Monday, April 27, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET KJ!

Can you believe my boy is ONE? I sure can't!  Holy moly that went quick!

It was a year ago Friday that we first learned of our precious boys birth.  Just one day after he had already been born. It was a tumultuous and torturous seven days waiting to find out if we would be his parents or if he would stay with his first mama.  I'll never forget those feelings.  Not knowing how to feel.  Rejoicing at the possibility for us but mourning for the loss I knew his first mama would suffer if she placed.  I heard from our social worker daily about the anguish S was going through and eventually told her to stop updating me.  I needed time to soak it all in and process and severing ties to S at that time felt like I was giving her that space too (even though she did not know the social worker was calling me).  It was a crazy-amazing-sad-hopeful-nutty time, but oh-so worth it for this little guy.




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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KJ's newest toy.

For Christmas KJ's PapPap and Grandma Pat got him this cool sand and water play table. Well finally this weekend it was warm enough to set it up! He loved it! Problem was... we didn't have any sand. KJ didn't seem to notice and was perfectly content to play in the water.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Moving right along...

We have had a bit of a tumultuous time with our finalization.  Not because of anything involving birth parent challenges, or the like, but because we are from out-of-state (NY) and are finalizing in NC.  We are sort of the guinea pig case since they only began to accept out-of-state finalizations right around the time we were placed.    Then the judge wanted additional this and checked on that and  birthdad checked a box inadvertently and can you get that fixed, and on and on.

Well, praise be to God I just got word from our social worker in Raleigh that all our paperwork is in order now and we are in line to be finalized!  She said there are about fifteen in front of us so we should be done by the middle of next month.  Just the fact that finally everything is in order is worth celebrating!  We were hoping to be done by KJ's birthday which is this Thursday, but I guess we can wait a couple more weeks.

For you have given him his heart’s desire;
      you have withheld nothing he requested.
Psalm 21:2

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

A little bit o' this and a little bit o' that.

Poor Mr. KJ has been sick all week. It started Monday with a lot of boogers and has continued into a fever and even more boogers. Nothing is more repulsive to me than mucus. I can handle poop, I can handle vomit, but boogers? Ugh. They actually make me gag! Strange, I know. But I'll change a dirty diaper anyday over using that snot-sucking bulb device. Just the thought of the sound it makes is making me a little whoozie right now...

I am getting a blog makeover! Once you are looking at this it will probably be in the new format. I love what Hilary over at Simply Yours Designs has done. It is SO me and SO KJ! So big props to her and please visit her site if you are thinking of getting a blog makeover. She was so quick about it and really courteous. She showed me different options every step of the way. I just can't say enough good things about her!

Lastly, I am still researching on the second adoption. Kevin and I had a big talk (yes, dreaded marital big talk) about our finances and our home. We are still trying to get some sort of help with our mortgage since Kev was laid off last summer. We also will need to move once we add to our family again. We only have a two bedroom right now and it is cramped even with just the three of us. Kev also has his business going out of our home now, so needless to say things are tight. Really tight. A part of me is so sad because I LOVE our little house. But I know that if we want to realize our dream of having a space for more children and possibly foster children we need to move. So anyway, we are blessed and lucky in that our home has pretty much retained it's value from when we bought it three years ago. We live in the NYC metro area so we have been less "shell-shocked" than the rest of the country. We also live in a very, very nice town that does not have a lot of turnover in the real estate market. We are hoping and praying that this will enable us to sell our home for what we need.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A meeting.

We had a meeting yesterday at a new adoption agency that we are considering using for our second (and perhaps subsequent adoptions). They are located in Harlem and have a good reputation from what I knew so I wanted us to check it out for ourselves.

We went to an information session on their Domestic "Healthy Infant" Adoption Program specifically for African-American infants. It was actually kind of funny because once we walked into the meeting we found out that although the meeting was for AA/Latino/a infants it was also meant to be for AA/Latino/a potential adoptive parents! Oopsie. Well, no harm no foul. I spoke with the social workers who were there and they reassured us it was OK that we were there although we were um... white. LOL

They were specifically seeking out minority a-parents because their pool of waiting families right now is "unbalanced" and they want to give expectant mothers a variety of types of families to choose from. I liked this. They were not just taking in any prospective a-parents who walked through the door and could pay. They were thinking about the moms. Whoa. So if we do choose to go through this program we would wait a few months before submitting our application because they are asking CA couples/singles to wait until the summer to submit. This is also fine since we did not plan to actually begin the process again until the fall when KJ is about 18 months old.

