Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hi everyone!!!!

I am so sorry that I have been a bad blogger lately!  I am so happy to see that I have a few more followers and I haven't even been blogging!  LOL

Much is going on here.  As I said previously I started the new job.  And I love it!  It is such a good fit for me.  A much more urban area, and one that is on the "up-swing".  This poor city has gotten a bum-rap and folks are working hard to turn it around.  I am proud to be a part of the process.

KJ is growing so much and so fast it seems.  He says so many words and we can't keep up with him!  Here's a pic of him from our family portrait session...

I will post the family ones later.  I haven't sent out our Christmas cards yet (oops) and I don't want to offer a preview of them. ;)

Ah, and on the adoption front.  That's what folks really want to know about, right?  The match we had last month did not happen.  They did choose us, but mom ended up parenting.  We were actually very happy about it.  She should be with her mom and we were glad that C figured out a way to make that happen.  I still hear from her and she keeps me up to date on how little S is doing.

We have another potential match again happening right now.  It was a referral from our attorney of a young woman who called one of our attorney's other clients.  Because the child will be African American the couple that she originally called were not open to this.  So... that's where we come in.  Our attorney will be sending her some paperwork tomorrow and I have spoken with her a few times already.  She is due next month.  (YIKES!) So please pray for her and for us.  If this is what the Lord wants for her child (adoption) than pray things go smoothly.  And if there is a way for her to parent, pray even harder that this happens.

And on top of all this... it's Christmas next week!!! Ho ho ho... ;)


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh wow.

Hi friends!  I am so sorry that it has been so long since I have updated.  There is MUCH going on in our little household and it has been a bit overwhelming.  I am beginning a new job in a week and a half.  It is a promotion for me and I am so excited about it.  It will mean a longer commute but we are looking to move closer to there within the next year.  So for now I will just have to stick it out. 

On the adoption front much has happened as well.  We have met with a couple who tentatively want us to adopt their unborn child.  No final decisions have been made, but this means paperwork has to be pushed along since we are not even officially "waiting" yet.  I would love to say more but I want to protect their privacy.  I wish Blogger offered password protected posts!  Blah.

So anyway, please just say a prayer for them and for us.  We would actually be 100% OK if they decided to go in a different direction.  A part of me really hopes that they will parent.  *sigh* 


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Certified... or Certifiable?


 We are now being "officially" certified by the state to adopt.  For awhile we thought we may postpone this because we didn't know if we would be moving and there was just a lot going on.  Well, we may still move and there is still a lot going on, but it's full steam ahead anyway!   So although things are crazy hectic right now and a lot is up in the air we feel that the Lord still wants us to keep moving ahead with this second adoption so we are.  It is costing us $1,000 just for the certification process but it is worth it as it lasts for 18 months and will allow us to take a child into our home immediately regardless of where he or she comes from (attorney, agency, child services, the state, etc.).  The attorney was not comfortable considering us for anything because she feels we will be needed sooner rather than later and she does not want us to not have the certification process complete beforehand.  Already she has approached us about a case referred to her by a state agency!  Yikes.  It's all good though.

So yes, we may be certifiable but we'll also be fully certified!
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Matching Mondays!


I have decided to take the Matching Monday Challenge from the lovely Mrs. R over at the r house!  I will specifically be featuring waiting children from my area, the East Coast.  Each Monday I will list some kids who are waiting for their forever home with a link to a page where you can find out more information about them.  I hope that through this venture some child may find his or her forever family!

Without further adieu...

This is Andrew:



Precious newborn Andrew is looking for a family who will be committed to helping him overcome hurdles he will face in life. This sweet little boy of Asian decent is legally free for adoption and needs a very special family to call his own. Andrew loves being cuddled and held and a soft touch eases him into contentment. He is soothed by listening to gentle voices and watching the world go by.

 Georganna




Georganna is described by her worker as “creative and unique.” She likes expressive dance and participating in church activities. Georganna also enjoys listening to music, taking walks and singing. In 9th grade special education classes, her favorite classes are art and music.  Georganna is 14 years old.

Jamill



Jamill is quite a loveable youngster. His big eyes and broad smile seem to light up whenever there is any kind of movement or sound. He loves playing with matchbox cars and watching cartoons. Jamill is diagnosed with severe autism and has significant delays in language and motor skill development. Currently, Jamill resides in a residential program where his teachers consider him a pleasure to instruct.  Jamill is 11 years old.

