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  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!