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Patrick and Dolly’s Adoption Journey: General Overview!

Dolly, Patrick, Albert, and Augusta

Hi there! We’re Patrick and Dolly Workman. We live in Remington, Virginia, a small rural city about an hour outside of Washington, D.C. We want to grow our family and become first time parents through the gift of adoption! We’re excited to share our adoption journey with all of you, the ups, the downs and everything in between.

Married!

We met over 7 years ago through Patrick’s sister-in-law who was also Dolly’s friend, Amber. Unfortunately we lost Amber a couple of years ago to a brain aneurysm. Though she’s not physically with us, she still lives on in our story. We got engaged in Atlantic City, New Jersey and tied the knot in August 2016. Since it was important for Dolly’s grandmother to be at the wedding, we were married at a small chapel inside of Dolly’s grandmother’s retirement community. Right now our family consists of our 2 fur babies, Albert and Augusta! Albert is a 13 year old Shih Tzu mix full of energy. He’s a certified therapy dog and we look forward to doing visits with him in the near future as COVID becomes less of an issue. We adopted Augusta 4 years ago (yes, she’s named after a golf course) and she’s a beautiful lab mix. Even though Albert is much smaller than Augusta, Albert always lets her know who’s boss!

Patrick and his cousin Amy

We love to be in the great outdoors and having new experiences. We spent our 4 year anniversary last year horseback riding through the mountains. While we did enjoy the experience, we were both glad we made it out of there alive! On a nice weekend we’ll take Augusta out on a hike or swimming in a nearby lake. Being just outside of Northern Virginia offers so many great options.

PUPPIES!

Patrick is 35 years old and has a Master’s Degree in Parks and Recreation Management from George Mason University. He works as a Facility and Aquatics Manager with the local Parks and Recreation Department. Patrick has also been teaching as an adjunct professor at the community college for the past couple of years. You can usually find him on the golf course on most weekends when the weather allows it :). Dolly is 32 years old. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2011 from the University of Mary Washington. She changed her career path and 5 years ago went back to school to get her CPA license. She enjoys working at the women led Accounting firm, UMMC.

So why do we want to adopt? We spent our 20’s focused on our career goals. While it’s just been the 2 of us so far, we felt like we needed time to reconnect after Patrick finished his graduate degree and Dolly finished studying for her CPA exam. We’ve had so much more quality time together the past couple of years and last year we started seriously considering starting a family. Dolly is on medication and her doctor warned her of complications for an unborn baby. We ultimately decided that we did not want to take that risk of something happening to the baby and decided to grow our family in a different way. Through adoption!

Augusta!

We had no idea the process and different steps that adoption has. We gathered as much information that we could. Dolly’s sister-in-law was a great resource as she has also adopted a child. Another great resource was FaceBook! There are many FaceBook groups online that connect all people of the adoption triad to include hopeful adoptive parents, birth mothers and adoptees. Our first step was to complete our home study. Our home study included background checks, medical exams stating you would be suitable to adopt, providing copies of tax returns and letters of references from family and friends. Our initial thoughts were, wow this is very invasive! However, we can certainly understand that they want to make sure that the baby goes to a stable home.

Albert!

Additionally we completed 3 home visits with the social worker. During normal times the social worker would come to your home for all 3 visits, but with COVID the 1st and 2nd visits were done virtually. We were super nervous about what we might be asked, but the social worker put us at ease. She was there to answer any questions and any concerns that we had. We also discussed what we would be open to as far as adopting a baby. This was something that was so important to be honest about because the last thing we want to do is bring a child into our home that we are not prepared or ready for. Together we decided that we were comfortable with adopting a child of either gender, any race and a newborn up to age 6. While it was explained that toddlers available to adopt were rare, occasionally a situation does arise.

The last home visit was done in person by our social worker. We scrubbed our house top to bottom prior to the visit! Even though people told us not to worry too much about the in-person visit, we did not want to take any chances of failing our home study! She just did a walk through the outside and inside of the house, checked out the bedrooms and then sat down to talk to answer any remaining questions that we had.

A few short weeks later we got an email that we passed our home study and then we got a full report in the mail a few days later detailing our home study report. It was kind of crazy to see your lives summed up in a few pages. We passed our home study last January so now our next step is to find a match! One common way to find a match is to use an adoption agency. Another way to find a match is to self-match which is what we are choosing to do. Self-matching can be done in various ways such as advertising on social media, posting your profile on a website such as PairTree for expectant moms to look at or finding a match by word of mouth!

We hope that you’ll follow our adoption journey as we discuss our decision to adopt in more detail, our self-matching process, the costs of adoption and our feelings as we navigate this exciting time. More to come!

Author: Patrick and Dolly have been married for almost 5 years and are hoping to grow their family through adoption. They live in Remington, Virginia with their 2 dogs, Albert and Augusta.

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