Davion


If Davion had his way, he would spend all his time playing outdoors! He is a creative, expressive child who needs to be in a loving home environment with a family that provides a lot of structure and consistency. Besides enjoying the outdoors, Davion loves going to church with his foster family. He is a youngster who is shy at first around strangers, but once he warms up to them, he’s the life of the party! A family for Davion must have a lot of patience and understanding of his need to learn how to form secure attachments with adults.  Davion is 5 years old.


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kreativ Blog Award.



Thank you to Melba for the Kreativ Blog Award nomination...I am just flattered to nominated by a lady with such a freaking cute kid!!!

Here are the rules:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
  4. Name seven things about yourself that people may not know.
  5. Nominate seven Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.
So let's see...seven things people may not know about me:


1.  I have one cat (Trinity) and one dog (Finnegan).
2.  I moved five times in my first three years of marriage.  And yah, it sucked.
3.  My hair is naturally curly. No chemicals (well, if you don't count the hair dye...).
4.  I met my husband for the first time in NYC the day after 9/11.
5.  For my sweet sixteen I had a big party and everything was purple.  Yes, purple.
6.  I have a thing for X-Men movies.
7.  I think I am the only NYer (downstate anyway) who actually likes country music.

And now for my seven nominations:
1. Amber
2. Crystal
3. Leah
4. Kellie
5. Kelly
6. Brea
7. Holly

ENJOY!





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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise.

I took a break from all things adoption this weekend... or at least tried to.  I had both Friday and Monday off so it was fantabulous to spend all that extra time with my sweet boy.   On Saturday I took care of my BFF's three girls while she and her husband moved into their new house.  We visited Chuck E Cheese and had a great time.  These girls love KJ so much it is the cutest thing to watch.  KJ had never been to Chuck E's before and was enamored with the games but mostly with all the balloons floating around.  He was thrilled by this ride -->





Yes, my son has a bit of an obsession with "Bardee".  He just can't get enough of that silly purple dinosaur.  I guess it could be worse?  ... Well, maybe not. ;)
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Adoption Blahs.

Lately I have become increasingly frustrated with the adoption process.  Mainly because of the state in which we reside.  The laws are bogus and dumb and apparently no one cares.

So basically I am going to have to put our profile on one of the cheesy parent profile type sites. (Long story behind this but not much time to explain right now.  I will in another post though.)  I say "cheesy" because honestly if a woman is thinking about adoption for her child she should seek out a professional and let's be honest... at first most of us didn't know squat about adoption or adoption ethics and even now that I do I am freaked about a woman contacting me directly. (Run-on sentence much?) I would feel horrendously horrible if she didn't get proper counseling or was not really informed about her decision.  (Not that adoption professionals can't be super jerks too...)  But we are pretty much trapped at this point unless we sign with a NY agency or one that can place in NY (there are only 13 nationally outside of NY, btw.)

I'm just a girl tryin' to do right by a babe who might need us... is that too much to ask?  Sometimes adoption sucks.



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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blog makeover raffle!

Ever get tired of the same old look on your blog?  Well have I got a solution for you!



Cute Blogspot Designs


Sweet Hilary at Simply Yours Designs who did my blog design is donating two (that's right, TWO chances to win) of her premade layouts for me to auction!  (You get to pick which one you want.)

I am so excited. I love her designs and I am sure you will too.  And what could be better than getting a new beautiful blog design for $5?!

That's right, enter for just $5 and you could win one of the designs along with customization of the design and installation.  Value = $40 each.

Here's how it works:
1. Make a donation of $5 for each entry via my Chip-In link on the right.

2.  Leave a comment here that you have done so.

3.  Re-tweet or post a link to this post on your Twitter or blog for an additional entry.


4.  Leave a comment if you do either of those as well.

The deadline to enter will be this Friday, October 9th at midnight EST.

Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Fund Raiser.

So I began this post on Monday and am just getting around to putting it up now!  This week has been so busy thus far, but busy is always better than bored.  Right?

We have some shirts we are selling in support of our adoption.  They are really cool shirts designed by a friend of mine.  More than 60% of the sale price will go directly to our adoption fund!

The site for purchase is: www.adoptionrocks.us.  You can use Goo.gle Checkout or Pa.yPal to pay!


Feel free to pass this on and share with friends!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

God's Goodness.

I just had to stop today and write a bit about God's goodness to us thus far in this second adoption process.

