Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adoption Downer.

I'm pretty sure that many would classify me as an adoption downer.  I mean, come on now, I often talk about how hard adoption is, how badly I feel for my children's birth families, how I wish there were no need for adoption, how adoption really should be a last resort, etc. etc.  

And the truth is?  All of those things I say ARE true.  But none of them negate the joy I feel for my children or the love I have for their first mothers.  Or how much I love that adoption brought them into my life.  How strongly I feel connected to them even tho we share no blood connection.  How I don't care that our skin does not match.  How I adore each moment with them even when it's 3:30am and ND is screaming.  Or bedtime and KJ is telling me "No! Oh crap, mama!" for the twentieth time that evening.  None of the 'hard' things about adoption matter when I see them.  But it does make me appreciate them oh-so-much more.  I truly do not think any mother could appreciate or love her child more.  

For me the way in which they came to me just makes me love them that much more - not less!  The hard parts make it better - not worse!  The fact that they have another woman's eyes, hair or cheek bones doesn't make me sad - it makes me happy.  It makes me realize what a gift I have and how I am loving them for both of us through our day-to-day lives.

So yah, sometimes I am a downer.  But it is for all the right reasons.  I never want to take these perfect and priceless gifts for granted. Never.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TWO Thanksgivings!

This weekend we head to my in-laws in Philadelphia for the weekend, then on Tuesday night we head to my mom's in Providence.  We get two Thanksgivings!

When KJ was little I had this ridiculous turkey get-up that my dad had got him.  I wish I still had it so ND could endure the same torture as her brother. ;)  Maybe I should find something similar. I'm pretty sure I gave it to my friend whose son is now around ND's age.



Tomorrow I am taking the day off to go to Philly early and shop with my sis-in-law.  She hates to shop but hates her job more so she took the day off too.  A good compromise if you ask me.  I have yet to buy even ONE Christmas gift.  Oh wait.  That's a lie.  I bought Toy Story 3 for my kids, but that is it.  Blah.  I really don't like Christmas shopping.  I'm not very organized about it and I always feel like I'm forgetting something.  I'm using a lot of coupons and Grou*pons this year to save money too.  

Do you have big plans for the holiday?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

Today was Orphan Sunday.  Again days like these stir up so many emotions within me - so much to do, but *how* to do it?

I'm still getting some really good feedback on the post I wrote here about how the church responds to the "orphan crisis". No one denies that there is indeed a crisis.  But how we go about responding is of just as much importance as acknowledging the problem is there.  So many things create an orphan crisis - what are we doing about them to prevent the crisis from growing?

AIDS

Famine

Lack of income

Lack of capital

DEBT

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just an FYI: Webcast on Adoption Tax Credit.

You are Invited to a Webcast:

Helping American Families:
The Adoption Tax Credit and the Affordable Care Act

Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time: 12:30 PM Eastern, 11:30 AM Central, 10:30 AM Mountain, 9:30 AM Pacific

Watch live at: www.hhs.gov/live

You are invited to join senior administration officials and leading advocates for a webcast to discuss the importance of the Adoption Tax Credit, and the key improvements made to the Credit under the Affordable Care Act.

This event will feature two families who are benefitting from the Adoption Tax Credit and who will share their stories about what adoption has meant for their family.

They will be joined by leading advocates on the Credit: Bill Blacquiere, Bethany Christian Services; Barbara Collura, RESOLVE; and Chuck Johnson, National Council for Adoption.

White House and HHS officials will also join this roundtable.

Please forward this invitation widely.

You do not need to RSVP for this webcast.

If you have questions, email public@who.eop.gov


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The internet, our kids, and TMI

This post could also be titled, "Why I Don't Smatter My Kid's Pictures on the Internet (anymore) :-/".

There is a very fine line for sure when we share about our kids in a public setting.  When KJ first came home I was overly excited to post his picture and splattered him all over my blog.  Over the past couple of years I have taken a stricter stance in sharing my kids' images.  I've become very wary of what is shared on my public blog because, let's be honest, there are some seriously creepy people out there.  Not only that, but divulging too much information (TMI) can be dangerous.  

There are blogs I follow where I know the family's last name, their children's (and their) first names, the town they live in (or general vicinity), etc., etc.  Hello?!  Do people not realize this information is something you really don't want to share with the general public.  Especially the creepy creepers who hang out online?  Child trafficking is a real thing, folks.  Don't post a map leading them directly to your children!

Faceb-ok is a bit different (to me, anyway).  You know who exactly is looking (if you set your privacy controls right).  Friends there who don't know me IRL know my last name there (obviously) but I also know theirs.  On my blog someone can look and I'd never know.  I used to use my full name on Twi*ter but recently changed that too.

Let me let you in on another little secret.  If you post an email address for use in contacting you from your Bl*gger profile, when someone hovers over it, they can see your email address without ever contacting you.  If your last name is in your email address, well, now we all know it.

Maybe I am being overly cautious or whacky.  But whatever.  In this case it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More harm than good? Adoption and the church.

More and more recently I have seen various churches pop up around the web with the message of "embrace adoption" - "we are called to adoption" - "the spirit of adoption", etc. etc.  Yes, let's all adopt!  The Bible talks about it.  We should do it.  It is a way to provide an alternative to abortion.  Sounds good right?

But are we missing something?  

I see adoption as an option, yes, but not the option.  

Let's delve into the real issues of why a woman would even choose adoption.  No one wants or desires to have a baby and then be separated from them.   A large part of the equation often comes down to economics and beliefs about what makes a 'good' parent - can I afford this baby? can I give them what they 'need'? can I meet the standards set by society of what I should be?

Should we not as the body of believers be addressing these issues first and foremost before we jump to separating families?  We are not the judge or "decider" (thanks, GWB) of what makes a good parent.  Babies need love, not toys, name-brand clothes and a top-notch preschool.  Let's work together to encourage these women to parent.  Let's give them the tools. Let's equip them.  Let's show them who they are in Christ.  Let's encourage them to be that woman.  Support, support, support.  I can't say it enough.  And no I don't mean government subsidies and hand outs. I mean real come-alongside-you support; and dare I say - love them?

From Galatians 3:
28 In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

From Philippians 2:

1Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God's Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others. 2Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person. 3Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. 4Care about them as much as you care about yourselves.

Love  - Care - Others above yourself - easier said than done.  But attainable nonetheless. 

Adoption is painful.  It hurts someone.  More than one someone usually.  You wouldn't want to hurt yourself.  So why would we want this pain to come to another?  

I have adopted.  I know it sounds ridiculous and outlandish for me to say these things.  But this is my heart.  My heart hurts for my kids.  It hurts for their natural moms.  It hurts for their other families.  I know why they were placed in my family.  And these reasons should not exist!  It is sad.  It is painful. It is also lovely and happy.  It formed my family.  I have joy in my children.  But the reasons I have them are also ugly.  I have no easy answer. I wish... I wish... and then I love.  I do what I can - I love the socks off my kids because that's what their other moms would want.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby seeks a family.



