Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ups and downs

Quite a bit continues to happen despite having the application in. Two of the people that provided letters of recommendations e-mailed them to us so we could read them. Both of them were touching and more then I could have written. DH's best friend growing up wrote one that had me in tears and the other was written by DH's aunt who had adopted a child 18 years ago. Its amazing what great family/friends we have and this process really has brought out the best in people.

I am reading a book entitled Nobody's Child written about the history of adoption in Europe. The book has been interesting though I will admit to skipping large chunks as much of the book focuses on "Foundlings" which are defined as children that are left to be found. This practice has greatly reduced due to a dramatic change in the systems for adoption. It is still interesting to read adult's perspectives on their adoption, wanting to know their birth parents, ect. One story particularly got me was a woman that grew up in an orphanage cried when she had her first child because she just wanted her mother. This particular woman was never adopted so never had foster or adoptive parents but it got me thinking. If we adopt a girl when it comes time for her to have her own children I will not have any experience to offer her. Its little things like this that make me sad. Its not the loss of being pregnant or even the lack of having a biological child; however it is the loss of not being able to relate to my child's experiences due to missing out on the pregnancy.

While I was at my pity party I also cried about how I'm always the one that has to be understanding as others do not understand. I'm tired of having to take the high road when people are insensitive but I also realize that its not beneficial not to. For example in telling a family friend about the reaction of a family member he responded by saying "maybe both sides were unreasonable" when I expressed that I was disappointed in the reaction. Although I had opinions about the birth of their child never have I said a word because its not my role... I just wish others would just be supportive and did not try to offer unsolicited advice.

Last but not least my pity party touched on how I dont get the female benefits of pregnancy- the extra attention, the excitement of being able to give the good news to DH when I got my positive pregnancy test, the late night trips for ice cream. I know it sounds silly but its honest. One benefit to my pity part was DH agreed to provide me with 9 months of treating me like i'm pregnant after we are approved... that means back rubs, foot rubs, ice cream on demand, toe nail painting, and well whatever else I demand ;)

We also were assigned a case manager today which was not a surprise since there is only one infant adoption social worker. I am excited to work with her as she was very open and helpful in our initial meeting with her. We also learned that we neglected to pay $80 for finger prints and DMV records to be requested. I think i'm going to have to get used to how expensive this process is going to be... its only money

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adoption application in!

I was up late last night working w my godmother on making edits to the application. When it came time to edit the application we started to read through it however as we began to edit we began to doubt our responces. I highly recommend having someone you trust edit the document for you.

After getting off of the phone I accepted the edits and printed the document I never fully read through the document start to finish. I then began to review the list if items required for the application. I had to hook up our old computer in order to get our 2009 tax 1090 forms. I also had to hunt down our birth certificates and wedding certificate. I debated updating the finacial page as we have increased our savings but decided not to as it's a constant flux which primarily goes up. Had it not been 11 pm I may have made the changes but 5:30am was fast approaching and decided to go to bed.

Today DH made copies of our birth certificates and got a copy of our marriage certificate so we didn't have to send our only copies. I deposit my pay check and DH skipped his after work run. We organized everything and drove the two blocks to the office as 4:30 pm was fast approaching and it's friday so we were worried everyone would already be fine home. I spent a few min explaining what was "missing" ie the finger prints since we don't get anything back when we went so I wasn't sure what we were supposed to include.

I'm so excited that we are on our way to have a baby!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The application is DONE! Well we are waiting for a family friend to return the document with edits but the questions are answered, the finger prints done, the financial information collected, and the references asked. I plan on making a few edits once we get the edits back but dont want to second guess our answers. We answered truthfully and with heart- its like a multiple choice test the first answer you settle on is usually the right one. Hopefully we have the application in by the end of the week! The next step is the home study and getting our portfolio started. We have started shopping for cameras.

