this so I could surprise her at work with the newest addition to our family. And surprised she was. She's actually been beaming ever since.
So that’s that. We’re now the proud parents of one damn fine 3 ½-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback-Lab. We renamed him Jäger (he was ‘Junior’ before). It’s German for “Hunter”… not really that descriptive of him, but we like it. We haven’t slept much since getting him (he likes to howl from his crate at night – though I should note that he’s been improving), and our days seem to revolve around food and excrement (I swear, he's worse than a hamster). But we’re loving every minute of it (and cherishing the quiet ones).