Got this today from The Shepherd's Crook Ministries. Maybe it's meant for you?

Late next month, a fifteen-year-old birth mother in Florida is set to give birth to a baby boy who has been diagnosed in utero with a mild case of spina bifida. There have been several sonograms done to examine the baby, and the hole in the spinal column looks to be very small and at the very lowest point possible. So far, no fluid has been collecting on his brain, and a second MRI is scheduled to take place soon to make certain of that.

The birth mother is going to be selecting the adoptive family, and she is quite concerned that the family that adopts this boy be a “strong, actively involved” Christian family. Interested families have been asked to submit a family profile, which is to include pictures, a letter to the birth mother, and some basic information about the family. As far as fees are concerned, we have been told by the agency that “there is a $150 application fee, a $2500 Social Service fee up front & our Placement Fee (at time of placement) is a ‘sliding scale’ based on income: 13% not to exceed $12,500.” The agency is also planning to apply for SSI approval for the adoptive family. Family profiles may be submitted, and further information may be requested by writing to florida-baby-boy-info@theshepherdscrook.org.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes the WWW is good.

We often get "down" on the internet and how it has made things less personal, how it can take time away from "real" people in your life, how there is too much easy access to crap that rots your brain (well, can't argue with that one), etc. etc.

But today something really good happened. It actually transpired over the last few days. The internet drew people together, not apart. We all wanted to do something good for someone. Someone hardly any of us even really "knows" IRL (-In Real Life- See? Internet speak. Fun, huh?). But someone we all had followed on a long, winding, annoying, frustrating, journey to be a mom finally became one. Someone who showed patience and grace in her wait. She showed us all a bit about how much you can long for a child but not demand one. How you can wait, and wait, and wait and still endure without giving up.

So across the internet and across many miles a bunch of us who only know one another through @ signs on Twi.tt.er had a baby shower for Lisa. So thanks, Lisa, for drawing us together (and thanks to Jayden too!). We learned a lot from you and we hope you enjoy your gifts!



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Picture update on private blog.

I finally updated my private blog with some pictures of the kids from the summer. If you don't have an invite and would like one you can email me here.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The dreaded baby registry.



Sweet Lisa over at Waiting Lisa did a post yesterday about going to create her registry as an adoptive mom. I am not sure why it is so hard for a store to have an adoption option on the registries. Hello?! Those of us adoption usually have no idea of a "due date". And even if we do, how heartbreaking if your match falls through and the due date changes? Then you have to explain why it changed. Why not put "we are adopting!" and that's it?? Doesn't seem like it would be so hard to me... Maybe I need to write some letters. Wanna join me?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adoption Documentaries on PBS.

There are some really great adoption documentaries airing on PBS this month. Click below to find out more! I know that I plan to watch them all. I'll be commenting on each after I've viewed them. I am recording the first one tonight! (I missed it's air date yesterday.) :-/

POV Adoption Stories

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Set straight.

I've been having many woe-is-me moments over the past week.  Our family is in the midst of a pretty substantial financial crisis at the moment.  We are at the point of more month than money and it just never seems to improve.  Mind you we are not spending money on what most would consider extravagances.  We don't take costly vacations, we don't eat-out every night, we don't own fancy cars or buy our kids fancy clothes.  We have tried hard over the past few years to maintain a comfortable but sensible lifestyle...and then the economy went to pot and so did our plans.

My husband was laid-off, we couldn't afford our house anymore, the unemployment ran out, I got a new job but it involved a longer commute, one of our cars died.  I could go on and on.

But you know what?  We are still better off than most of the world.  We don't starve.  We have a nice apartment.  We have safe cars that don't (rarely) breakdown.  We have family who love us and help us.  We have people to turn to. Many throughout the world do not.  So count your blessings today and not your hardships.


How rich are you?


I'm loaded.
It's official.
I'm the 49,322,169 richest person on earth!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Please go read this!

A Nickel's Worth of Common Sense: Open Adoption: Feelings and Actions

Jen over at "A Nickel's Worth of Common Sense" has written a wonderful post today about her experience with open adoption. It is raw, honest and a great read.

At times we don't want to think about the harder parts of maintaining an open relationship, but it is imperative that we recognize our own feelings about it and then move on. Jen does so with grace and her children's best interests at heart. Happy reading!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Out of town daddy = tired mommy.

Daddy's been out of town for just over 24 hours and we miss him! Let me tell you, single parenting? Not for the faint of heart and definitely not for me. I pray I never have to experience it on a permanent basis. That's for sure.

ND has developed some weird nighttime issues.  Sometimes she will sleep for a good five hours, then eat, then go right back to sleep (that was night before last).  Other nights she will be up every 2-3 hours demanding to eat (that was last night).  Blerg!  Anyone have any advice??  I mean, I don't feed her immediately when she wakes.  Last night I kept putting her back to sleep for over an hour.  After her waking me up that whole time and screaming at me for food I just fed her even though I *know* she can go longer than that. 

Not for the faint of heart I tell you. Not for the faint of heart.

Your really tired adoptive mama bloggy friend,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adoption and your child's privacy.

As I cruise around the world wide web a large part of my time is spent perusing adoption blogs and articles. It is a great way to get educated and connected. You can read about other's adoption stories and even become "friends" with folks you might not otherwise meet. But when it comes to adoptions and our children, how much is too much to share?

As an adoptive parent (or just a parent, period) I know how hard it is to not want to brag about your kids constantly. Who doesn't? First smile, first giggle, even first poop - we want to share it all. Just how much should we be sharing though? Sit back and think for a minute think about what things you might not want anyone to know about you when you were a child. Do you really want all of your friends and their friends to know when you first used the potty? Or when you first wet you pants? These are silly pretty innocuous things, but with adoption there is even more that can be inadvertently harmful to share regarding our children and their story.

When you adopt a child, no matter their age, their story began way before you ever became involved. Even if you adopt a newborn there are areas of their life that took place before you ever met them. Their mother has a story, their father has a story, their siblings have a story. All of these pieces make up the intricate puzzle that is your child's life story. For instance, the circumstances surrounding your child's conception are really not details you may want to share with the community at large. Do you think your own parents discuss openly how you were conceived? Or the circumstances surrounding it (were they married or unmarried, were they dating, was it a one-night-stand)? These are all things you wouldn't dream of letting or wanting your parents to talk about but they are things that I see openly discussed or alluded to when it comes to adoption.

