Congrats! You have been matched! Now what?!
Typically the match fee (roughly $15,000-$25,000 will be due within a couple of business days. You will also be sent over contracts to sign.
The agency or attorney may also schedule a call fairly quickly with the expecting mom. This call is usually very simple. Ask easy questions and any of the tough ones I would save for the agency/attorney. Remember the expecting mom is as nervous as you are.
If you are matched early or even not sometimes the agency or expecting mom will ask for you to visit. You can then meet in person before baby is born and possibly attend an ultrasound. I absolutely loved being able to attend.
It is always possible that the expecting mom decides to parent. Your job is to love and support her no matter what. Be in the moment even if it means you might be emotionally wrecked. If this child does become yours don't you want to say you took every moment in instead of having your guard up.
You will start to get family questions. Remember this story is your child's and isn't yours to share. Be careful what you tell people. You can suggest close friends and family read "In on It" or read some of their own education pieces. Unfortunately it is our job to educate our family and friends so that they have a better understanding of our future child. Also, unfortunately people aren't educated and don't know what they don't know. Most are not trying to be malicious in their comments or questions. Take this time to educate them.
Expecting parents and hopeful adoptive parents having the "dream" TV show relationship doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and getting to know one another. It may take years and you cannot rush or fast forward to that time. I recommend weekly contact and setting boundaries right away. You cannot be available to them 24/7 and you also cannot bother them that often either. You will overwhelm them. You also live a very different life and have different priorities/things going on. For example I am tied to my phone night and day. I respond almost immediately whereas my son's birth mom rarely looks at her phone and some times takes weeks to respond. Also, if you ask a question and they don't respond move on. It means they don't want to answer it for whatever reason. You have to be ok with not having the answer to everything-that's just part of adoption.
Naming of baby is the number one reason for conflict between the expecting family and hopeful adoptive family. If possible please use your attorney or agency for these conversations. Please be respectful of the expecting mom and her desire to contribute to the name. Sometimes the expecting family doesn't want to name baby but sometimes they do. Again tread lightly on this topic and try to have a third party involved.
Some families decide to prepare the room and some don't. Personally it helped me make it feel real and I wanted to celebrate like I was pregnant. I'm also a planner and knew not having a room ready would stress me out. I also thought we could use the items for a future match or helping the expecting mom if she decided to parent. I also embraced gender specific clothing, some will only buy gender neutral. Again to each their own. We did baby showers and I even made fortune cookies to announce our match. We also did a diaper party (bring any size/brand. We haven't needed to buy diapers yet for our 6 month old son. Some do a celebration once home like a "Sip & See" or a sprinkle once finalization occurs.
As for packing check out our Pinterest page but you don't really need to bring much. Bring some clothes but the rest you can buy their (diapers, wipes, etc). We even bought a car seat and stroller (it was cheaper than renting) and safer to us. My favorite thing was a wrap and I wore him home. I highly recommend that. Also buy formula when you get there (you never know about NICU or what the hospital will put your baby on.) Pack enough formula on the way home in case you get delayed. If you are traveling you will need to stay in that state until discharge (after NICU if you have a stay) and then you need to wait for ICPC (state clearance to fly home). This can take two weeks so be prepared. I called the office and was super sweet on the phone so ours took 4 days.
Also here are my top items to add to your registry or wish list:
Mixie bottles (allows you to take a bottle on the go with pre-measured formula and water).
A swing with vibrations, rocking, and songs, a bouncer, and a sound machine
A Sit Me Up Seat
Label maker to label bottles for daycare
Gripe water (gas), baby tylonal, baby vix, and baby nasal spray/nose frida
Keepsake box and adoption baby book
All of this can be found on Amazon
*if you have an African American child silk crib sheets and I also have a ton of hair products to recommend