I went to bed last night wracking my brain for how we were going to raise the money for this adoption.  We do not want nor desire to go any further into debt for this, but at the same time know that we are doing what God wants us to do at this time in our lives.  I am not one of immeasurable faith.  I would say I am about average. Maybe a bit more of a worrier than some, but not more than most women that I know. (We do tend to worry a lot as women.)  I know that God takes care of us and that He would provide in this as well.

I have worked hard on scouring the internet for ideas and resources ( a lot of which ended up being "loans" for adoption, not what we want ) and did find some really good ideas.  Some, however, have been used so much by others that I didn't want to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. But we are going to do a yard sale (can't ever have too many yard sales!) and I plan to apply for a couple of grants.  We didn't get any last time but you never know.  Also I put the call out on Facebook for help and ideas and was touched by the responses I got.

And sure enough, God came through in yet another way.  This morning when I came to work I had an email from a colleague who will donate some print services for T-Shirts that we'll be selling.  Another friend donated his time and created a really cool logo for us that will be printed on the shirts.  It was really an answer to prayer. So keep an eye out.  The shirts will be on sale from this site shortly!

And... because God never stops at just one good thing, I wrote to our attorney today about retaining her services.  Even if we do take placement from "special needs" program or from out-of-state she will be needed to guide us through and do our finalization.  And we still want to work with her as a "back up".  Of course the cost of retaining her concerned me.  Lawyers aren't cheap!  Lo and behold she isn't charging us a retaining fee, just the fee for court certification.

Hello?!  Are you listening?  Look at what God can do.  Don't underestimate His ability to work through YOUR circumstances.  Things will still be tight for us.  We'll still need to work hard to save and raise money.  But today I am not discouraged but encouraged.  And... one more thing... I got my first donation on our little Chip In/PayPal button!  God is good!  Yay!

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
       I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
       Renew them in our day,
       in our time make them known;
       in wrath remember mercy.  

Habakkuk 3:2







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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obsessed.

I have recently become very obsessed with this site.  It is a "special needs" program here in NYC that we are registering with once we receive the final copy of our updated home study.  I feel very led to the kids through this program because they are so "difficult to place".  (Lots of quotes here.  I don't like labels.)

I truly hope that we can be a family to a child through this program.  There are many unknowns with most of these cases but I know that the Lord will guide us to where he would want us to go.  A life lived in safety and monotony is no life at all.  (My husband is reading this and wanting to tell me to shut up right about now.)  So anyway.  I hope that you will visit the site, maybe even share it with friends.  Spread the word.  There are more than just the children on here who need a special place to call home.

PS I finished our profile today.  Movin' right along!



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Monday, September 14, 2009

Cost of Adoption - Guest Blogger Kelly

Last week my blog buddy, Kelly, wrote a great post on the cost of adoption and people being nosy jerks.I asked her if I could "Guest" blog her here so others could see it.  I think it says a lot about just how bold people can be!

You see, if you can get pregnant no one bats an eye at how you will pay your medical expenses or the cost of having another child.  BUT if you are adopting all of the sudden your financial situation is the world's business somehow.  We have not personally dealt with infertility but I can't imagine how painful this must be for someone who has.  It's just thoughtless and no ones business!  Even in our case people wonder why we don't "just get knocked up" - after all insurance would pay for that and life would be hunky dory, right?  Well, that is not what God has led us to.  And it's really no ones business to say otherwise.  OK, enough of my rant.  Without further adieu... Kelly... (hope you don't mind, Kell.  I stole your picture too!)


Feeling a bit irked
It's seems like no matter what you do, adoption is cloaked in financial issues.

I've been told that perhaps we shouldn't adopt if can't afford it. I know I'm not the only one to be told this. It's a pretty common response, I guess.

When we brought Nathan home, and when we were in the process to adopt, people asked about the money quite a bit. I don't mind being asked, since I don't have anything to hide. But then something clicked in me this week.

I listen to Dave Ramsey a couple of times a week. Not all the time, and usually only if I'm in the car in the afternoon. I love his common sense aproach to money, and his advice has helped us get out of debt.

The reason I mention him, is I heard a call a couple of months ago about adoption. The lady was in a similar financial situation as us, and was looking at a loan to adopt. He told her that he never supports debt. Then this week he told a caller to put off getting out of debt to have a baby. His reason was there is never a "perfect" time to start a family. I agree with him, really. But this is what got me thinking.

When you get pregnant, you have insurance to cover most if not all of the costs. Pregnancy/Labor & Deliver cost a pretty penny. A friend of mine told me that her portion of it all was right up there with our adoption loan.