Another example that comes readily to mind is drug or alcohol use. It is often viewed as okay to ask an adoptive parent if his or her child's first mother used any harmful substances while pregnant. Would you ever think of volunteering that information if you were the one who were pregnant? Of course you wouldn't. So please do not assume that it is okay to share that information about your child's first mother. Aside from this being a violation of her privacy, it also can set your child up for assumptions to be made about him or her. If he or she has a behavior problem? Well, it must be because his mother drank while pregnant. If she has a hard time adjusting to school? That must be because her mom smoked marijuana during the first trimester. As parents we don't want anyone to think our children are not capable of something for any reason. Let's not give others a reason to think less of our kids.

Lastly, remember that your child's story is just that - their story. You do not own your child nor do we own their personal details. We want to love, nurture and cherish them and a big part of that begins with allowing them the privacy to which they are entitled. We want them to hear the details of how they came to our family from us, not from others. Be careful what you share even with family members. Think about how you want your children to learn about the circumstances surrounding their adoption, do you want someone else to tell them or would you want it to come directly from you? As our child's parents we want them to feel safe and secure. It is our job to protect them from things that may harm them physically or emotionally. Details about their first family and adoption are best coming from you. Your child trusts you and loves you. Sharing this vital information with them directly inside of your special relationship is one way to protect them from misinformation that others may provide.

Adoption is a private matter. Even if we want to educate others let's not do so at the expense of our children's privacy. Keeping information within the confines of your family is the best way to ensure that your child, and his or her birth family, are protected.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Adoption is not a right.

I'm sure that title will rub some the wrong way, but truthfully I've never been very worried about that.  Recently on Debbie B's blog she posted an article from Jurist about a court ruling in Italy that made it illegal for prospective adoptive parents to specify the race of the child they wanted to adopt. (None of these thoughts are Debbie's, btw, so please don't blame her if/when I offend you!)

The post, of course, conjured up some interesting comments and thoughts - most of which were focused on how the law was bad and no one should be made to raise a child of another race if they don't want to.  Well, you know what?  You don't have to.  It is not your right to adopt.  It is not even your right to be a parent.  Not even if you want to be one really, really badly.  None of us deserve the children we have whether birthed by us or not.  But this is even more true in adoption.  The stakes are too high and little lives too valuable to make it about YOU and what YOU want.

When you adopt a child you are gifted with a child that was not intended to be yours.  I don't believe that God plants children in the wrong wombs.  It is not his desire to separate mothers from children, or families from their grandchildren, nieces, cousins, etc.  We are all together on this planet full of imperfection and sin.  Not one of us is perfect.  Adoption is a consequence of the fall.  Of the issues that were never intended to befall precious and innocent children.  Through no fault of their own our beautiful children are taken from their natural families and given to us.  Do I think that it is a horrible and wretched thing from which no one can recover?  No, of course not.  But it is also not a bubbly-happy-sunshine thing either.  There will be heartache and questions.  Sorrow and doubts.  Being the mommy who gets to answer these questions and cuddle my children when they are hurting is a privilege - but not my right.

Remove yourself from the equation for just one minute.  What are your motives for wanting to be an adoptive parent.  Are they selfish or are they because you want to offer a home to child who needs it?  Of course we all adopt or have children because we want to be parents.  There is no doubt about that.  But it also is at it's heart a selfish desire.  We want to fulfill something within ourselves.  Something very natural.  But it doesn't mean we deserve it.

More to say on the article later.  The comments also stirred up (as you can see from my comment on the original post) thoughts regarding raising any child around bigots.  Now that should make for a fun topic! ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New URL

I lagged in renewing my old domain name so I've changed to a new one.  Please update your readers to:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blogging...It's a Mystery

Some of the blogs I follow have ads.  I don't care.  I don't ever click on them (to be honest) and don't think much about them.  One blog I visited recently talked about "making a living" from blogging.  Seriously?  You can make that much money by rambling on about yourself?  Guess I'm not that interesting because half the time I have nothing to say here.  I also have a hard time putting my families business out there to make money off of.  I don't know.  Guess I just don't get it?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Don't Know.

And things I do.

I don't know what it is like to pee on a stick and know whether there will be a baby in my future.  I do know what it is like to fill out mountains of paperwork, be interviewed, have a stranger dissect your life, reveal secrets, be fingerprinted, have my background checked to make sure I am not a pedophile or child abuser - all in the name of the lack of pee stick decisiveness.

I don't know what it is like to watch a belly grow and feel "your" baby kick.  I do know what it is like to pray continually and lovingly for a baby somewhere kicking in someone else's belly.  I do know what it is like to have faith the size of a mustard seed and watch it grow to faith the size of a mountain when you meet that woman and that baby and realize they are the ones you have been praying for all along.

I don't know what it is like to give the opportunity to your family to plan a shower with a definite "have to have this shower by such-and-such a date".  I do know what it is like to have a family who is so loving and so accepting of your children that they plan a shower on a whim when that baby finally arrives.  I do know what it is like to watch them love on your babies with no regard for where they came from or the color of their skin.  I do know what it is like to love your family and friends even more because they don't ask any questions, they just love.

I don't know what it is like to have a newborn mushy, gooey and bloody baby placed on your chest the instant they take their first breath and call them yours.  I do know what it is like to take a baby who is clean and already loved on from a woman who is giving you the best gift you could ever imagine.  I do know what it is like to instantly give your heart, soul and total being to that baby AND that woman all within an instant.

I do know the love of God because I see it every day in my family.  I know this love because He loves us the same way.  He loves us and knows us before we ever exist.  His love for us is instant and spontaneous.  It has no regard for color or place or origin.  It.just.is.  I want to love like that.  And my children and their mothers have shown me how.  I wouldn't change it for all the pee sticks and gooey babies in the world.

I love my family.  It is perfection.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fun Filled Summer.

It has already been such an awesome summer and it's not even July yet!  Since I am still using my FMLA I am only working three days a week.  This leaves me four days in a row to enjoy my sweet family.  It has been wonderful.  There have been so many adjustments to our life lately (new baby, new job, new house - aren't you only supposed to do one of those things at a time???) that it has been such a blessing for me to have this time to help us all adjust.

This past Thursday I took the kids to Asbury Park.  They have an awesome new splash area for little ones and KJ had the best time.  I have a dear friend who is here from out-of-state waiting on their ICPC so they were able to join us.  It was so great.  I know I don't usually share pics of the kids on this blog but I had to put this one of KJ enjoying the water with his little friend C.

I spent many summers at Asbury Park as a kid.  Our church had events at nearby Ocean Grove.  I love it there and it brought back lots of good memories.  I hope you are having an awesome summer too!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Design.

Do you like the new blog design??  Lisa over at Little-Did-I-Know did it for me.  It is part of her adoption fundraiser and I was happy to help out.  I think it is super cute!