The references we used are my Godmother as she knows both of us well and is an eloquent writer. DH aunt and uncle who had their son by adoption so can provide insight into our character as well as how they feel we will do with the adoption process. My aunt and uncle who live down the street were our final choice as they will know our baby well and will naturally be a large part of his or her life. I feel trust for all of these people my only concern is that the agency will not accept references from family members. Although we have mutual friends we could ask we felt that as we are in our late twenties references with greater maturity would be better for this process. If we have to select non family members we have a few people in mind but we hope to still use our aunts/uncles.

I can't believe its almost time to send off the packet!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What and when to tell

It is common practice to not announce a pending birth until the end of the first trimester. The risk of miscarriage greatly reduces at this point and many health problems have been identified. Well with adoption there are so many layers. Birth parents begin looking at portfolios during their 6th month which means that if we wait to "announce" our pregnancy it is only 3 quick months away. With that said if we announce we are starting the adoption process its 1-5 years before a birth mom may pick us. I think we are going to have to pick a happy medium as we have already started to share with people individually and dont want anyone left out. We have already told our parents and will likely tell our siblings our definite commitment to the process in the next few weeks. I think an announcement to extended family once we have been approved for adoption will likely be the most ideal time to share the big news :) As the process proceeds I may have regrets or better advice on this one.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time off...

We had many canceled appointments with our adoption agency. This was frustrating however provided us an opportunity to take some time off from the process. Since my last post we have answered all of the questions in our packet, we both have been finger printed, and we have finally met with the adoption agency social worker that will work with us through the process.

Part of our decision to move forward is we have worked out financing. Adoption financing is a huge problem and you need a degree in tax law in order to understand what your tax credit will be and when you will get it. I spent an hour at the IRS office waiting and then reviewing the tax forms associated with adoption. The hardest part is that you don't get the rebate until one year after your adoption expenses or the year your adoption is finalized. If you start to adopt but the adoption falls through and you start again, well that counts as "one baby." My parents have agreed to loan us any money we need to finalize the adoption. It was a challenging decision because once the baby arrives babies are expensive so spending the amount of money just prior to having a baby seems crazy! We are lucky to have this support. It was difficult to make the call and ask for the loan as my parents are not privately wealthy and my parents are nearing retirement.

One hard part about this process has been peoples responses to adoption. Although we have not made a big announcement however we have told a few people. Peoples reactions to our adoption have been mixed. My mother wanted to know when she could start telling people she was going to be a grandmother. A co worker when she found out we started the adoption process proceeded to tell me how a little fat girl who ate a whole bag of chip, was two years old and adopted and had come into work the day before. Although DH's nonchalant broaching of the subject may have prompted the response another family member proceeded to tell us about alternative medical procedures we could try for a biological child. No response is "normal" or "better" its just that often people appear to be unprepared and feel they need to respond with information while if I had announced I was pregnant people would just exclaim how happy they are. Often those with less then ideal responses come around to being excited and happy and appear just not to have known how to initially response or even realize that when we telling them we are adopting its our way of saying "We are having a baby!"

Our meeting with the social worker went well. She explained the process as well as how an open adoption would work. One point she made that we had not yet considered was that open adoptions typically attract more educated birth parents as although they realize they are not ready to be parents they still want a connection with their baby. She gave us an idea of how long it would take to have a baby (1-5 years) and supported our idea to contact a pediatrician. We had a chance to look over other adoptive parents dear birth mom books. It was interesting to see the many different styles and put to rest that there is no "right way" to make the book.

We still have some paper work to do before our home study can begin. We need to have a few forms filled out by our doctors, finalize financial information, and fill out DMV information. Although I feel done with paper work I'm revealed to be getting close. I think one concern was that our finances would make it appear we were not ready. Once we put it down on paper we actually look really good especially considering that I just changed jobs. After the application is done we need to start our adoption portfolio to show birth parents.... I think i'm going to have to buy a new camera.. and its going to have to be a good one because its likely the same one thats going to be taking pictures of our baby! :)