So why then do people feel the need to look down on adopting parents? Should I go around asking people if they can afford their hospital bills? Should I tell them not to get pregnant because they might need an emergency C-Section & haven't budgeted for that? No, I would never dream of telling people that.

I guess I am tired of feeling like a second class citizen in this parenting world.



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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Home Study Update.

We had our home study update today and are feeling really good about it. The social worker we hired came to our house and spent about an hour here. It was really laid back and not stressful at all. I am just glad it is over. We've been back and forth so much on how we going to do things this time I am just glad that a real start has been made!

We still have a lot of saving and fund raising to do. But we know that we will be led in the right direction and that we have a great support system of family and friends.

I still have to finish our profile book since the one we used last time obviously needs a lot of updating since KJ is here now. I am not nearly as nutty about rushing to get everything done like I was the first time! It is a nice feeling to just be a lot more laid back about it this time. I know that when our child is ready to be brought to us that God will make that happen. All my rushing and crazy behavior won't change that.

We will be registering with this program through Sp.enc.e-Ch.apin Adoption Services. Since we are already open to so many of the things on their list, we knew it was a good match for us. We are still going to be working with our attorney as a "back up" couple as well.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! More updates to come as they happen.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Back in the swing of things.

After a lovely week off it will soon be time to get back to reality.  Not my favorite thing, but necessary I guess.  We had a great time with our family camping last week.  I will post some more pics once I get some from our family.  Mine all seemed to turn out badly.  Here is a fun one though of us on a huge Adirondack chair.  You never know what you'll find in central Pennsylvania!



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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chilling.

KJ and the hammock. He loves it, but rolls off all the time! Oops. Camping is fun!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vacation!

This week we are going camping in Pennsylvania with family. It is definitely going to be an interesting experience with a toddler. We are NOT tent camping. There is no way I could think of doing that with KJ. He would just run around the tent all night!

Once we are back the social worker is coming to do our home study update. I'm excited but nervous too. I honestly have no idea where we're going to come up with the funds for this, but I know we refuse to go into debt over it too. Just going on faith and trusting God to take care of the rest. I have a couple of fund raisers planned already and am putting aside any amount we can no matter how small.

I'll try to send updates from our vacation this week. I'm just excited to get away for a while and especially excited to see my mommy!!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Decisions, Decisions.

Sorry friends for the delay in posting. It has been one tizzy of a week!  I have been seriously indecisive about what route to take with this adoption.  I loved the attorney but just wanted to make sure we explored all of our options.  So I spent many days calling around, doing more internet research and ended up right back where we started!  But that's OK.  At least now I am sure. :)



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Friday, August 21, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable #5

How has open adoption changed you? How are you different because of the presence of open adoption in your life?


The most obvious answer is that I have my son. But he is also someone else's son and that has changed me in many ways. I look at him often and see how he looks like S. And then I wonder how she is doing. Then I worry about KJ and how he hasn't known her yet...

I think about how we are all so connected in this life. Sounds like something out of a New Age handbook but it is true. He is mine but he is also hers. I remember her saying to me at placement that he was my firstborn son and also hers. And me telling her he would always be her firstborn.

We are connected to her for life and that will not change whether or not we ever see or hear from her again. The same is true for KJs first dad too. It is a strange and wonderful phenomenon to be so enmeshed in the life of another. Someone you don't even know but God has put you together for a reason. Even if you don't know what it is...

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Adoption Fund.

I have added an Adoption Fund widget to my side bar. To start I've only put the money we will need to get our homestudy updated and go through the NY state certification process. If anyone wants to chip in, that's great! But we certainly don't expect it. I am keeping track here (via the widget) of the money we have saved or earned toward this adoption. I hope this will encourage others who are looking to adopt, but think it is too costly, to see what it does actually cost. We want to be transparent in this process.

So here is the initial breakdown thus far:

1: $350 to update our prior home study.
2: $1,000 to have our attorney certify us as adoptive parents through the courts.

I have been selling items on eBay (I have 2 listed right now) and have put aside a very small amount to start. I opened a savings account online that is separate from our bank. Better interest rate and harder to access unless we REALLY need the money!

I hope this info is helpful. Have a blessed day all!



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Choices in Adoption.