On the family front... I got a text from N's first mom on Saturday!  I was so excited and happy to see her name pop up at the end of the text.  I haven't heard from her since we left their home state.  Through each letter I sent I put my cell number at the bottom.  Letting her know that if she were ready and wanted to she could call or text me anytime.  I am so glad she took me up on the offer.  I hope we keep in contact. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hey blog land!

Sorry again for the massive blog break.  Things here in our household have been just shy of nutzo!  The move went well and we are almost fully settled in.  We decided to go super minimalist in our move and got rid of A LOT of stuff that we had not even seen in years.  We lived in our house for four years and there were some things that never even made it out the basement.  Now why oh why were we holding onto these things???  I think we all have stuff like that, things we think we'll need *someday* and you find you never really do.

I also wanted to share this information from Nightlight Embryo Adoptions.  They are looking for families to adopt multi-ethnic embryos.   I admit, embryo adoption used to freak me out, think Sigourney Weaver in Alien... yah, that.  Anyway, the idea has grown on me a bit lately and I don't think "Alien" anymore.  Not saying it is for our family, but maybe it is for yours!  Something to consider... Just click on the link below.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Many things...

On top of bringing home our baby girl last month, we are also moving in just two weeks from now.  I've been a bit overwhelmed to say the least.  I have taken 6 full weeks off of work and that has been a blessing.  I go back a week from this Monday for three days a week and will return to full time in mid-June.  I'm very thankful that FMLA allows me to do it this way. It provides a nice transition for our family and helps with the move!

We actually sent KJ to my in-laws in Philly for the weekend because I could not get him out from under my feet!  It is sweet that when I am home all he wants is "mama, mama, mama" but it makes it nearly impossible to pack anything.  ND, of course, stayed with us.  I'm not ready to part for an overnight with my little princess just yet.  It took over a year before we left KJ with our family overnight so we could enjoy a weeks vacation for our anniversary.  All I did was talk about him for the first 2 days!  Not so romantic.

We have not yet sold our house but to be honest we don't care if we do.  We are going to do a deed in lieu if we are unable to complete a short sale.  Our first stab at homeownership has been - FAIL.  LOL  Once Kev got laid off things just went south.  I now have a better paying job, but it's an hour away and the bank has been very UNhelpful in assisting us in getting a manageable payment.  What they don't tell you in all this Hope for Homeowners nonsense is that your bank has to CHOOSE to participate and only certain types of loans backed by certain banks are eligible.  Well, needless to say we did not meet any of the criteria and are basically out on our butts.  We got a GOOD loan in 2006, not a flexible rate or balloon mortgage.  A normal 30-year fixed rate and we are still screwed.  Oh well, we've survived and God has taken good care of us.  A smudge on our credit is the least of our worries right now.  We are renting a townhouse style apartment closer to where I work, only 6.7 miles to be exact!  I can't wait for the shorter commute, more time with my precious family, and saying goodbye to the stress of owning this house.  I am perfectly content to let someone else pay to fix everything and provide my utilities!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mini blog break.

I'll be back soon!  Just taking some time to enjoy our new daughter. :)  I am off work for 6 weeks and honestly I do most of my blogging there.  LOL  No time when I'm home 24/7. 

See you all soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Adjusting to two.

We are so happy to finally be home.  The drive back took us over 12 hours and we drove straight through the night.  Yes, we are that crazy!  We just couldn't wait to get out of there.  It sounds awful, and there was nothing we didn't like about the city we were in, we were just ready to be home.  We had to stop at my in-laws in Philadelphia because they had our dog and we had our mother-in-law.  We got there at about 4:30am. N is not a big fan of car rides.  It seems to upset her little tummy and I had to sleep the rest of the night with her in a recliner.  Not that I minded, she is just too sweet for words.  This is one happy mama...

Since we've been to our actual home in NY it has been a bit of an adjustment, but no complaints.  We were all so very tired so the first day was mostly spent sleeping and getting groceries!  We were gone for almost two weeks so any food we had that wasn't frozen was bad.  We didn't even have milk for KJ. 

So far the two kids does certainly mean twice the work!  But they are both a different kind of work and KJ is so good to his sister that it is an adjustment, but not in a bad way.  Just more to get used to. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blog invites...

...will be out soon! We cleared ICPC today and are driving through the night to get to my in-laws (who have our dog, and we have my mother-in-law!). And then we'll drive on to home tomorrow evening. So I promise to get them out soon as I can! Not much on there yet anyway. ;)

Peace,
Andi and the gang
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Private Blog.

Hey Friends,

As promised I have started a private blog for the kids. I won't be discussing them much here nor will I post pictures.  This blog will remain my "adoption soap box" for deeper discussion.  The other will be purely for the purpose of bragging!

If you'd like an invite just shoot me an email to: ME HERE and I'll add you.  The url is http://aprincessandtheking.blogspot.com.  Hope to see you there!

Andi

Gender Preference in Adoption.

Not gonna lie.  It gives me the yuckies.  This all started today because I somehow (maybe on Twit.ter?) ended up on someone's "We're Hoping to Adopt" site and along with all the lovely pictures it said "we have two boys and want a girl" (not exactly like that, but that was the gist).  What?!  I'm sorry, but what gives any of us the right to choose or demand a child of a certain gender? 

Now I get that in international adoption many times you must state a preference.  But in domestic adoption that is not the case. I guess my main issue with stating a preference is that it instantly becomes all about you and what you want, it has nothing to do with the child.  Of course it is ultimately up to the expectant mother/family and if they don't mind a person saying they want a boy or girl, well then that's up to them.  But the bottom line is adoption needs to be about the child and not about what we as adoptive parents want.  Besides, ultrasounds are not fool proof.  If this child comes out a boy is the a-family going to refuse him and give him back?  If any of us a-parents were pregnant would we  not accept our child if they came out as our non-preferred gender?  No, adoption is not natural childbirth, but I believe that we should all have the same commitment to our adopted children as if we birthed them.  So if we cannot choose through pregnancy why should we be able to choose in adoption?


Our first adoption was through an agency and they would not allow gender specificity in a domestic adoption.  I appreciated that.  This time around we stated no preference as the choice is God's, not mine.  I guess this all just bothers me because it feels like adoptive parents trying to get even in the baby-making game.  Something like, "well if I cannot conceive I should at least be able to get what I really want!"  Perhaps this is not how it is and I am certainly not pointing any fingers, this is just how it seems to me.  

Again, I understand that adoption is not childbearing in the same way, but shouldn't your commitment and unconditional love to that child be the same from the very beginning?  I welcome your thoughts!





Monday, April 5, 2010

We have a baby girl!!

