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.