This post should be subtitled - Things I Don't Like in Adoption: Part 2. I have talked many times about the dreaded "Matching Forms" and how you basically have to go down a list and check boxes of things you will and will not accept in your future child. I am sure it is difficult and heart wrenching for EVERY family to do this. I know it was for us. But I honestly did not think at the time about how my actions at that specific time were basically denying a child somewhere a home. Because when you say "yes" to some, you are saying "no" to others. Tough stuff, right?

So I know that this time around it will be possibly even harder as we will be presented with situations, actual children, that we will have to say yes or no to. I don't know how I'm going to be able to stand doing that.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Road to #2: the meeting.

Today was the "big day".  We went and met with the adoption attorney this afternoon after I got off of work.  We met for about an hour and a half and received lots of good info.  She gave us this big binder with all kinds of information and paperwork (of course).  Unfortunately there is not much exciting to report here.  It was just a pretty matter-of-fact event. 

We cannot begin to be considered for situations or anything until our homestudy gets updated and in NY (of course, stupid extra laws) we have to be "certified" by our county to be adoptive parents since it would be considered a private adoption.  Price tag for that extra little piece of paperwork? -- $1,000.  So I guess I need to get my butt in gear and begin listing more stuff on eBay.

We also spoke about situations that I (I don't say Kevin because he doesn't scour the internet like I do) hear about online or through email.  She will be able to find out "the real deal" with these and act as our advocate. Which I think is FABULOUS.  I don't know the right questions to ask nor do I know the laws in every state.  So friends out there, who I know are reading this, please keep us in mind if you hear of a difficult-to-place situation at your agency or one you hear of privately.  We want to help! 


So tomorrow I begin calling around to get our homestudy updated.  She did recommend someone who could do it for us and is very thorough.  I hope she doesn't charge too much... We shall see!

Sorry for the non-stimulating post.  But I promised to keep you all in the loop and I am! :)


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Road to #2: the back-ups.

For many months (since March, actually) I have been researching how to go about our next adoption. There were many things to consider: agency, no agency, attorney, facilitator, self-advertisement... blah, blah, blah. I have different feelings on each one but this post is not about that. One of the main things that affects us is that we live in New York state. For all my love of NY our adoption laws are *crazy* (and unnecessarily, IMO) strict. They are the most stringent in the country. We cannot work with facilitators and we cannot work with an agency that is not registered and approved to place in NY state. This kind of limits ones choices, which for us bites. I feel like I have a good handle on ethics and discernment and could do a decent job of picking who I want to work with on my own. But the state obviously does not agree with me on this and I know the laws are meant to protect us, expectant parents and their children.

Additionally, I often hear about difficult-to-place situations that we would be open to but cannot pursue because we live in NY. It's just awful because we know that this is where we are called to "stand in the gap". So this left me questioning God and questioning what our next moves should be...

But today I may have just found an answer.

In asking a friend for an attorney referral we came across one who is local to us and specializes in adoption, actually it is all she does. Now I know adoption attorneys give some folks the heeby jeebies - and admittedly I was one of them. But in speaking with her I got a real peace about how we may be able to work with her and be a blessing to the moms and other families she works with.

Let me explain - quite often those who employ the services of an adoption attorney are looking to do a private adoption. They will place ads in papers (a la "Juno"), promote themselves on a web page, have a listing online, etc. etc. But the sad truth is that they are looking for something in particular and not every mom who contacts them is going to be what they are comfortable with. Perhaps there is some drug exposure, alcohol use, history of mental illness, or the child will be of an ethnicity that they are not comfortable with. Maybe she wants more openness and they want less. The bottom line is - where does this leave these women and their families? Women who are reaching out to someone to perhaps adopt their child and are then told "no, sorry. you're not what we're looking for." I know that sounds harsh but in a way it is true.

This is where we would come in. I guess you would call us a "back-up". But I like to think of us as gap standers. We want to be where others will not go. We want to be a light to these families. We want them to know that they are loved and so are their children.

So my "big dumb heart" has again taken me to an unlikely place. But as long as I feel the Lord leading me I will continue to follow. We meet with the adoption attorney on Thursday. She has even offered to reduce her fees for us... already, without ever even meeting us. And surprisingly the cost is not as much as I thought it would be to begin with. There may be other expenses, but we will deal with that as they come. I want to make sure any mom/dad considering adoption get proper counseling, someone of their choosing. So if this is something we would need to pay for I am OK with that.

Now comes the time to pray. And, of course, wait. Again.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Visit with Cousin Mimi.

We've been having so much fun since Mimi got here. We went to the County Fair and have been chilling in our pool. Tomorrow to the Bronx Zoo!






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