Sorry I have been a bit MIA. It is for good reason! We have been
out-of-state meeting our new daughter! She was born April 1st. She is a
tiny little thing. :)
More details to follow. I will have a separate private blog soon just for
updates on the kids. I don't like putting their pictures and names out in
public. For now if you want to see pictures and her name, etc. you can
friend me on Faceb.ook. I am at www.facebook.com/andils. Hope to see you
there!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Down to the wire.

Babe #2 is due in about ten days and we still have not heard from some of the grants that we applied for.  I am not stressing, actually, because we know it is in God's hands.  We have been very, very, very blessed already in this second adoption journey as friends and family have stepped forward to partner with us monetarily to fund this adoption with NO DEBT. 

We already received a small grant from a new foundation called the Foundation for Hope and Grace.  I encourage you to visit their site and learn more about them. Bill and Teresa have such awesome hearts for the Lord and for adoption.  They began their foundation out of a tragic loss of one of their adopted daughters but what wonderful things have come of that tragedy!

I'll keep you updated!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Open Adoption Interview Project: The Reveal.

So here it is!  The day we get to introduce our partner from the Open Adoption Interview Project.  Here is a link to all those who participated.

As I stated in my last post, my partner is SJ over at From the Mind of a Birthmom.   I was so looking forward to her answers!  I have already learned so much from her and other first moms who have been willing to share their story, I was blessed to be matched up with her.

Without further ado!

1.  In the beginning you state that you and B and C agreed on pictures and letters only.  How did that change?
When Cory was first admitted to Children's Hospital S and Ccalled the agency and asked them to let me know what was going on and invite me to visit them in the hospital.  I wasn't sure how I felt about it but ended up taking my mom with me to see Cory in the NICU.  S and C were very happy to see us and told us that they felt very strongly that we should know what was going on with Cory.  They also had no family in-state and needed the support.  I was invited to visit the hospital as much as I wanted to support them and make sure Cory was alone as little as possible.  I ended up being there every other day on average.  The times that I was not there C would call to see if I was coming over.  When he was discharged we had made no plans to see each other again, but S and C surprised me again by inviting my family and I over to visit about once a month or so.  The relationship grew from there and now we see each other quite often, sometimes several times a month.

That, of course, is the very, very abridged version of the story :)


2.  Have you and S and C discussed telling Cory about the circumstances of his conception?
We have not discussed what to tell Cory about the circumstances on his conception.  To be honest, I'm not sure S and C know what the circumstances actually were.  When discussing it with them I have been rather vague. 

If it were my call, I would not tell Cory about the circumstances.  I consider that part of my story and not necessarily his.  Aside from that, I do not believe it would be in Cory's best interest to give him the complete story since there is a possibility he will have the opportunity of a relationship (or at least an introduction) with his birth father in the future.  If that were to happen I would not want to shape Cory's perception of J for him.  He will need to make up his own mind regarding what kind of person J is and how he/they want to conduct any kind of relationship.

Even though I do not intend to influence Cory in regards to J, I know that Cory may directly ask me questions regarding his birth father at some point.  If he does I will do my very best to answer him honestly without inserting too much of my personal feelings.

Then again, it may not be my choice at all :)  I will let S and C make the final decision but I hope to discuss this with them when the timing is appropriate.


3.  What is your biggest dream for Cory?  What is your biggest fear?
My biggest dream for Cory?  EVERYTHING! :)  I dream that he will grow up surrounded by love.  That he will love school and sports, find a job/career that he loves, meet a woman who loves him more than anything on earth, and only have a little bit of heartbreak in order to develop character.  I dream that he will love and serve the Lord his entire life and understand what he believes and why.  I dream that he will love and respect family and friends and have a long full life.

My biggest fear is that he will become like his birth father either in personality or actions.  So far no reason for concern.


4.  What is your advice for potential adoptive parents when preparing the dreaded "profile book"?
The best advice anyone can offer is let yourself shine through in your profile.  That includes everything: good, bad and ugly. :)  The more real you are in the profile, the easier it will be to "connect" with you on paper.  People can tell when you are being fake, even on paper.  This does mean there will be women and men who pass right over your profile but that would happen anyway.  Believe me when I say it is for the best. :)

In regards to the letter, avoid saying anything like "thank you for choosing life," "you are so brave," or anything else along those lines.  You may mean it with all your heart but it comes across very cliche on paper.  Besides, that is exactly what everyone else is writing.  Be original :)  Also, do not start with "Dear Birth parent(s), . . ."  In most cases, the woman has not given birth yet, therefore they are "expectant mom/dad".  In cases where they have given birth they are simply "mom/dad."  I know people talk about this all the time but it cannot be emphasized enough, especially when the agencies usually do not teach this.

Include pictures that show your family doing the things you love, any kid areas you have in your house (i.e. backyard playground, nursery, etc.) and pictures of people the child would have frequent, close contact with if they allow it (i.e. aunts, uncles, close friends, etc.).

Anything I didn't cover?  Just ask! :)


5.  If you could tell adoptive parents one thing regarding their children, what would it be?
Be open to the fact that your child may want to know more than you know about where and who they came from.  It does not mean they love you less or want to replace you.  You wanted to add to your family; your child is simply wanting to add to theirs :)


6.  Do you hope to get married and have other children some day?
Yes!!  I can't WAIT to get married and have more children.  Right now the children are more of a draw than the husband, but that's because I know what a joy children are and have yet to meet a man who brings me such joy ;).  Hopefully someday (soon!) I will meet a man worth my time.  Do you know anyone?  Anyone want to set me up? :D


7.  Do you want to visit NYC? ;)
Absolutely!!  Can I sleep on your floor?? lol

Seriously, I have always wanted to visit New York City.  The closest I have come is sitting in the airport.  You can't see a single tourist site from there so I hardly think that counts!  Anytime you need/want a visitor let me know :)


8.  Do you have a favorite blog to read?  If so, why is it your favorite?
hmm . . . yes, there are two three four that I LOVE to read when I have time (well, aside from your blog of course ;)! ).  Can't pick just one :)

The first one is Heather at On Icarus' Wings.  She is a close friend of mine that I originally met online and I love how she writes and her point of view.  More often than not she puts me in my place when necessary and offers a great perspective on life and adoption.  IRL she makes me laugh.  A lot.

The second one is Jenni at In His Easy Yoke.  She is very eloquent and always brings up points that I have never considered.  Also, she is very grounded in the Word and has a wonderful attitude toward life and adoption.  And she just plain rocks.  It's true.

The third one we all know very, very well.  She is Heather at Production, Not Reproduction.  Sister, you rock.  She is a great writer who started a great project (Open Adoption Bloggers) and does a fantastic job linking to community of adoption bloggers together.  I have been introduced to so many blogs and people that I never would have found without her. 