Other things they said that I liked: (paraphrased, of course!)

"If you are looking for a specific type of child and have a lot of requirements, then this is probably not the agency for you."

"We are not in the business of finding babies for families, but finding homes for babies that need them after their birth parents have explored all of their other options and still want to make an adoption plan."

"We counsel expectant mothers (fathers too, if involved) on all of their available options, not just adoption. We help them find available resources in their area so that they can parent if they choose to."

They actually call their counseling for e-moms "Options Counseling." Another WHOA.

These were all wonderful things to hear and made me feel like maybe this is the agency we want to go with. We, of course, did not make any decisions then and there but will pray and talk more about it. The fees are much more reasonable than our previous agency. I just have to mention that. I feel that it would be bad stewardship to not consider this in our decision. So this will have to factor in as well.

Last but not least - this agency also has a special needs program. Gulp and sigh. My heart is there but are we ready? I don't know. I asked about the program afterwards and am doing more research on-line. My heart is much more open and ready for this than Kevin's. He feels that he does not have the patience he might need to deal with a child with special needs. Now, that said, he is not completely closed off to the idea either. I told him yesterday that I pray daily for his heart to open a bit more. He said "it's not my heart that needs prayer, it's my patience." So will you pray with us about this? I really want to explore this as one of our options.

Here is a list of situations they ask you to consider if you are going to enter into the ASAP (Special Needs) program:

  • Severe medical problems, such as: medically fragile, more severe cerebral palsy, shortened life span and multiple handicaps.

  • Extreme prematurity (26 weeks and under). Birth weight under 2 lbs. 8 oz.(Significantly increased risk for physical and neurological issues.)

  • Likely moderate cognitive disabilities- not Down syndrome

  • Down syndrome

  • Down syndrome with cardiac or other significant medical involvement

  • Brain anomolies- outcome uncertain

  • Anticipated severe to profound cognitive disabilities

  • Potential for serious and lifelong alcohol-related disabilities due to significant prenatal exposure to alcohol

  • Significant heavy use of drugs by birth mother- Child at risk for behavior, attention, learning and other challenges. (In these circumstances, alcohol use cannot be ruled out.)

  • Infant currently exhibiting atypical neurological development (e.g. hypertonicity, tremors, fisting) etiology is unknown. May significantly increase risk for neurological and behavorial issues as the child matures.

  • Child at risk for mental illness- one birth parent with psychiatric disorder

  • Child at risk for mental illness- both birth parents with psychiatric disorder





Now we would not have to be open to all of these situations, but would need to open to at least some of them. I will be praying specifically over each of these and asking the Lord to guide us in this decision. If it is not for us right now I have to be OK with it because I want to be ready, but we have to be honest, and we just might not be ready.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Not for everyone.

Let me be honest and say that it is very hard for me to accept that transracial adoption is just not for everyone. Because in my heart it should be. My gut and my spirit tell me that a child's race should not matter when adopting. In my ideal world (as you all know) "matching forms" would not exist. Adoptive parents would not get to "choose" the child for their family. The adoption industry - as it exists today - would not be. It just would not. Yes, all in Andi's idealistic utopia these things would not matter, nor would they exist.

  • Society would not dictate, nor cause a family to believe, that because of the color of a child's skin that you could not be good parents to him or her because your skin is different.
  • They would not tell you that you could not do right by that child because you don't have enough friends similar to them in ethnicity.
  • They would not tell you (or you would not tell yourself) that you are not "cultured" enough to raise a black child.
  • You would not think that your family would reject your child.
  • You would not fear the glances or looks you would get from others.
  • You would not think that you had to be:
(a) into hip-hop music
(b) residing in a large city
(c) surrounded by racially sensitive people
(d) an expert in ethnic hair care
(e) versed in African American history or
(f) OK if your black son does not like basketball.
It just wouldn't matter. Because in the end all you really need to give a child a home is love. Idealistic or improbable? Yes. Far-fetched nor impossible? Nope. So again, call me crazy. But I kinda like my crazy world. So no offense taken.

And before everyone thinks I am bad-mouthing people who were not as open as us. I am not. I am expressing my distaste for society. Our standards are jacked-up. Our hearts are confused. Our language is disdainful. Our views are foggy.

I am a student of sociology and know that none of us exists separate from how and what the societal norms and beliefs are. So overall I am bad-mouthing ALL of us. I just can't wait to get to heaven. Ugh.