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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Monday, August 3, 2009

Life Choices, Life Lessons.

I recently posted on my Fa.ceboo.k page that "being a wife and mom ain't as easy as it looks." And that is very true. But I feel I must clarify. I LOVE being married to Kevin. I don't say it much because I just think it's mushy love nonsense and he knows and that's what counts. We just aren't those kind of people. You won't catch us mushing all over one another or doing some spectacular romantic thing for each other. We're just not like that. The thing I love most about "us" is that we are real. The both of us. No crap here. No sugar-coating. What you see is what you get. Love us or leave us. Want the truth? The real truth? Ask us. You will get it.

So the real truth? I am glad I waited to be married. And I am glad I waited to be a mom. I did not get married until 30 and we decided to bring a child into our family when I was 33. When KJ came to us I was 34. So the advice I give to every young couple I am close to... wait, wait, wait honey. Life is short but better to be sure than to mess it up! There was so much that we learned about each other during the years we waited to begin a family. I truly CANNOT imagine putting a child into the mix of what is the early years of a marriage. We are not perfect, nor have we gotten it all right. But we had that time to dedicate to one another and I am so glad we did. The Lord really showed us during that time how we fit together as a couple and even what we wanted for a future family. (Although now I am a bit more interested in a larger number of children than Kevin is... I'll win him over yet!) ;-)

I used to think 34 was old... ha ha ha! But I'm just getting started! Can't wait to see what the next 34 bring because now I'm ready. And all this was certainly worth waiting for...
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