And one that is not adoption-related . . . Scott at Soulmates with Christ aka Noble Blogging.  He is a pastor at my church who wrote a book called Noblesse Oblige.  He is a great writer, very good at expressing his ideas and loves doing it.  And he is a great person IRL :)

There are so many more that I love to read!  Next time I'll just give you my entire blogroll (50+ blogs) :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Open Adoption Interview Project!

In case you are unfamiliar with the Open Adoption Bloggers project, let me educate you!  It is a group of dedicated bloggers who blog about open adoption from all sides of the triad.  It is a very educational venture and Heather @ PNR will post questions for participants to answer.  It's been a while since I have participated, but I am happy to be involved with the Interview Project to recognize one year of the Open Adoption Bloggers project!

I specifically asked to be paired with a first mom because I thought it would be more challenging.  And it will be! I am matched with SJ over at From the mind of a birthmom and couldn't be happier!  She has already given me some challenging questions and we will all post our answers on March 22.  For more go here:

Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tough stuff.

Today I got some paperwork regarding our match.  It was legal stuff and "E" had signed it, it was then sent to us.  I saw her signature on there today and just started crying.  Crying in my office!  I know that people don't get, those who have not adopted anyway.  And sadly, some who have adopted or are waiting don't get it either. This is a woman who is contemplating parting with her child and she has tentatively chosen you to raise that child as your own.  You just can't understand that feeling unless you've been there.  It was just heart wrenching.

On a lighter note... the cradle in the picture from the last post is not ours!  LOL It is just a picture I grabbed off of some site.  I like illustrations in my posts.  Makes things a little more interesting.  We do have a really cute Moses basket though...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adoption Stuff.

We are officially, really this time, matched.  I say it that way because we have worked with two other expectant moms in the past few months.  But although both wanted to place with us; it was never to the point where all the paperwork was completed and things were moving along.  This time - they are.  We are excited, but cautious too.  It is another out-of-state placement.  Oh the joys of ICPC! Blerg.

And that's all you're going to get on that.  Until the child is actually ours and all is signed.  Sorry, told you I am just not one to share all that stuff that isn't mine to share yet. ;)  But rest assured it will be soon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

You got questions? I got answers!

Hi friends.  Beginning this week I will start "Thoughtful Thursdays".  On each Thursday I will post a question proposed by a reader and try my best to answer it.  I am not expert on all things adoption, but I can try to answer to the best of my ability. The question also need not be adoption related.  Ask anything!  As long as it is not too private or inappropriate I will gladly post my response.

Please submit your questions to me here.  I will soon be adding a link on the sidebar as well.  Thanks!

Andi

Sunday, February 28, 2010

So sorry friends!

Last Thursday at 6pm we lost power in the storm.  We just got it back this morning at 6am.  Yes, we had no power - therefore no heat - from Thursday to today, Sunday.  Oh the posts I could write about this experience!  For now I will just leave you with a picture of the destruction on our street that caused a power line to go down and the transformer to go ka-blooey!

I do have some adoption news, but this will have to wait a bit.  Just wanted you all to know where I've been!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting?

I guess you could say we are officially "waiting" - in adoption terms.  I mean, our home study is done, we have all of our legal clearances complete, we are "approved" adoptive parents (thank you NY state for that stamp of approval), we have an infant seat, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, butt cream, you name it - we got it.  But things just are not as intense this time around.  I just don't know how else to explain it.  Yeah, waiting does stink, but I cannot complain.  My house is full of the laughter and the silly dance moves of my precious boy.  It is stressful to not know what will happen next but life is good.

Since we are not using an agency this time the waiting is also not the same.  There is no wondering where our profile is, who is seeing it, who is basically controlling our adoption journey.  We know all these things this time and there is a certain level of comfort in control.  I admit it openly.  And I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  Fess up, ladies!  Control is key!  But ultimately God is in control.  So even if we were the only couple an expectant mom had to choose from, it is still in His hands.  And in that I find peace.  Even if it means relinquishing some of that beloved control.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Adopted Child's Loss.

There is a great post here from Grown in my Heart about the loss an adopted child experiences.  No, not every child who is adopted is going to react the same way.  Nor is every one going to react the way the child in this story did.  However, I believe that we do our children a great disservice if we do not also recognize the hard, and yes, even ugly, parts of adoption.  There is loss there.  There will be pain and questioning.  Do we go around basing our lives on this?  Heck no.  But to pretend that the hard parts do not exist only injures our relationship with our child.  I want to be ready.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekend Plans.

I don't know about all of you, but I am looking forward to a weekend with nothing to do!  This doesn't happen very often so we are very happy about it.  I have found that things got even crazier on the weekends with a child.  Maybe I will have to limit my children's friends because there will just be too many birthday parties and play-dates!  What is a play-date anyway?  In my day you just went and hung out at your friend's house.  There was no name for it, you just went.  It's kind of humorous.

I hope you are all planning a nice quiet weekend as well!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kids needing homes.

 I thought I would put up a few sites that I love and visit often.  I sometimes will print a picture of a particular child and will pray for him or her and that they would find their forever family soon.  Maybe you would consider doing the same?
AdoptUsKids

RainbowKids

Reece's Rainbow

Spence-Chapin ASAP

The Shepherd's Crook

Laying it all out...

I have never done a post on why we adopt, or what our particular circumstances are.  This has been for a few reasons but mainly because we do not have any known IF issues.  I know that most who come to adoption; and perhaps to my blog; have experienced this and I don't want it to ever seem that I am somehow rubbing our possible fertility in someone's face.

Many times I will get comments or questions that directly relate to this and most often it is assumed that we adopt due to infertility.  Well, no, we don't.  But that does not mean that our reasons are more valid or the path that brought someone to adoption is any better or worse. 

We have chosen to adopt because we saw a need.  Not a need for families wanting that blonde-haired, blue-eyed child that resembles their Grandpa Bob or one of the parents, or has no issues... nope, not them.  There generally is a belief that in Domestic Adoption there is not a need as great as that of "real orphans" in other countries or waiting in foster care.  Well, those ARE great needs and I in no way belittle that.  But there are ALSO great needs here. 

Do you know that a mom who is looking to place a child that is black usually has a fraction of the amount of profiles to view than a caucasian mom would?  A recent note from a friend at an adoption agency told me that they have an African American mom right now who is going to look at profiles and she has only TWO for her to view.  Two?  Hello?  If that doesn't bother you and make you want to scream than maybe we can't be friends. ;) 

When we met with our social worker from our first adoption she point blank told us "If you want to adopt a white child, just get in the line.  It goes all the way around the corner and you will be waiting a while."  What makes a white child so much more valuable and desirable than a black one?  What makes a "healthy" child more desirable than one born drug addicted or with a cleft palate? 

We believe strongly that the Lord has asked us to stand in the gap for these children.  Those by society deemed to be "less desirable."  I don't think it matters if I popped out ten babies of my own, I would still meet this need.  I would still do this.  I would still offer these women a choice.  Because we all expect them to not abort and carry their children, but then offer them no alternatives at the end.  And the first and best alternative is always for them to have the resoureces to parent.  But if they choose not to, then we will be there.

The jury is still out on whether I will ever actually birth a child.  I just have never had that strong of a desire to do so.  I know this is odd, but I just don't care that much.  I think I might like the experience but I never dreamed of it nor did my husband.  We never talked about how great it would be to have off-spring who resembled us... it just didn't matter.  And right now my focus is on my son.  And he is black.  So me having a white baby is probably not going to help him in his adjustment as the black child of white parents.  Therefore I put my needs and desires aside for him.  Because his needs are much more important than any of mine.

Now you know a little bit more about me and hopefully I have not scared too many of you away.  Sorry, I just don't have one of those warm fuzzy adoption blogs... ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Wee Bit of an Update.

I know that I mentioned in another post that we have been working with a WONDERFUL woman who runs the adoption outreach program for the Down Syndrome Association of Cinci.  She basically does this out of the kindness of her heart and covers the entire country.  If you would like to learn more, click here.

We were asked to consider a situation where the expectant mother was African American and her daughter will be born with Ds.  We said yes, but there was another family that she had been working with that initially decided not to go forward, and then came around and decided to meet her.  So we have just been kind of sitting in the wings if the match with this other family does not work out.  Also, the mother may decide to parent so we really don't know what is happening!  LOL  But it is all good and we are ready if needed.

No word yet from the agency we have signed with... they have our stuff.  Just takes some time.  Keep on keepin' on, all!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adoption is H.A.R.D. and other ramblings.

I follow a lot of adoption blogs and one of the families just was placed this past weekend with their precious baby boy.  Whenever I read a blog, or find out from a friend, or even hear about someone meeting their adopted child for the first time I still get goose bumps.  The good kind... and the not-so-good kind.

I remember the feelings so well of when we first met KJ and his mom.  I remember all the mixed emotions that came that first day and for many days after that.  So now when I see, read or hear about a placement a part of me wants to hug that family and tell them the best and worst are about to come.  You will love your child unconditionally and the good will always outweigh the bad.  But in adoption there will always be another family in the picture.  It won't just be you and your child.  You will always remember their first parents and, if you're like me, wonder about them and hurt for them often.

Not enough is said about the hard part of adoption.  And I don't mean the waiting and making a profile.  Heck, those are the easy parts!  I don't question that KJ is my son.  I never have.  I did, however, remember feeling like somebody made a mistake and this child should be with the mom who brought him in to the world, not me!  It's so hard to explain because it never negated my love for him, not even a bit.  It was just such a feeling of... well... helplessness.  I was not at all in control of all that was happening and one woman's painful situation became my life's greatest joy. Now take that and make sense of it...?

A lot of people will tell you about their adoption and say they wouldn't change a thing.  Well, that's not true of me.  I would change something.  I would change the fact that my son is forever separated from his biological family.  They may or may not ever know him.  And that is not by our choice.  Even children raised in a continuously open adoption I imagine will have their own measure of pain and questioning to deal with.  So although I know 'S' made the choice to give her son life and to give him to me, it still doesn't always make things easier.  Not always...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend Getaway.

Kevin and I are headed "upstate" this weekend all alone.  I know this should be a romantic and giddy time, and I'm sure it will be.  (Well, not giddy.  We are way too realistic and cynical for that.) But it is just so hard for me to leave my boy.  We have left him once before when we went away in July for our 5 year anniversary.  And once I got settled in I enjoyed myself.  But that took 2 days!  This time we will only be away for 4.  Uh oh. ;)

Because who would want to leave this sweet face???

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Urgent Need: Baby Girl in Need of Home

The Shepherd's Crook Ministries is advocating for a baby girl not yet born.  Her birth is imminent and she is expected to be born with multiple special needs concerns.  Although all of these concerns have been diagnosed in-utero, the situation should be approached with the assumption that they will all come to fruition.

If you feel that you may be interested in pursuing this opportunity, please leave a comment here with your email address and I will send you the information on how to connect with TSC.  TSC does not know the racial composition of the little girl.  Because of mom's current situation, parenting is not an option for her.

God bless,
Andi

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Update.

Quick update. . .
I am at a conference and haven't had much time to update. We have decided, after much soul-searching, to sign on with a very reputable agency in our area. I am pooped and Kev is sick of hearing about it! We are NOT stepping completely out of the private realm, but we feel very confident that this is a good decision for us. It will take pressure off of me to continue to search out places where we can meet a need and racking my brain over it everyday.

I know that the Lord is smiling on this decision. I have spoken to two staff members, the Director of the domestic program and the Assistant Director, and both expressed the need for a family like ours that is
already trans-racial. They have had many e-moms coming through their doors who are African American and prefer to place with a black family. When that is not available, a family like ours is next best. Their child will have a sibling who is also black. We want this so badly for KJ too that it only seems fitting that we should meet this need.  We are already registered with their ASAP (Special Needs) program, this just takes it a step further.

We went to an orientation with this agency back in April of 2009 and loved what they had to say. They reiterated that they were there to help the women find a way to parent and only when that is not possible, after all avenues have been explored, do they look to adoption.

So away we go!  Here is a link to the agency.  Don't want it to show up in searches, so I am not typing it out. ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adoption Updates

I'm sure many of you are wondering just what has been going on with us regarding this second adoption.  I often post about how things are going on, but have been tentative to give details for many reasons.  For the two women that we spoke with last November and December I, of course, wanted to guard their privacy.  There was no reason to go waving their business around the internet and it really annoys me when people do.  I don't need to know every detail of your phone calls, texts, her problems, and yours.  And if you do that please, please make your blog private!  Theirs is not your story to tell.  End of rant.

Anyway, yes, we were tentatively "matched" with two different mothers back in Nov/Dec and both chose to parent.  It was fine.  Really. And I feel that we played an important role in their decision making at that time.  I still get emails now and then from both and it has been a blessing to be available.  Sometimes in adoption you're not there just to adopt a child, but to play a larger role.  Perhaps someone just needs a friend or a listening ear.  You just never know.

It has been tiring and emotionally draining.  I mean I work all day long in a social services agency.  With all that this adoption journey entails it's a bit like bringing work home with me.  But not in a bad way.  I never want to make this sound like it has been a negative experience because it has not. 

Both of the situations I just mentioned came through our attorney.  I also have been reaching out in other ways and we have submitted our home study for a waiting child in another state.  That can take months to even hear anything so we just wait, not expecting much.  I do speak with the worker about once a week just to remind her that we are here!  I'm sure I am a pain in the butt, but whatever.  I have made it clear that if another family is better for this little one than that is fine.  But it has not come to that point yet and she plans to present our home study to the child's "team" of workers as a very interested family.  So we shall see....

I also, through a friend of a friend, have registered as a family interested/available to adopt a child with Down syndrome.  Within a week we got a call asking if we would be available for a child being born within the next few months who is African American and will be a child with DS.  There are some other things going on there with a family who originally matched with the mom but then backed out and then came back.  We are waiting to hear what may or may not happen with this situation as well.

As you can see there are many things happening.  And I.am.tired.  But good, and BLESSED.  I cannot say enough how good God has been to us.  How we feel so blessed to just have our lives available to these families and children.  We know He knows the next steps for our family.  So now we just wait.  (The hard part.)

A million miles a minute.

I cannot stop my brain.  I feel like it is going in a million directions regarding this "adoption adventure" that we are on this time.  The first time around was oh-so-much easier.  Let me tell you.  Using an agency is a piece of cake compared to what we are attempting to do now.  I know our reasons are right and our hearts are in the right place.  But it.is.hard.  And I am at the point where I honestly don't know what the best thing to do is anymore.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Upside-Down Adoption: Foster Care Adoptions: How Not to Give Up (Part One First Draft)

A good post from another blog. I am not saying they are 100% right, but a lot of good points are made.

I know we have been very, very frustrated with how the system works. I called, emailed and called again to get information about adopting a waiting child in my state and others and almost never get a call back. It is very disheartening.

We do plan to update our home study for foster care but since we are planning to move to another state in the near future it just didn't seem to make sense for right now. I hope NJ is better at it than NY... *sigh*

Upside-Down Adoption: Foster Care Adoptions: How Not to Give Up (Part One First Draft)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I rock the crock pot.


I love my crock pot. No joke.  And now I have two.  One 5 quart and one 7.  I asked for a bigger one for Christmas this year. The crock pot is the best friend of the working woman.  It is also her husband's best friend because it cuts down on his cooking contribution.  (Yes, we split the "household duties" in this here house.)

For dinner tomorrow I am preparing (tonight, ahead of time) Cheesy Enchilada Chowder.  I have not made this one before and it could be interesting.  We shall see.  I prep everything the night before and then pop the pot in the fridge.  Kev then starts it up at the right time tomorrow. 

One of my fave sites for crock pot recipes is Crockpot365.  She blogged a new recipe every day for a year and is still going.  You should check it out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On a roll... raising a child of color in a cracker town.

I seem to be on a posting roll so I figure I better keep going...

Last December I began a new job as the Human Services Director for a large, multi-national, non profit located in Newark, NJ.  The mere mention of Newark for many makes them cringe with fright and fills their minds with visions of gang warfare and drive-bys.  Now mind you, these things do happen here, but not as often as you would think (well, not anymore anyway).  I just love it here.  I cannot think of a better place for me both professionally and personally.  I was joking with a friend yesterday because my poor husband is such a country boy but married a woman in love with the city.  Lucky for me he has a big heart and an open mind and we actually plan to move here (Lord willing) in the coming months.

As we have relayed this to family and friends many have aptly responded, "Why would you move to Newark??"  Good question.  And here's my answer.  Why not?  It is a city working towards improvement, the new mayor has been working hard to turn things around, and this place could use our money, time, and investment.  Another reason we like it?  The population is only 25% Caucasian.  As KJ grows I want him to see more and more people who resemble him.  We just can't get that where we are now.  I don't care that the schools are fantabulous and we can frolic in a river.  My son's (and probably future children's) cultural awareness and well-being is more important than that.  I can actually walk down the block from where I work and get "ethnic" hair care products without having to drive miles away. And it is actually a whole store.  Not just a fraction of an aisle at WalMart or CVS.  If you are not a person of color or don't have a child of color you wouldn't notice these things.  But they.do.matter.  Big time.

So regardless of what others think, say, or feel they cannot really know about our choices as a family because they are not us.  They have not walked in our shoes.  And each and every person I have talked with who is actually black has reiterated to me how important this will be for KJ as he grows.  A friend who happens to also be an African American woman and pastor said to me the other day when I told her how folks were giving us a hard time about moving, "don't they know he needs to grow up around people who look like him??"  Well... maybe they do now. ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Upside-Down Adoption: The Dangerous Desire to Adopt Haitian Babies

Great post on the issues, real issues, surrounding the sudden interest in adopting Haitian children after the quake. It's not as easy, or as simple as many want to think it is. Kuddos to the author for bring the real issues to light!

Upside-Down Adoption: The Dangerous Desire to Adopt Haitian Babies

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two updates. One month.

We finally got our certification papers from the state of New York earlier this week.  Kind of funny since we have already been "matched" twice since November.  Anyway, the certification allows us to take a child into our home at any time whether of not it is through an agency.  New York is whack in terms of it's adoption laws, but this is a good one.  If you are doing a private adoption (no agency) you must be "certified" by your county.  This involves fingerprints and all the clearances, etc.  It is good for up to eighteen months so now I am estimating how many kids we can adopt between now and July 2011... Hmmm...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year!

I began the New Year with the vain hope that I would be a better blogger.  Well, as you can see that has not really happened.  It is nearly the middle of the month and here I am with my first post.  Don't hate me.

Our Christmas was wonderful but very busy.  We traveled out to Ohio and then back to Philly before getting home to NY.  It was great to see family but I think we were more tired when we got back!  Here is our family Christmas picture that we sent out this year -->


I think it came out great and KJ was smiling so big! 

We are still plugging away on our next adoption.  We have been matched twice in two months and both times mom has chosen to parent.  We are not sad in the least and I am happy to have a ministry of this sort where I can honestly tell a mom that it is OK to change her mind and really mean it!  I keep telling my friends that we will never have another little one because I tell these women it is OK to choose a different route... and then they do!  LOL 

God is so good.  And I am so happy to be able to talk with these mom's considering adoption and give them an honest assessment of their options.  They DON'T have to choose adoption.  There may be a way for them to parent.  They need to know this.  Too often I think the industry that is agency/private adoption pushes these women too soon in to making a decision and then they are left feeling that there is no way back.  As crazy as it is, I am happy to have gone with an attorney this time because WE are the ones speaking to the women, WE know what is really being said, WE don't have to have a mediator or someone between she and us.  I know what is really going on with them.  It is a good feeling.  Although it is challenging and hard, it is well worth it. 

I would not recommend this route to a first-time adoptive family because I just don't think you know enough the first time around.  You really have to work hard to educate yourself.  Have you ever even spoken to a woman/family before who have relinquished a child?  Have you taken the time to speak with other families who have adopted before?  Have you spoken with a family who had a failed placement? 

These are all just thoughts I have had recently and I am sure there will be more!  What an adventure 2010 has been already.  I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!



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